Government targets for protected area management: will threatened butterflies benefit?
Parnassius apollo (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae) is considered to be typical stenophagous species. Its European forms fall generally into 'telephiophagous' or 'albophagous' trophic groups. According to some authors, 'telephiophagous' P. apollo ssp. frankenbergeri SLABY, inhabiting the Pieniny Mts, has a rather broad spectrum of food-plants. We aimed at defining its feeding preferences for successful breeding in a semi-natural colony on more than one commercially-available Sedum species. Larval development (L5) and performance were assessed in three experimental groups fed on different plant species selected in a preliminary test. Apollo larvae appeared to be quite specific in the plant choice and developed poorly in the absence of Sedum telephium. Possible reasons of this are discussed.