Apollo Butterfly

The Apollo Butterfly (Parnassius apollo) is a large insect. It is also referred to as the Mountain Apollo Butterfly.

The Apollo Butterfly has white wings with five large black eyespots on its forewing and two bright red or orang eyespots on its hindwing. Its wings have a shiny appearance with slightly transparent edges. 

It has a wingspan of 6-9 centimetres (2-4 inches). 

Apollo Butterfly (male)

The Apollo Butterfly is native to Europe. It prefers mountains and hilly areas, especially alpine meadows with wide open spaces. It prefers areas with conifer trees. It likes cold winters and sunny summers. 

The adult butterfly feeds on nectar from flowers, whereas the larvae (caterpillars) feed on leaves. 

The female lays eggs on leaves. The eggs hatch into caterpillars. Each caterpillar pupates and change into a butterfly. This is called metamorphosis.

To prevent predators from eating it, it confuses its predators with its eyespots, because they think an animal is looking at them. It also has a bad taste, so predators don’t like to eat it. 

Apollo Butterfly (female)

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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