Parnassius mnemosyne

Clouded Apollo


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
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Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2008

Field notes and information

Recalls the black veined white, Aporia crataegi, which is usually far more frequently encountered. In some regions however this situation is reversed and it is very common, for example in southern and central Serbia it is one of the commonest butterflies around. Females carry a very large sphragus when mated (a barrier that prevents other males mating with her).

Identification & Similar species: At a casual glance, this and the black veined white, Aporia crataegi, are similar. That species is a pure white without spots, the current species is rather greyer and has two black spots in the forewing cell and in the hindwing discal area.

Distribution & Flight: Scattered through hills and mountains from the Pyrenees, the Alps, patches of Scandinavia and central and southeast Europe. It flies in a single brood from April to the end of summer according to altitude and location.

Habitat & Behaviour: It is usually very local and prefers more open grassy and flowery meadows in forests and wooded areas. It generally keeps a low profile and is usually of low abundance.

Variation: Subtle variation is common.

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Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

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SW Serbia, June 2012

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SW Serbia, June 2012

A female covered in pollen and showing the large whitish sphragus deposited by the male during mating.

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S Greece, July 2018

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SW Serbia, June 2012

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Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

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SW Serbia, June 2012

A female with sphragus.

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SW Serbia, June 2012