Butterfly in Israel
Location: Zippori stream, Israel
January 4, 2012 10:02 am
Hello Bug people!
I was on a hike in Northern Israel last weekend (a great way to see off the old year and start the new), and during the hike I saw a couple of these butterflies playing around. I was lucky enought to shoot one of them just before it flew off.
Quick research tells me it is an Archon apollinus bellargus, of the papilionoidae family. A loose translation of its Hebrew name is the ’Colorful Transparent’.
We are positively thrilled to receive your image of the Colorful Transparent. We were struck by its resemblance to members of the genus Parnassus, sometimes called Apollo Butterflies, which sad to say are highly sought by collectors and becoming endangered in their high altitude habitats in the Palaearctic. We suspect that they are taxonomically quite close to this lovely member of the same family. We found support for your identification on TrekNature which states: “One of the most primitive species of Papilionidae in Israel. It is the only specie in Israel which is active in the winter. its upper wings are bit transparent.” It is also pictured on the Tree of Life website which states: “Larvae of A. apollinus feed on species of Aristolochia (Aristolochiaceae).”