Parnassius actius

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Parnassius actius
Parnassius actius ulster.jpg
Syntype of P. actius actinobolus (female) from Bogdo Ula in collection of Ulster Museum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus: Parnassius
Species: P. actius
Binomial name
Parnassius actius
Eversmann, 1843

Parnassius actius is a high-altitude butterfly found in Central Asia. It is a member of the snow Apollo genus (Parnassius) of the swallowtail family (Papilionidae).


Found in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, north-eastern Afghanistan, Indus Valley (Pakistan) and (Jammu and Kashmir) and south-western China, including Xinjiang.


Note: The wing pattern in Parnassius species is inconsistent and the very many subspecies and forms make identification problematic and uncertain. Structural characters derived from the genitalia, wing venation, sphragis and foretibial epiphysis are more, but not entirely reliable. The description given here is a guide only. For an identification key see P.R. Ackery (1975).[1]

P. actius can be recognized by the more elongate and a little more pointed forewing. Ground colour usually pure white, more rarely slightly yellowish; vitreous margin of forewing narrow, as a rule not reaching the posterior angle, or the edge itself posteriorly narrowly white: submarginal spots feebly developed; in male usually only the anterior costal spot centred with red, in female both spots. The male, besides, somewhat duller, hindmarginal spot of forewing sometimes also marked with red, the submarginal markings more strongly developed. Hindwing grey at the base in both sexes, only in rare exceptional cases with a red basal spot above.[2]


It is a rare butterfly and declining due to changes in its habitat and is thus considered to be vulnerable. More information is needed on this species.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ackery P.R. (1975) A guide to the genera and species of Parnassiinae (Lepidoptera:Papilionidae). Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Ent.) 31, 4 pdf
  2. ^ Stichel in Seitz, 1906 (Parnassius). Die Groß-Schmetterlinge der Erde. Die Groß-Schmetterlinge des palaearktischen Faunengebietes. Die palaearktischen Tagfalter, Stuttgart.

Further reading[edit]

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