Parnassius smintheus sayi

Photo Life History: Parnassius smintheus sayi

Habitat:  Mountain Hilltops; Mountain Canyons

Specific Localities:  Parnassius smintheus sayi

Host Plants:  Sedum lanceolata 

Suitable Lab Host Plants:

Caring for Live Female Butterflies: 

Methods of Female Oviposition:  

How to Find Eggs:

How to Hatch Eggs: 

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field: Look for fifth instars resting on the plant or nearby.  Watch this video.

Caterpillar setups:  For first through fourth instars, use the twin cup method.  Use the closed container technique for fifth instars.  Place stonecrop cuttings on top of loose shavings or shredded paper so that larvae can burrow in and pupate when they have finished feeding.

Larva to Pupa:  Larva burrows under soil and creates a loose coccoon in nature. 

How to Find Pupae in the Field: 

Number of Broods per Year:  1

Overwintering Stage:  Ovum

Overwintering Strategies: Alpine Overwintering Technique

Post-Hibernation Strategies: Expose eggs to warmer temperatures and long-day photoperiod when host plant is available.

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant every day and remove frass/shredded paper every two days.  Caterpillars can get sick in a closed container if overexposed to their own frass.

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes:  It is not too difficult to find fifth instar caterpillars either feeding on stonecrop or resting on the ground nearby.  Click here to watch a short video of a female ovipositing near the host plant on a rock.