Southern Festoon Butterfly
Facts of Southern Festoon butterflies, "Scientific name for Southern Festoon butterfly is Zerynthia polyxena". The Southern Festoon butterfly, species name Zerynthia polyxena, is sometimes called the Osterluzeifalter. The species was first identified in 1775 by Denis and Schiffermuller. It is in the Zerynthia genus, Zerynthinitribe, and Parnassiinae sub-family. It is part of the papilionidae family and papilionoidea super-family. The Southern Festoon butterfly is part of the ditrysia sub-order.
Small pale green eggs are laid By Southern Festoon butterfly on food plants, usually individually or in small groups. The caterpillars are beige or orange with black spots. They have black spiny tufts on each segment to deter predators. Some of the butterflies pupate over the winter to emerge in the spring.
The Southern Festoon butterfly is found in Southern Europe, in areas from southeastern France to Greece and the Balkans. Its distinctive markings are only rivaled by those of the Spanish Festoon, Z. Rumina, a related species. The Southern Festoon butterfly range actually overlaps in parts of France. You can distinguish between the species by the lack of red fore-wing spots on the Southern Festoon; the Spanish Festoon has red spots.
Southern Festoon butterflies emerge in April and live through June. Their larvae live on the Aristolochiae family, also known as the Birthwort family. In the western part of its range, the larva usually feed on Aristolochia Rotunda. In that region, the Southern Festoon butterfly are found in dry, sunny and rocky areas where A. Rotunda grows. For those in Austria, they are found on sunny slopes where Aristolochia clematitis grows. In Greece, the Southern Festoon butterfly are usually found in swampy areas where its preferred food plants grow. The Southern Festoon butterfly are sometimes found in Kazakhstan. They are found throughout the rest of their range wherever food plants like Aristolochia debilis, Aristolochia kaempferi, Aristolochia pistolochia and Aristolochia sicula are found. The Southern Festoon butterfly is only found in the Palaearctic or European eco-zone.
Southern Festoon butterflies live near sea level, and they aren’t found at heights greater than three thousand feet or 900 meters.
The Southern Festoon butterflies have rather direct flight, in contrast to other Pieredae members that fly erratically. They fly low over the ground. The adult Southern Festoon butterfly have a one and a half to two inch (3.8 to 5 cm) wingspan. The Southern Festoon butterflies are yellow and black, with red and blue spots.There is a black line on the margin on the wings. The fore-wings are yellow with black spots and their veins are black. The wings are also black around the body and the hind wings are yellow with a black area around the body of the Southern Festoon butterfly. They have a chain of red spots and another chain of blue spots on the hind wings. Their undersides are off-white and there is no difference in coloring or size between males and female Southern Festoon butterfly.
This species is of least concern by the IUCN. However, the Southern Festoon butterfly species has disappeared from Switzerland and Germany, which was once part of its range. The Southern Festoon butterfly are noted to be in decline in part of their range. The species is not regulated per the EU rules on trading wild fauna and flora. Southern Festoon butterfly is strictly protected by the Viennese regional government to prevent future declines of its regional population.
The Southern Festoon butterfly is divided into at least twenty subspecies. These subspecies vary in the number, size and color of spots on their wings. In that regard, they are like the Parnassius Apollo. Southern Festoon butterfly are insects. A Southern Festoon butterfly is a herbivore; Meaning that as a caterpillar its first food is its own eggshell and than it will eat the leaves of the plant on which it is hatched. When it becomes a butterfly, it will feed mostly on nectar from flowers, rotting fruit and water with a "proboscis" - a long narrow tube in their mouth that looks like a straw.
Life cycle of a Southern Festoon butterfly comes in four stages, egg, larva "caterpillars", pupa "chrysalis" and adult Butterfly.
A Southern Festoon butterfly will attach its eggs to leaves with a special glue.
When Southern Festoon caterpillars become fully grown they will attach to an appropriate leaf or small branch, than they will shed the outside layer of their skin and a hard skin underneath known as a "chrysalis" will be their new look
An adult Southern Festoon butterfly will come out from the "chrysalis" than it waits a few hours for its wings to dry and fill with blood, before it takes its first flight.
The Southern Festoon butterfly can see yellow, green, and red. An adult butterfly average life span is from a week to a year
The top flight speed of a Southern Festoon butterfly is 12 miles per hour and some moths can fly up to 25 miles per hour.
A Southern Festoon butterfly is cold-blooded, which means the body temperature is not regulated on its own. A Southern Festoon butterfly can't fly or eat if their body temperature is below 82 degrees fah (28 cel). Southern Festoon butterfly's are often basking in the sun with their wings open to gain heat and than the veins in the wings carry the heat to the body.
A Southern Festoon butterfly has sense organ, on their feet or tarsi, for tasting
The estimate is between 15000 and 20000 different species of butterfly.
A Southern Festoon butterfly has three pairs of legs and their feet have little claws that help them stand on flowers. The Southern Festoon butterfly's wings are made up of hard tubes that are covered with a thin tissue. The Southern Festoon butterfly's wings are covered with fine dusty like scales. A Southern Festoon butterfly has four brightly colored wings having distinctive patterns made up of tiny scales. The bright patterns scales sometimes have hidden ultraviolet patterns for attracting mates. The bright colors are also used as camouflage to hide them or scare off predictors.
A Southern Festoon butterfly has a small body, made up of three parts – the head, abdomen and thorax. A Southern Festoon butterfly has two large eyes, which are made up of many small parts which are called "compound eyes".
A Southern Festoon butterfly has two antenna's on the top of their heads, which they use to smell, hear and feel. A Southern Festoon butterfly’s mouth is a long tube a "proboscis" - a long narrow tube in their mouth that looks like a straw when its done eating, it rolls the tube back up.