Parnassius phoebus (Small Apollo, Alpen Apollo)

Parnassius phoebus, also called as Small Apollo or Alpen Apollo is a very nice butterfly from Palaearctic ecozone (Asia). The first description was in 1793 by Fabricius. With a wingspan of 4,5 – 5,5 cm the Small Apollo is a small member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The butterfly is white and translucent with black and red spots.


Photos for easy identification

Photo © by Thomas Neubauer (male)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer (female)
Photo © by Rudolf Faustmann (male)
Photo © by Rudolf Faustmann (female)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer (male)
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer (female)

These are nice photos of Parnassius phoebus (Small Apollo, Alpen Apollo). Parnassius phoebus is a member of the family PAPILIONIDAE from Palaearctic (Asia).


Description

The forewings are white and transparent at the margin.  There are five black spots on wings and some of these has red cores. There is a black powdered area aroud the body.
The underside is a copy of upside.

The hind wings are white. There is a dark and red powdered zone around the body. Two very big, black bordered red spots are on the wing.
The underside  is white with. There is a red area around the body. Going backwards there are two litle red spots. The big red spots from upsinde have white cores there.

The body is black and very hairy. The hairs are white.

Sex differences: The red spots are bigger at female.


Distribution

The Small Apollo (Parnassius phoebus) is a very nice butterfly of the Palaearctic ecozone (Asia) without the North of Africa. The distribution extend from Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongoloia to China. Furtheremore there are some insula distribution in the Alps and Alaska.
You can see the Small Apollo until 1500 m sea level.


This world map shows the ecozones in which this butterfly is distributed.

Flight period

The flight period of Small Apollo is from June to September.


Larval food

Crassulaceae:

  • Sedum debile
  • Sedum integrifolium
  • Sedum lanceolatum
  • Sedum obtusatum
  • Sedum rhodanthum
  • Sedum rosea (Rhodiola rosea; Golden Root, Roseroot, Aaron's Rod, Rosenwurz)
  • Sedum stenopetalum

Saxifragaceae:

  • Saxifraga aizoides (Bachsteinbrech)


Photo © by Thomas Neubauer; Sedum rosea (Rhodiola rosea; Golden Root, Roseroot, Aaron's Rod)

General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1793 by Fabricius. This species is very variable and therefore there are some subspecies.

The caterpillar is black with two chains of yellow spots at side. The pupa has a silken cocoon. This species overwinters as egg.

The distribution of Small Apollo overlap with the distributions of Apollo (Parnassius apollo).
The following differentiators are very useful to differ these similar species.

Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer

Here you can see the caterpillar of Parnassius phoebus.

Photo © by Thomas Neubauer ; pupa with cocoon
Photo © by Thomas Neubauer ; pupa without cocoon

Here you can see the pupa and the cocoon (Parnassius phoebus).


Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Archon apollinus Herbst 1789 (False Apollo, Osterluzei-Apollo)

Parnassius apollo Linnaeus 1758 (Apollo,l'Apollon, Apollo)

Parnassius mnemosyne Linnaeus 1758 (Clouded Apollo, Schwarzer Apollo, Le semi-apollon)


Scientific name

Parnassius phoebus Fabricius 1793


Other names

 Small Apollo, Phoebus Parnassian
 Alpen Apollo, Hochalpen Apollo
Kleine apollovlinder


Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

To family tree (Genus: PARNASSIUS)...


Ecozone

PALAEARCTIC (Asia)

  

 

To the top

Back to the family Papilionidae from PALAEARCTIC (ASIA)

 

Apatura iris
Inachis io
Nymphalis antiopa
Apatura iris
Vanessa atalanta
Papilio machaon
Pierides sp.
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