Rocky Mountain Parnassian (Parnassius smintheus Doubleday)
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 inches (4.5 - 6.4 cm).
Identification: Antenna has alternate black and white rings. Upperside of forewing of females and most males with 2 red or yellow spots beyond the cell. In some males these spots are black.
Life history: Males patrol close to the ground for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on almost any surface. Caterpillars feed on leaves and occasionally flowers and fruits. Hibernate as eggs.
Flight: One flight June-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Many species of stonecrop (Sedum) in the Crassulaceae family.
Adult food: Nectar from flowers of Sedum and Asteraceae family.
Habitat: Open forests, meadows, grasslands.
Range: From New Mexico north along the Rocky Mountains and into southwest Alaska.
Conservation: No populations are of conservation concern.
Management needs: None noted.
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:
Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 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. Add Toliver, M., Holland, R., and S.J. Cary. 1996. Distributional data for New Mexico Butterflies. Privately published. Albuquerque, N.M.