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? Archon apollinus (Herbst, 1798)   

 

 

Range: E Balkan Peninsula, E Aegean islands, Turkey, Syria, Libanon, Israel. In the Balkans occurs in Turkey-in-Europe and NE Greece.

There are no reliable records from Bulgaria yet. In the spring of 1921 the entomologist Deltcho Iltchev attempted to introduce about 100 larvae of Archon apollinus, bred in the Royal Entomological Station - Sofia, on Aristolochia clematitis near Krupnik in the Kresna gorge of Struma river (Buresch & Tuleschkow 1929). Apparently this introduction failed. Recently Busse & Ockruck (1991) reported the sighting of a single specimen of A. apollinus along the bank of Struma river near Sandanski, and this was taken by Abadjiev (1992) as a proof that this species indeed occurs in Bulgaria. However this record cannot be considered seriously: the specimen in question was said to have been observed in June, but A. apollinus is an early spring species flying between February and April. These authors have most likely observed a specimen of Zerynthia cerisy, a very common species in SW Bulgaria in May-June. Archon apollinus has been excluded from the more recent distributional atlas of Bulgarian butterflies (Abadjiev 2001).

In NE Greece A. apollinus occurs close to Bulgarian territory in E Rhodopi (Coutsis & Ghavalas 2001). In my opinion this species may occur in the Bulgarian part of the massif and should be looked for in March-April in the warmest river valleys of easternmost E Rhodopi at altitudes of less than 300 m where the larval host plant of this species, Aristolochia rotunda, occurs.

 

 
 
 
 

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