NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE
State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Zerynthia polyxena (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

Synonym
  • Papilio polyxena Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775
  • Papilio hypermnestra Scopoli, 1763
  • Papilio hypsipyle Schulze, 1776
  • Papilio cassandra Geyer, 1828
  • Papilio creusa Meigen, 1829
Vernacular Name
Southern Festoon
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Conservation status
EURL: LC; Be (II); RDBUkr: Вразливі
Value of species
Remarks
Detail
Zerynthia (Zerynthia) polyxena (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) Zerynthia polyxena is widespread in the middle and southern Europe (southeastern France, Italy, Slovakia and Greece) covering all the Balkans and reaching the south of Kazakhstan and the Urals. Although they are widespread they occur only locally. These rare butterflies can be found in warm, sunny and open places such as grassy herb rich meadows, vineyards, river banks, wetlands, cultivated areas, brushy places, wasteland, rocky cliffs and karst terrains, at an elevation of about 1,700 meters above sea level, but usually under 900 meters. It is an early spring butterfly. Adults fly from April to June in a single brood. The adults are active for no more than three weeks. The females lay their eggs singly or in small groups at the bottom of the host plants. The eggs are spherical and whitish at first, bluish colored before hatching. The caterpillars feed on birthworts (mainly (Aristolochia clematitis, Aristolochia rotunda, Aristolochia pistolochia, Aristolochia pallida). The special food of the larvae provides the toxic substances which then also go to the adults, making them inedible. The young caterpillars feed at first on flowers and young shoots, while after the second molt they feed on leaves. The pupae stay linked to a support by a silk belt for wintering and the new adults hatch the next spring. Western Ukraine (Transcarpathians, Cisdnister region), IV-VI (Канарський, 2007).
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Experts

Taxonomic branch

Biota
Eukaryota
Animalia
Eumetazoa
Arthropoda
Hexapoda
Insecta
Lepidoptera
Papilionidae
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