Common Blue Apollo
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Parnassius hardwickii, Tangnag, Nepal
© Marijn van den Brink
Parnassius, known commonly as Apollos,
comprises of 54 species. Three of these are endemic to North
America, a further 2 are found both in North America and the
Palaearctic, and the remainder are distributed variously across
Europe and temperate Asia.
are instantly recognisable as a genus, having rounded translucent
whitish wings that in most species are adorned with prominent
white-centred red ocelli. Unlike most other Papilionidae they have
short antennae with non-recurved tips.
Many Parnassius species are exceedingly
rare and have a very localised distribution, but
hardwickii is common and widespread in
Kashmir, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan.
Like other Apollos this species breeds on rocky mountainsides,
typically choosing sites where there are flat boulders on which they
can bask, and crevices or hollows in which they can hide during bad
weather. Parnassius hardwickii is found
at altitudes between about 3500-4900m.
The larval foodplants are Saxifragaceae.
To be completed.