one rare one…
Hi – Here’s maybe a new addition – seen in Southern Oregon – 5,000 ft. elevation… quite hard to find – parnassius phoebeus sternitzkyi – female.
We are thrilled to have received your photo of a Parnassian. We have gotten photos of the caterpillars, but this is the first adult. According to Jeffrey Glassberg, author of Butterflies Through Binoculars The West: “This distinctive group of swallowtails is restricted to northern climes. … After mating, males place a waxy cap, called a sphragis, over the females’ abdomen to prevent other males from mating. In Europe, this group is called Apollos. Most of the approximately 35 species are Eurasian, and since almost every mountain range has populations that look slightly different from the next mountain range, European and Japanese collectors have gone berserk in their pursuit of each variety, reportedly threatening the existence of some of them.” We also plan to post the photo of the Baltimore you sent in a different email.
Cool – there are common parnassians, then there are the rare ones. Sternitzkyi is among the rare and hard to find ones, not to mention one of the largest and ornately colored. Collectors and observers are very tight-lipped about where they find this bug – I found it in a remote colony that I would not share with anyone due to possible overzealous collectors… Your site is so cool – and so much fun!! Glad you could use a pic or two. I may have a few more rarities to email you…