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Butterflies of Montana -- Parnassius clodius

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Montana

Clodius Parnassian (Parnassius clodius)
JPG -- species photo


Clodius Parnassian (Parnassius clodius Menetries)

Wing span: 2 - 2 1/2 inches (50 - 62 mm).

Identification: Upper surface of forewing cell with 3 dark gray bars. Front wing has no red spots. Upper surface of hindwing with 2 red spots; female usually has red anal bar. Mated females have large, white keeled pouch (sphragis) at end of abdomen.

Life history: Males patrol habitat to find females; after mating they attach a pouch to female to prevent multiple matings. Females lay single eggs scattered on the host plant. Caterpillars feed at night at the base of host plant and pupate in a loose silk cocoon above ground. Overwintering is by the egg stage.

Flight: One flight in June - July.

Caterpillar hosts: Bleeding heart family (Fumariaceae) including Dicentra uniflora, D. formosa, and D. pauciflora.

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Open woods, alpine areas, meadows and rock outcrops.

Range: Western Canada and western United States.

Conservation: Subspecies strohbeeni from California's Santa Cruz Mountains is extinct.

Management needs: None noted.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

References:

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press,
     Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin Co.,
     Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Elrod, M.J. 1906. The Butterflies of Montana. Bulletin of the University of
     Montana 30: 1-174.

Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Clodius Parnassian (Parnassius clodius)
distribution map
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