ENTOMOLOGICAL NEWS FROM RUSSIA, Volume 1, number 1, February 1998


Juri A. Beskokotov

(36, Sovetskaya Str., Nerehta, Kostroma Reg., Russia, 157810)


Notes on the biology and ecology of

Parnassius mnemosine L. and Parnassius аpollonius Eversm. (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae)

in the Aksu-Dzhabagly reserve (Western Tian Shan, Kazakhstan)

Замечания по биологии и экологии

Parnassius mnemosine L. и Parnassius аpollonius Eversm. (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae)

в заповеднике Аксу-Джабаглы (Западный Тянь-Шань, Казахстан)


Key words: Tian Shan, Aksu-Dzhabagly, mnemosine, apollonius.

Ключевые слова:  Тянь-Шань, Аксу-Джабаглы, mnemosine, apollonius.



Some of the biology and ecology peculiarities of Parnassius mnemosine and P. apollonius in the Aksu-Dzhabagly reserve are considered in this article.



Рассмотрены некоторые особенности биологии и экологии Parnassius mnemosine и P. apollonius на территории заповедника Аксу-Джабаглы, (Западный Тянь-Шань).


Aksu-Dzhabagly, the oldest reserve of Central Asia, is situated in the Western Tian Shan (Talasskiy Alatau and Ugamskiy Mt. r.). The main high-altitude zones of mountains of Western Tian Shan are represented here: semi-deserts change into dry steppes which turn into the forest treelike juniper: meadows in dry valleys give place to think brushwoods of creeping junipers which turn into the high-alpine meadows or steppes.


Parnassius mnemosine is numerous species in the reserve. Hibernation occurs in the eggs that females deposit on the ground or on various objects on the ground. The larvae are yielded in early spring (in late March-April). They are feed only on the Corydalis ledebouriana Kar. et Kir. (Fumariacea) in the course of 3-4 weeks. The larvae are pupated in the friable cocoon amongst plant litter or underneath stones.


Imagines are emerged in the low mountains (1100-1300 m) 5-20 May, in the middle mountains (1400-2000 m) – 10-25 May and in the subalpine zones (2200-2600 m) – 1-15 June. The butterflies fly on the slopes with meadow vegetation and bushes. At the some time you can be observed 10-15 specimens of butterflies. Males fly more actively patrolling the locality in search of females that are mostly in a grass. The intensive flight lasts about fortnight after that a number of butterflies is decreased gradually. In the subalpine zone some imagines are met to the mid July (mostly females). A female produce about 120 eggs (in the laboratory conditions).


Parnassius apollonius is an ordinary species in the Aksu-Dzhabagly (to 2000 m). Hibernation occurs in the eggs that females deposit on the feed plant or on various objects nears theirs. A larval development in spring is very prolonged, f. e. the old instar larvae are met already in early April, however the second instar larvae are met in late April. The larvae are met to the mid May. The host plants of larvae in the region are Pseudosedum lievenii (Ledeb.) Berger, P. longidentatum Boriss., rarely Rosularia paniculata (Rgl. et Schmalh.) Berger (Crassulaceae). They are raised lightly in the laboratory conditions.


The larvae are pupated mostly underneath stones in cocoon. The pupal stage lasts about 15-20 days. The flight period of P. apollonius is differed in the separate years. The beginning flight is 10 May – 15 June and the last meeting of imagines is early July. A flight lasts 2-3 weeks. The butterflies are fed mostly flowers of Pseudosedum spp., Scabiosa soongorica Schrenk.

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