Parnassius apollo 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Lepidoptera Papilionidae

Scientific Name: Parnassius apollo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Apollo, Apollo Butterfly, Mountain Apollo
Spanish Apolo, Mariposa Apollo
Papilio apollo Linnaeus, 1758

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-29
Assessor(s): van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J.
Reviewer(s): van Swaay, C. & Cuttelod, A. (IUCN Red List Unit)
Both at the European and EU27 member states level, a population decline of almost 30% falls within the uncertainty limits for this species' population decline. Therefore, this species is considered as Near Threatened. It should however be noted that both the distribution and population size of this species, in many lowland sites, have declined severely during the 20th century (so before the last ten years).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in most of the large mountainous areas in Europe: Spain, south of France, Switzerland, Austria, south of Germany as far as the Mosel, Italy, the Balkans and Greece, south of Norway, Sweden and Finland. 1,000-2,400 m, sometimes at lower altitudes. Its range extends to the Tian-Shan and Siberia and Mongolia; also from the Northern Urals to Transcaucasia, Turkey and the Middle East. The global distribution area of the species is situated both within and outside Europe.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Andorra; Austria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Liechtenstein; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Norway; Poland; Russian Federation; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine
Regionally extinct:
Belarus; Latvia; Romania
Additional data:
Range Map:16249-1

Population [top]

Population:This is a local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas. It is reported extinct in Belarus, Latvia and Romania. Strong decline in distribution or population size of more than 30% have been reported from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Decline in distribution or population size of 6-30% have been reported from Bulgaria, France, Norway, Spain and Sweden (data provided by the national partners of Butterfly Conservation Europe).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Apollo occurs in mountainous areas on steep, sunny slopes with sparse vegetation. In Europe, there are many different sub-species, forms and aberrations, because of the very divided nature of the distribution area and as a consequence, large isolation of populations. Separated by mountains, the populations develop independently of one another, so that quite marked differences arise. However, their ecology is similar. The butterflies are fond of visiting thistles and other flowering plants. The female lays its eggs singly or in small groups on or near the foodplant stonecrop (Sedum spp.). The eggs develop but the tiny caterpillar hibernates inside the eggshell or as newly hatched larva in its close vicinity. In spring it starts feeding on the buds of the foodplant. The caterpillars of later instars also eat the leaves. When it is time to pupate, the caterpillars look for a safe place between the stones, where they then spin a flimsy cocoon in which to change into a pupa. The Apollo has one generation a year. Habitats: alpine and subalpine grasslands (23%), dry calcareous grasslands and steppes (19%), inland cliffs and exposed rocks (11%), screes (9%), coniferous woodland (7%), broad-leaved deciduous forests (7%).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is declining in areas of low altitude. These lowland populations suffer from fragmentation and isolation. Large and strong populations are still found in the high parts of the Alps and other high mountain ranges. The species is attractive to collectors, especially the subspecies of small lowland populations, but there is no evidence to determine whether this is contributing to its decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on the Habitats Directive Annex 4, Bern Convention Annex 2 and CITES Appendix II. In Poland, the species only occurs in protected areas. The species is legally protected in many countries. In spite of this legal protection, there is often no special attention to the habitat management. As a consequence, many small lowland populations are declining. The production and implementation of species action plans are urgently needed.

Citation: van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J. 2010. Parnassius apollo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T16249A5593202. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
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