Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Clodius Parnassian
Parnassius clodius Ménétriés, 1857


Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Parnassiinae
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.
Wing Span: 2 - 2 1/2 inches (50 - 62 mm).
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.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None noted.
Comments: NULL

Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.