Rocky Mountain Parnassian

Parnassius smintheus

Appearance: Overall white with bold black markings and a heavy gray edging to forewings above. Notice tiny red spots on forewing and larger white centered red spots on upper side of the hindwing. A similar pattern exists below with additional red spots on the hindwing. Also note the blackened basal areas of the wings and the darkened body.

Size: Medium; 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches

Habitat: Open forests, meadows, and grasslands from lower montane to alpine wherever the host plant stonecrop (Sedum) is found

Season: Late May to early September

Larval Foodplant: Larval form depends entirely on species of stonecrop (Sedum)

Did You Know…
The eggs are laid in summer near the host plant, Sedum, and the pupae (chrysalis) are protected by a loose cocoon among grass, leaf litter or loose soil. However, because of the harsh and shortened season the pupae might take two years to develop into an adult with eggs overwintering the first year and older larvae hibernating a second time (Pyle, 2002).

Species Gallery (click to enlarge)