Parnassius cephalus

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Parnassius cephalus
Parnassius cephalus ulster 1889.jpg
Parnassius cephalus sengei Pullow
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus: Parnassius
Species: P. cephalus
Binomial name
Parnassius cephalus
Grumm-Grshimailo, 1891

Parnassius cephalus is a high altitude butterfly which is found in Tibet and west China. It is a member of the snow Apollo genus (Parnassius) of the swallowtail (Papilionidae) family.


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 Ackery P.R. (1975).[1]

Ground-colour pure white; forewing with complete blackish submarginal band and a sometimes abbreviated discal one, as well as with white and black chequered fringes. Hindwing with very narrow dark margin, two blue anal spots, which are continued anteriorly by two further black spots and a submarginal band.[2]


  • P. c. dengkiaoping Weiss
  • P. c. elwesi Leech
  • P. c. erlaensis Sorimachi
  • P. c. irene Bryk & Eisner
  • P. c. micheli Weiss
  • P. c. paimaensis Yoshino, 1997
  • P. c. pythia Rothschild
  • P. c. sengei (Bang-Haas)
  • P. c. takensakai Koiwaya
  • P. c. weissi Schulte
  • P. c. yammatak


  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.

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