Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Rocky Mountain Parnassian
Parnassius smintheus Doubleday, [1847]

Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Parnassiinae
Identification: Antenna has alternate black and white rings. Upperside of forewing of females and most males with 2 red or yellow spots beyond the cell. In some males these spots are black.
Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 inches (4.5 - 6.4 cm).
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 June-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Many species of stonecrop (Sedum) in the Crassulaceae family.
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of Sedum and Asteraceae family.
Habitat: Open forests, meadows, grasslands.
Range: From New Mexico north along the Rocky Mountains and into southwest Alaska.
Conservation: No populations are of conservation concern.
Management Needs: None noted.
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