Zerynthia polyxena (Southern Festoon, Osterluzeifalter, La Diane)
Zerynthia polyxena, also called Southern Festoon or Osterluzeifalter is a very charming butterfly from . The first description was in 1775 by Denis & Schiffermüller. With a wingspan of 4.5 – 5.5 cm the Southern Festoon is a small member of the family PAPILIONIDAE. The butterfly is yellow with black, red and blue spots and a black sinuous line at the margin.
Photos for easy identification
The forewings are yellow with many black spots. There are a black band and a black sinuous line at the margin. The viens are black. There is a black area around the body.
The underside is white to yellowish with many black and red spots. There is a red and black sinuous line at the margin. The viens are dark.
The hind wings are yellow. There is a black area around the body. In the middle of the wing there are some black spot. There are a chain of red spots and a chain of little blue spots going backwards. At the margin there is a black sinuous line.
The underside is white to yellowish. It is a copy of upside, but there are some differences. Some spots and also the sinuous line are red.
The body is black, but the side is whitish with red spots.
Sex differences: None
The Southern Festoon (Zerynthia polyxena) is a very charming butterfly of the Palaearctic ecozone (Europe and Asia). The distribution extend from the South of Europe to Kazakhstan and Pakistan.
Because of the rarity of larval food, the Southern Festoon are not common.
The flight period of the Southern Festoon is from April to May.
The first description of this butterfly was in 1775 by Denis & Schiffermüller. Because of the very high variability of this species, there are many subspecies.
- Zerynthia polyxena aemiliae [Rocci, 1929]
- Zerynthia polyxena albanica [Riemel, 1927]
- Zerynthia polyxena bosniensis [Eisner, 1974]
- Zerynthia polyxena bryki [Eisner, 1954]
- Zerynthia polyxena carmenae [Sabariego & Martinez, 1991]
- Zerynthia polyxena cassandra [Geyer, 1828]
- Zerynthia polyxena caucasiae [Nardelli & Hirschfeld, 2002]
- Zerynthia polyxena decastroi [Sala & Bollino, 1992]
- Zerynthia polyxena deminuta [Verity, 1947]
- Zerynthia polyxena demnosia [Freyer, 1833]
- Zerynthia polyxena gracilis [Schultz, 1908]
- Zerynthia polyxena idaensis [Eisner, 1974]
- Zerynthia polyxena latevittata [Verity, 1919]
- Zerynthia polyxena latiaris [Stichel, 1907]
- Zerynthia polyxena linnea [Bryk, 1932]
- Zerynthia polyxena macedonia [Eisner, 1974]
- Zerynthia polyxena michaelis [Nardelli, 1993]
- Zerynthia polyxena microcreusa [Verity, 1947]
- Zerynthia polyxena nemorensis [Verity, 1919]
- Zerynthia polyxena nigra [Sijaric, 1989]
- Zerynthia polyxena padana [Rocci, 1929]
- Zerynthia polyxena patrizii [Nardelli, 1993]
- Zerynthia polyxena petrii [Bryk, 1932]
- Zerynthia polyxena polymnia [Millière, 1880]
- Zerynthia polyxena reverdinii [Fruhstorfer, 1908]
- Zerynthia polyxena silana [Storace, 1962]
- Zerynthia polyxena sontae [Sijaric, 1989]
- Zerynthia polyxena taygetana [Rosen, 1929]
- Zerynthia polyxena thesto [Fruhstorfer, 1908]
- Zerynthia polyxena tristis [de Lattin, 1950]
The caterpillar is withe with many black and orange thorny warts. The pupa has a silken girdl. This species overwinters as pupa.
The number and position of the red spots are very variable like Parnassius apollo [Linnaeus, 1758] (Apollo, Apollofalter, l´Apollon).
The distribution of Southern Festoon overlap with the distributions of Spanisch Festoon (Zerynthia rumina)
The following differentiators are very useful to differ these similar species.
- The Southern Festoon has blue spots on hind wings.
- The Spanish Festoon has red spots on upside.
Protection provisions / Red List
- CITES: (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):
-no entry- (as at 23.06.2005)
- EU regulation on trading with species of wild Fauna and Flora
-no entry- (as at 19.08.2005)
- IUCN Red List of threatened species:
-no entry- (as at 2004) (see: www.redlist.org/)
- Red List of endangered species of Austria:
-endangered species- (category. 1)- (see: www.roteliste.at/)
- Regulation of the Viennese regional government:
-strictly protected- (see: www.wien.gv.at/recht/landesrecht-wien/rechtsvorschriften/html/l4800200.htm)
Similar and closely-related species
Zerynthia polyxena Denis & Schiffermüller 1775
Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree
- Kingdom: ANIMALIA
- Phylum: ARTHROPODA
- Class: INSECTA
- Order: LEPIDOPTERA
- Suborder: DITRYSIA
- Superfamily: PAPILIONOIDEA
- Family: PAPILIONIDAE
- Subfamily: PARNASSIINAE
- Tribe: ZERYNTHINI
- Genus: ZERYNTHIA
- Specific name: POLYXENA