Rare Israeli Butterfly with American Cousins

Parnassius mnemosyne butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

I went there to see if I could meet rare butterflies. We took the lift (I am not good with height!) to the 7,ooo foot peak of Mt. Hermon. On the top of this Israeli mountain, success! I met and photographed several species of butterflies, only found on the mountain-top, at the northern border of Israeli and Syria’s bloody bones. Eran is a bull of a guy, and he lugged liters of water, enabling us to continue in that 93F Middle Eastern heat.

I share this today, January 1st, 2017, New Years Day, because I look to this ’17 as a year to extend my list of new butterflies seen and shot.

This butterfly is Parnassius mnemosyne, rare and Protected.

Is it one of the White butterflies? No. Would you have guessed that . . . its American cousins are the . . . swallowtails?

Where in the U.S. are our American Parnassians? You have to travel west of the Mississippi River to find American parnassians.

See, that’s the kind of 2017 I’m looking for, challenge, excitement, new, new, new and fascinating, interesting and compelling, very compelling.

Know this, I will give it my All. To 2017!

Jeff

Another One I Won’t See on Mt. Hermon

Parnassius mnemosyne butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Hermon, Israel

You’ll never guess which family of butterflies this rare baby belongs to? It’s only found at the top of Golan Height’s Mt. Hermon. Its schedule and mine unfortunately don’t come together this year.

Clouded Apollo butterflies fly on the mountain top in May and June. I met this female one up there in June 2008. It was an OMG! wonderful day as I was being regaled by many, many rare butterflies. This year I fly in late February, so  now I can’t even go up, up, up there in a cable lift for another reason: A good covering of snow.

So back to . . . (here comes the hint to the opening question). It’s species name is Parnassius mnemosyne syra. Satyr? Whites? Fritillaries? Coppers? Milkweed butterflies? Blues? Anglewings?

It is in the family, Papilioinidae, with its closely related swallowtails and even more closely related parnassians. A different look, isn’t it?

Jeff