American Apollo Parnassius clodius
American Apollo Parnassius clodius
American Apollo Parnassius clodius
American Apollo Parnassius clodius
American Apollo Parnassius clodius
American Apollo Parnassius clodius

American Apollo Parnassius clodius

Parnassius clodius, also called the Clodius Parnassian and Clodius Apollo, was common on our property in July 2006 and 2007. (North Olympic Peninsula, WA, about 2,000 feet elevation)

The female (1, 2, 3, top row) has extensive transparent areas on the forewings, a shiny, almost hairless abdomen and a prominent red bar on the hindwing. If she’s already mated, she carries a white, shell-shaped structure at the end of her abdomen called a sphragus. The male deposits the sphragus during mating, presumably to prevent the female mating gain.

The male (4, 5, 6) has a hairy abdomen and less transparency on the forewing. If you’re not convinced about the transparency of the forewings, look at this image from a living female (millimeter scale uppermost).

Both sexes sport beautiful red and black spots on the cream-colored hind wings, but no red spots on the forewings. The spots on the underside of the hind wing have a white center. At nearly 3 inches, Parnassius clodius appears showy on the wing. The antennae in this species are solid black. The similar Parnassius smintheus (aka P. phoebus) has black-and-white antennae.