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
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