Butterfly

Biological Specimen

Butterfly

Parnassius eversmanni thor, male. White translucent wings with six black outlined orange spots, three on the lower side of each the bottom wing. The antennae are black. The thorax and head are covered in small hairs.

Parnassian eversmanni thor is a seldom seen species that is found in Northern Asia and Alaska. It also occurs throughout the alpine areas of northern British Columbia, all of Yukon, and the Mackenzie Mountains of the North West Territories. They are seldom seen butterflies, usually found fluttering fast and low among high altitude grassland and moss covered rocks. The female is characterised by her off-white wing colour while the male sports an unusual yellow ground colour. The typical wing span for the Parnassian eversmanni thor is 46 to 54 mm. Generally, it takes two years for the Parnassian to reach maturity, spending time in each stage as an egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and finally reaching maturity as a butterfly. The long gestation period requires the egg to overwinter, surviving the long winters that can reach as cold as -50 degrees Celsius. The adult Parnassian eversmanni thor reaches its flight season in late June and early July. This is the optimal time for butterfly observers to view the Parnassian eversmanni thor. The Yukon is home to over 90 known species of butterflies. This specimen was collected by local resident John Vanags in the Keno Hill region. Keno Hill is one of the most accessible areas in the world to view these specimens. Due to the major mining and mineral exploration in the area, drivable roads lead to the top of the hill, requiring only a small walk to observe the butterflies. Collecting butterflies in Yukon by non-residents requires a permit.

Institution

Keno City Mining Museum, Keno City

Accession Number

1995.3.8

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