Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

The life history of this species has been discussed and illustrated by Higgins (1975), Acquier (1981), Pamperis 1997 (Greece), and Hesselbarth et al. (1995). Hemming (1967) gave a detailed explanation on the nomenclatorial history of Z. polyxena and how this name was finally established as the valid name. Genitalia are illustrated by Higgins (1975). Coutsis (1989) pointed out variation in valvae among some European populations. Sijaric (1989) studied wing pattern variability within populations in Yugoslavia, and Lux (1990) conducted a similar study on variation within a single subspecies, Z. polyxena creusa, in France. Hesselbarth et al. (1995) have provided a historical summary of research on Z. polyxena.

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Comprehensive Description

Larval Food Plant

Several species of Aristolochia are recorded as the larval food plant of Z. polyxena, including A. pallida, A. pontica, A. pistolochia, A. rotunda, A. clematitis, and A. sicula (Bryk, 1934; Higgins and Riley, 1970; Ackery, 1975; Acquier, 1981; Hesslebarth et al., 1995), as well as A. longa (Carbonell, personal observation).

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Geographical Variation

Thirty-one subspecies are listed by Nardelli and Hirschfeld (2002) and appear chronologically below. Most of these names, however, represent populations that are morphologically very similar and demonstrate great local variation. At least a dozen subspecies have been described from Italy alone, while only 4 or 5 of them at best represent populations that can be considered subspecifically distinct entities. All synonymy and type localities for subspecies listed below are after Nardelli and Hirschfeld, 2002.

  1. Z. polyxena polyxena (Denis and Schiffermüller, 1775) (Type locality: "Wien").
  2. Z. polyxena cassandra (Geyer, 1828) (Type locality: France, Alpes Maritimes) (= creusa Meigen, 1829; Type locality: Central Italy).
  3. Z. polyxena demnosia Freyer, 1833 (Type locality: Yugoslavia, Dalmatia, Trieste, Fiume).
  4. Z. polyxena polymnia Millière, 1880 (Type locality: Greece, Euboea) (= thusnelda Fruhstorfer, 1908; Type locality: Greece, Thessalia).
  5. Z. polyxena latiaris Stichel, 1907 (Type locality: Italy, Lazio).
  6. Z. polyxena gracilis Schultz, 1908 (Type locality: Turkey, Bitinia, Bursa) (= macedonia Eisner, 1974; Type locality: Macedonia, Skopje).
  7. Z. polyxena reverdinii Fruhstorfer, 1908 (Type locality: Italy, Liguria, Rapllo).
  8. Z. polyxena thesto Fruhstorfer, 1908 (Type locality: Russia, Saratow).
  9. Z. polyxena latevittata Verity, 1919 (Type locality: Sicily) (= vipsania Hemming, 1941; Type locality: Sicily).
  10. Z. polyxena nemorensis Verity, 1919 (Type locality: Italy, Toscana, Forte dei Martini).
  11. Z. polyxena albanica Riemel, 1927 (Type locality: Albania, Tirana).
  12. Z. polyxena aemiliae Rocci, 1929 (Type locality: Italy, Emilia Romagna).
  13. Z. polyxena padana Rocci, 1929 (Type locality: unknown).
  14. Z. polyxena taygetana Rosen, 1929 (Type locality: Greece, Taygetos).
  15. Z. polyxena linnea (Bryk, 1932) (Type locality: Italy, Elba).
  16. Z. polyxena petrii (Bryk, 1932) (Type locality: Russia, Cherson, Berislav).
  17. Z. polyxena cassandra-clara Verity, 1947 (Type locality: Croatia, Zagabria).
  18. Z. polyxena microcreusa Verity, 1947 (Type locality: France, Roquebrune).
  19. Z. polyxena deminuta Verity, 1947 (Type locality: France, Nice, St. Bernabè).
  20. Z. polyxena tristis de Lattin, 1950 (Type locality: Turkey, Aydos Dagi).
  21. Z. polyxena bryki Eisner, 1954 (Type locality: border of Montenegro and Herzegovina).
  22. Z. polyxena silana Storace, 1962 (Type locality: Italy, Calabria, Sila Piccola).
  23. Z. polyxena bosniensis Eisner, 1974 (Type locality: Bosnia, Dol. Tuzla).
  24. Z. polyxena idaensis Eisner, 1974 (Type locality: Crete).
  25. Z. polyxena nigra Sijaric, 1989 (Type locality: Bosnia-Hercegowina, Sarajevo).
  26. Z. polyxena sontae Sijaric, 1989 (Type locality: Serbia, Backa).
  27. Z. polyxena carmenae Sabariego and Martinez, 1991 (Type locality: Kalofer, Bulgaria).
  28. Z. polyxena decastroi Sala and Bollino, 1992 (Type locality: Italy, Prealpi Venete) (= aegidii Nardelli, 1993; Type locality: Italy, Prealpi Venete).
  29. Z. polyxena michaelis Nardelli, 1993 (Type locality: Italy, Apulia).
  30. Z. polyxena patrizii Nardelli, 1993 (Type locality: Italy, Calabria, Costa Ionica).
  31. Z. polyxena caucasiae Nardelli and Hirschfeld, 2002 (Type locality: Black Sea, Sothsi).

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Distribution

Geographical Distribution

This species has a wide distribution in Europe. It is recorded from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Italy, Switzerland (?), Moldova, Poland, Ukraine, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania (?), Bulgaria, and Greece (Higgins and Riley, 1970). Its range also extends into the western Caucasus, Turkey, south Urals, Kazakhstan, and east to southwest Russia (Lower Volga region) (Kudrna, 2002).

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Ecology

General Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

The caterpillars of the Southern Festoon live on various birthworts, such as Aristolochia clematitis, Aristolochia rotunda, Aristolochia pallida and Aristolochia pistolochia. Because their foodplants grow in different habitats and the caterpillars also have different foodplants in different areas, this spring butterfly can be found in quite different habitats. In the western part of its range, it can be seen in open places along rivers with the foodplant Aristolochia rotunda. In the mountains, the butterflies can be seen in dry, sunny, rocky places, where Aristolochia pallida and Aristolochia pistolochia grow. In the Pannonian region, the species is found on sites with ruderal vegetation, e.g. along the Danube, but also in vineyards on sunny slopes, where Aristolochia clematitis grows as a weed. In Greece, the butterfly occurs in damp areas, as well as on dry slopes, according to the species of birthwort used as foodplant. The eggs are laid singly or in small groups on the underside of the leaves, where the caterpillars are usually also found. The caterpillars have a striking appearance. Mostly beige with black spots, they have some orange tubercles on each segment, each ending in a black, spiny tuft. The Southern Festoon has one generation a year and hibernates as pupa. Habitats: dry calcareous grasslands and steppes (14%), humid grasslands and tall herb communities (12%), mesophile grasslands (12%), heath and scrub (9%), dry siliceous grasslands (7%), sclerophyllous scrub (7%), alluvial and very wet forests and brush (7%).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Zerynthia polyxena

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 9 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACATTATATTTTATTTTTGGTATTTGAGCAGGATTAGTAGGAACTTCTCTT---AGTTTATTAATTCGAACTGAATTAGGAACTCCTGGTTCTTTAATTGGAGAT---GATCAAATTTATAATACTATTGTTACAGCTCATGCTTTTATTATAATTTTTTTTATAGTTATACCTATTATAATTGGAGGTTTTGGTAATTGATTAGTACCTTTAATA---CTAGGAGCCCCTGATATAGCTTTTCCACGAATAAATAATATAAGATTCTGACTTTTACCCCCCTCATTAACTTTATTAATTTCAAGAAGAATTGTAGAAAATGGTGCAGGTACAGGATGAACTGTTTATCCCCCTCTTTCCTCAAATATCGCCCATAGAGGTAGATCTGTAGATTTA---GCTATTTTTTCTTTACATTTAGCAGGTATTTCATCTATTTTAGGTGCTATTAATTTTATTACAACAATTATTAATATACGAATTAATAATATATCATTTGATCAAATACCTTTATTTGTTTGAGCTGTAGGTATTACTGCCTTATTATTATTATTATCTTTGCCTGTATTAGCTGGA---GCTATTACTATATTATTAACTGATCGAAACTTAAATACTTCATTTTTTGACCCAGCTGGAGGAGGTGACCCTATTTTATATCAA
-- end --

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Zerynthia polyxena

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 21
Specimens with Barcodes: 21
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Zerynthia polyxena

The Southern Festoon (Zerynthia polyxena) is a striking butterfly belonging to the Papilionidae family of butterflies. Its flight time is from April to June in a single brood.

Description[edit]

The Southern Festoon (Z. polyxena) can reach a wingspan of 60–80 mm. The females have slightly longer wings, usually lighter colored than males. The basic color of the wings is yellow, but they have a complicated pattern of several black bands and spots. On the edges of the hindwings they have a series of blue and red warning spots to deter potential predators. The body is dark brown and bears red patches on the sides of the abdomen.

This butterfly can be confused only with the Spanish Festoon (Z. rumina). The differences are in the presence of blue on the hind wings of Z. polyxena and the relatively lower amount of red on its forewings as compared to Z. rumina.

The caterpillars of Z. polyxena are up to 35 millimeters long. They are initially black, then they are yellowish with six rows of fleshy orange and black spikes all over the body. They feed on birthworts (Aristolochia sp.), mainly (Aristolochia clematitis and Aristolochia rotunda). The special food of the larvae provides the toxic substances which then also go to the adults, making them inedible.

Development[edit]

The adults are active for no more than 3 weeks. The females lay their eggs singly or in small groups at the bottom of the host plants. The eggs are spherical and whitish at first, bluish-colored before hatching. The young caterpillars feed at first on flowers and young shoots, while after the second moult they feed on leaves. The pupae stay linked to a support by a silk belt for wintering and the new adults hatch the next spring.

Distribution[edit]

Mounted specimen

Zerynthia polyxena is widespread in the middle and southern Europe (southeastern France, Italy, Slovakia and Greece) covering all the Balkans and reaching the south of Kazakhstan and the Urals. Although they are widespread they occur only locally.[2][3]

Habitat[edit]

Habitat of Z. polyxena, Regional Park of Capanne di Marcarolo (Piedmont), abt. 900 m. a.s.l.

These butterflies can be found in warm, sunny and open places such as vineyards, river banks, wetlands, cultivated areas, brushy places, wasteland, rocky cliffs and karst terrains, at an elevation of about 1,700 meters above sea level, but usually under 900 meters.


Subspecies and forms[edit]

  • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) in Italy
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. punctata Schultz, 1908
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. marpha Schultz, 1908
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. rubra Hoffmann, 1916
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. bella Neuburger, 1903
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. bipunctata Cosmovici, 1892
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. meridionalis Hoffmann, 1916
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. tripunctata Zelezny, 1916
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. nora Schultz, 1908 (kreusa Tomala)
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. muelleri Bryk, 1921 (mulleri Bryk, recte muelleri)
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. springeri Ronnicke, 1906
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. reducta Zelezny, 1915
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. nigromaculata Zelezny, 1915
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. unimaculata Zelezny, 1915
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. demaculata Schultz, 1908
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. confluens Schultz, 1908
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. lateviltata Schultz, 1908
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. fasciata Begrer, 1919
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. skalae Zelezny, 1917
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. derubescens Zullich, 1928
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. alba Esper, 1805
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. subalba Schultz, 1908
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. rufescens Oberthur, 1879
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. meta Meigen
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. ochracea Staudinger, 1861
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. cellopura Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. basinigra Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. quincunx Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. divisa Schultz, 1908
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. ornata Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. vitrina Rothschild
    • Zerynthia polyxena polyxena f. irregularis Holland
  • Zerynthia polyxena aemiliae (Rocci, 1929) in North Italy; Lombardy: Massa Lombarda, Modena, Livorno
  • Zerynthia polyxena albanica (Riemel, 1927) in Albania.
  • Zerynthia polyxena australis Esper, 1780 ( medesicaste Hoffmannsegg) (South France: Provence - East Pyrenees)
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. alicea Neuburger, 1903
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. paucipunctata Neuburger
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. tristis Verity
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. divisa Schultez
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. hartmanni Staudfuss, 1896
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. unipunctata Eisner, 1954
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. minusculus Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. vitrina Rothschild sensu Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. aperta Eisner, 1954
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. quincunx Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. honnerathii Boisduval, 1832
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. albescens Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena australis f. binaria Eisner
  • Zerynthia polyxena bosniensis (Eisner, 1974) in Bosnia.
    • Zerynthia polyxena bosniensis f. ochracea Staudinger, 1861
    • Zerynthia polyxena bosniensis f.reducta Zelzny, 1915
  • Zerynthia polyxena bryki (Eisner, 1954) in Montenegro, Herzegovina border
  • Zerynthia polyxena cantabrica Gomez-Bustille (Spain: Cantabrica)
  • Zerynthia polyxena carmenae (Sabariego et Martinez, 1991) in Bulgaria.
  • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra (Geyer, 1828) in South France, North Italy.
    • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra f. ochracea Staudinger, 1861
    • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra f. vitrina Rothschild, 1918
    • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra f. inornata Pionneau
    • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra f. bella Neuburger
    • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra f. reducta Železný, 1915
    • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra f. quincunx Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra f. microcreusa Verity, 1947
    • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra f. deminuta Verity, 1947
  • Zerynthia polyxena cassandra-clara (Verity, 1947) in Croatia.
  • Zerynthia polyxena castiliana Ruhl, 1892 (transcastilia Mon) (Central Spain: Castilia, Albarracín)
    • Zerynthia polyxena castiliana f. derubescens Schultz
    • Zerynthia polyxena castiliana f. honnorathii Boisduval, 1832 (henrietta Timmins)
    • Zerynthia polyxena castiliana f. tristis Verity, 1906
    • Zerynthia polyxena castiliana f. semitristis de Sagarra, 1930
    • Zerynthia polyxena castiliana f. ornatissima Blachier, 1908
    • Zerynthia polyxena castiliana f. nigricans Holland
    • Zerynthia polyxena castiliana f. alicea Neuburger, 1903
  • Zerynthia polyxena catalonica de Sagarra 1930 (Spain: Catalonia)
    • Zerynthia polyxena catalonica f. semitristis de Sagarra, 1930
  • Zerynthia polyxena caucasiae (Nardelli & Hirschfeld, 2002) north west of Caucasus.
  • Zerynthia polyxena creusa Meigen, 1829 (Central Italy: Ventimiglia (Verity, 1950), cf. Eisner, 1974!)
  • Zerynthia polyxena decastroi (Sala et Bollino, 1992) in Italy.
  • Zerynthia polyxena deminuta (Verity, 1947) southern of France.
  • Zerynthia polyxena demnosia Freyer, 1833 (Dahl MS) ( albanica Riemel, thusnelda Schultz) (= ssp. macedonia Eisner, 1974 (Macedonia, Thessalia, Dalmatia Albania, )
    • Zerynthia polyxena demnosia f. quincunx Eisner
    • Zerynthia polyxena demnosia f. vitrina Rothschild
    • Zerynthia polyxena demnosia f. ochracea Staudinger, 1861
  • Zerynthia polyxena gracilis (Schultz, 1908) in North-east Turkey: Brusa, Karagja Dagh
  • Zerynthia polyxena idaensis (Eisner, 1974) in Crete
    • Zerynthia polyxena idaensis f. rumina Linne, 1758
  • Zerynthia polyxena latevittata (Verity, 1919) in Sicily
  • Zerynthia polyxena latiaris (Stichel, 1907) in south Italy: Calabria, Rome, Monti Albani.
  • Zerynthia polyxena linnea (Bryk, 1932) in Italy, Elba.
  • Zerynthia polyxena macedonia (Eisner, 1974) in Macedonia.
  • Zerynthia polyxena michaelis (Nardelli, 1993) in Italy.
  • Zerynthia polyxena microcreusa (Verity, 1947) southern of France.
  • Zerynthia polyxena minima Gerhardinger, 1951 Spain: Toledo)
  • Zerynthia polyxena nemorensis (Verity, 1919) in Italy:Toscana, Firenze.
  • Zerynthia polyxena nigra (Sijaric, 1989) in Bosnia.
  • Zerynthia polyxena padana (Rocci, 1929) in North Italy: Piedmont, Lombardy, Turin
  • Zerynthia polyxena patrizii (Nardelli, 1993) in Italy.
  • Zerynthia polyxena petheri Romei, 1927 (South Spain: Sierra Nevada)
  • Zerynthia polyxena petri (Bryk, 1932) in Greece, South Ukrainskaja: Cherson, Kiev, lower Juzinyi Bug, Krim
  • Zerynthia polyxena polymnia (Millière, 1880) in Greece: Euboea
  • Zerynthia polyxena reverdinii (Fruhstorfer, 1908) in West and North Italy: Liguria.
  • Zerynthia polyxena silana (Storace, 1962) in Italy.
  • Zerynthia polyxena sontae (Sijaric, 1989) in Serbia.
  • Zerynthia polyxena taygetana (Rosen, 1929) in Greece: Taygetus, Peleponesos
  • Zerynthia polyxena thesto Fruhstorfer, 1908 in South-West U.S.S.R.: lower Volga, Saratow, lower Don
    • Zerynthia polyxena thesto f. rufescens Oberthur, 1879
    • Zerynthia polyxena thesto f. muelleri Bryk, 1991
    • Zerynthia polyxena thesto f. cellopura Eisner
  • Zerynthia polyxena tristis de Lattin, 1950 in Turkey
  • Zerynthia polyxena vipsania Hemming, 1941 (:latevittata Verity, 1919, a secondary homonym of latevittata Schultz, 1908: creusaMann, nec Meigen, Dahl MS: polymnia Ragusa, 1906, (Sicily)

[1][3]

References[edit]

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