Sierra Nevada Parnassian (Parnassius behrii W.H. Edwards)
Wing span: 1 15/16 - 2 1/16 inches (4.9 - 5.3 cm).
Identification: Upperside of forewing with 2 black spots and 1-3 small yellow or orange spots along front edge. Hindwing with 2 round yellow or orange spots. Hairs on abdomen light yellow.
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 mainly mid-July to early September.
Caterpillar hosts: Stonecrop (Sedum) in the Crassulaceae family.
Adult food: Nectar from flowers of Sedum and Asteraceae family.
Habitat: Rock slides, alpine tundra, and stream edges.
Range: Sierra Nevada of California.
Conservation: Species has small range and is subject to random climatic events.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3, G4 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range OR Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None noted.
Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986.California Butterflies. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. 246 pp, 24 plates. Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates. Shepard, J. and T.R. Manley. 1998. A species revision of the Parnassius phoebus complex in North America (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Pages 717-726 IN: Emmel, T.C., editor. 1998. Systematics of Western North American Butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Fla. 878 pp.
Author: Paul A. Opler
State and Regional References:
Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif. Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from Entomological Reprint Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.] Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California. Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif. Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida. Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26. Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies. California Natural History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35. Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo. Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State University, Masters Thesis. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.