Parnassian quandary

Richard Worth rworth at
Thu Aug 3 19:51:09 EDT 2000

You wrote:

>Hi Leps
>Yesterday I spent the day on Mt.Arrowsmith on Vancouver Island, B.C. and
>I observed what I belive to be two different species of Parnassian's on
>the lower reaches and the road up to the ski hill Clodius Parnassian
>(Parnassius clodius) was quite evident, but at the higher elavations a
>much whiter Parnassian was observed. This species showed some faint red
>spots on the upperwing and flew much slower than Clodius. Most specimens
>were quite worn and I must admit I foregot to look at the antennae to
>see if it was ringed or not. The problem is that The Butterflies of
>Canada suggests that it is Rocky Mountain Parnassian (parnassius
>smintheus), but the Checklist of North American Butterflies from NABA
>does not list this species. Any help you guys could give me would be
>much appreciated as this is possibly a new species for me. Derrick
>Derrick Marven
>Duncan, B.C.

Could it be that NABA lists Parnassius phoebus instead?  Actually, 
this has puzzled me recently.  I thought P. smintheus was just an old 
name for P. phoebus.  Is it a new name?  Were they split into far 
west and rocky mountain groups?  What gives?  Maybe Cris Guppy can 
help us out so we are all on the same page when talking about these 

The best of leps, Rich

Richard A. Worth
Oregon Department of Agriculture
Plant Division
rworth at
(503) 986-6461

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