Fun Apollo Butterfly Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Apollo Butterfly Facts For Kids

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The Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo) belongs to the Lepidorepta order of animals. The insect group has over twenty subspecies of Apollo butterflies that can be found in Europe, Asia, and North America. This apollo species is usually seen moving around in mountain ranges, meadows, pastures, as well as alpine grasslands. This is a beautiful butterfly with white-colored wings. There are a few spots of black and red on these wings. The wing color might vary from place to place based on their geographical location and climate changes.

Apollo butterflies were the first ones to be registered as endangered species of butterflies, especially in Europe. The transformation process of this insect from being a caterpillar to turning into a beautiful-looking butterfly is quite well-documented. To know are read more about this Apollo butterfly, see the facts below.

To read more about similar animals, check out the house centipede and the morpho butterfly.

Fun Apollo Butterfly Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

2.4-3.7 in (6-9.3 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

White, black, red, orange

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Pollution

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Meadows, Alpine Grasslands, Mountains, Valleys, Pastures


Europe, North America, Asia









Apollo Butterfly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Apollo Butterfly?

This mountain Apollo butterfly is an insect belonging to the Papilionidae family of animals. There are many subspecies of this butterfly too.

What class of animal does an Apollo Butterfly belong to?

The Apollo butterfly belongs to the Insecta class and the Parnassius genus of animals.

How many Apollo Butterflies are there in the world?

Although this group of butterflies is seen in many mountainous areas in Europe and Asia, the exact population number of this species is not known.

Where does an Apollo Butterfly live?

The distribution of the mountain Apollo butterfly has been marked across Europe, North America, and Central Asia. Their many subspecies are found in the areas of France, Spain, India, Turkey, Greece, Scandinavia, Italy, and Finland.

What is an Apollo Butterfly's habitat?

The species of this mountain apollo (Parnassius apollo) is mainly found in the mountainous areas of France, Greece, Spain, and other regions. Greece is also where the name mountain apollo comes from. Apart from the mountainous parts of the world, their habitat distribution is also seen in meadows, large valleys, alpine and subalpine grasslands, and open pastures with flowers and plants.

Who do Apollo Butterflies live with?

Even though these males and females might be spotted together in their little group, this insect usually prefers to be solitary. That is mainly during the time they fly off to feed on the stonecrop plants or the flower nectar.

How long does an Apollo Butterfly live?

The Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo) has no exact record of its lifespan. Their longevity depends on the different parts of the world they belong to.

How do they reproduce?

The Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo) mates once in its lifetime. While mating, the males and females place themselves facing away from each other. The males then deposit a substance called ‘sphragis’ on the female's abdomen. This gelatinous secretion deposited by the male prevents the female from breeding for the second time during the breeding period.

The female then lays her eggs that look like small pearly spots on a branch or stem of a stonecrop sedum plant. These eggs are laid over the winter season. These eggs hatch into larvae, which are also known as caterpillars, during the following spring. This caterpillar is usually black with orange spots as an outline. The caterpillars or larvae feed on the stonecrop sedum plants to nourish themselves. The caterpillar develops fully, and it is found to pupate into a loose cocoon on the ground. After a considerable period, this caterpillar turns into a fully grown butterfly with a white body and a wing pair that has two red or orange spots and a few black spots.

What is their conservation status?

Even though the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) states that the Apollo butterfly is of Least Concern, this butterfly and its many subspecies were the first butterfly species to be declared as Endangered by many European countries on their list of endangered species.

Apollo Butterfly Fun Facts

What do Apollo Butterflies look like?

An Apollo Butterfly on a flower.

Parnassius apollo butterflies females are larger than males. These butterflies have three stages of different appearances. The larvae of the butterfly are usually black with small orange-red spots seen as an outline on their body. The developed caterpillar is considered to pupate and form a loose cocoon. This pupa is white with black venation marks on it. This cocoon develops into a butterfly with two pairs of wings. The parts of the wings are white, with the edges being a little transparent. These two wings have five black eyespots on them. The hind wing has two red eyespots. These red spots fade in the sun, which is why most of the adult Apollo butterfly species have faded orange-colored eyespots.

How cute are they?

The Apollo butterfly species look very cute with their beautiful body parts. Their stunning large white wings, along with their distinctive red and black eyespots, add to their cuteness factor.

How do they communicate?

The Apollo butterfly of the Parnassisus genus can communicate with one another through chemical cues, just like the rest of the butterfly species. These insects also use the fluttering sounds of their wings to communicate with one another.

How big is an Apollo Butterfly?

The Apollo butterfly is one of the large butterfly species with a size of 2.4-3.7 in (6-9.3 cm). This wingspan makes the apollo butterfly six to nine times bigger than the western pygmy blue butterfly.

How fast can an Apollo Butterfly fly?

Just like many other species and subspecies of butterflies, the Apollo butterfly can easily fly up to a maximum of 37 mph.

How much does an Apollo Butterfly weigh?

Even though the apollo (Parnassius apollo) is one of the largest butterflies, the exact weight of this species is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female Apollo butterflies.

What would you call a baby Apollo Butterfly?

A baby Apollo butterfly that hatches out of the egg is called a larva or a caterpillar.

What do they eat?

The young apollo caterpillars feed on the stonecrop plant, including all the subspecies of that plant family. The adult Apollo butterflies fly in the meadows and mountains to eat the nectar of the flowers, including the flowers on the sedum plants. Apollo butterflies are also known for tasting nectar with the help of their legs.

Are they poisonous?

No. Even if their red eyespots might be mistaken as an indicator of them being poisonous, Apollo butterflies do not belong to the poisonous butterfly family.

Would they make a good pet?

There is no record of these mountain insects ever being kept as pets.

Did you know...

Apollo (Parnassius genus) butterflies can lay hundreds and thousands of eggs. These eggs are small, white, pearl-like dots.

Apollo butterfly life cycle

The Apollo butterfly goes through five phases of life. The first phase of life consists of the males depositing ‘sphragis’ on females and females laying eggs. The second phase is when the eggs hatch into larvae. The third phase is when this caterpillar pupates itself into a cocoon to go through a metamorphosis. The fourth stage, also called 'imago', is when the butterfly is fully transformed. The fifth and final stage consists of reproducing to keep the cycle running.

Feeding preferences of Apollo butterfly

Apollo butterflies prefer to feed only on sedum plants and flowers close to that family of plants.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including orange sulphur butterfly facts and purple emperor butterfly facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Apollo butterfly coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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