Middle Eastern Parnassian (Israel)

Allancastria Cerisyi butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Hanita, Israel

How many species of Parnassian butterflies are there in Israel? 4. This is Allancastria cerisyi speciosa. It flies for a brief time in June, along the northwestern coast of Israel, with the Mediterranean Sea just miles away. It is a rare Protected species, and I played a hunch that I might find them in Hanita, a moshav in that seaside strip. My timing was perfect and here’s one of these beauties. He had just left his nighttime perch, and we met as he bathed in the strong rays of the Israel morning sun.

So Israel sports 4 Parnassians. How many Parnassians are native to the U.S.A.? Remember the U.S.A. is what? 500 times bigger than Israel? Answer? 3 Parnassians fly in the U.S.A. and of the 3, one flies only in Alaska. Then, 2 Parnassians fly in continental U.S.A..

I have never seen an American Parnassian butterfly. What say you?

Jeff

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