Zerynthia polyxena (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Zerynthia polyxena: Male (Provence, Rians, April 2013) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Male (Provence, Rians, April 2013) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Female (e.l. Provence, France) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Upper side (male, e.l. Provence, France) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Lower side (male, Provence, e.l. France) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Adult (e.l. Northern Greece) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Adult (e.l. Northern Greece) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Ovum (Provence, France) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Ovae, ready to hatch (Provence, France) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Ovum, already emerged and empty [M] Zerynthia polyxena: L1-larva (Provence, France) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Young larvae (Provence, France) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Young larvae (Camargue, late April 2013) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Half-grown larva (Provence, France) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva in penultimate instar (Provence, France) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva, Osmaterium a bit visible (Provence, France) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva (Provence, France) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva (Northern Greece) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva (Northern Greece, 2009) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Egg (Abruzzes, Rieti, May 2013) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: L1 (Abruzzes, Rieti, May 2013) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Young larva (Central Italy, Rieti, Abruzzes, May 2013) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Half-grown larva (Abruzzes, Rieti, May 2013) [M] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva (e.l. Abruzzes, Rieti, May 2013) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva (e.l. Abruzzes, Rieti, May 2013) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva (e.l. Abruzzes, Rieti, May 2013) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva (e.l. Abruzzes, Rieti, May 2013) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Larva (e.l. Abruzzes, Rieti, May 2013) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Pupa (Provence, France) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Pupa, dorsal (Provence, France) [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Pupa prior to emergence [S] Zerynthia polyxena: Eggs (Camargue, late April 2013) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Larval habitat (Camargue. late April 2013) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Larval habitat (Camargue. late April 2013) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Larval habitat (Camargue. late April 2013) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Aristolochia rotunda (Provence, France) [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Habitat in the Provence, France: reed margin with Aristolochia. Endangered by too near mowing!! [N] Zerynthia polyxena: Habitat in the Provence, France Zerynthia polyxena: Habitat in Northern Greece: Aristolochia in the wood edge [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on Aristolochia species, especially Aristolochia rotunda, but also A. pallida, A. clematidis and sometimes other Aristolochia.

Habitat:
Compared to the xerothermophilous Zerynthia rumina, this species is more a mesophilic to even slightly hygrophilous inhabitant of higher growing grass and herb fringes, such as on slopes, edges of woods or on moist meadows. I found caterpillars of Zerynthia polyxena quite numerous on the edge of a wetland in Provence, where Aristolochia rotunda grew between reeds. Interestingly, a few smaller caterpillars of Z. rumina could be observed among the numerous Z. polyxena on A. rotunda. Zerynthia rumina was quite common in the dry and hot vicinity of the wetland.
In Northern Greece I observed the larvae aslo on drier and hotter places.

Life cycle:
Zerynthia polyxena flies from late March to May, which is much earlier than in Z. rumina (in Provence, around the beginning of April to early June). I found larvae in all instars (also mature) and eggs in mid-May 2007 (Provence). At the same time I observed only eggs and a few young larvae of Zerynthia polyxena of comparison (Z. rumina).

Endangerment: endangered

Endangerment factors:
Zerynthia polyxena is more and more endangered due to the loss of mesophilic, extensively managed open land and edges (intensification, overbuilding, bush encroachment, afforestation) and the few remaining wetlands, especially in the peripheral regions to the north (N-Italy, Austria) and the west (south of France).

Remarks:
Zerynthia polyxena is found in Europe from Southern France over Italy and the south-eastern Austria to Greece. In the southeast, it is often still more common.



Zerynthia cerisy | Zerynthia cretica | Zerynthia rumina