The Zerynthia rumina or Spanish Festoon is a butterfly belonging to the family Papilionidae. In Spanish this charming butterfly is known as ´Arlequín´. Its flight period is from March to May, but in Andalucía a second breed in autumn is not uncommon. Articles and reports consider this butterfly’s existence in Spain threatened on the basis of global warming theories.
This morning we came across an interesting article on a Spanish Festoon survey in Cala Higuera in Cabo de Gata and Busquístar in the Alpujarra. One of the observations is: "is interesting to note the variation in colour saturation and pattern. The differences are quite wide and don’t match illustrations of gender difference. Perhaps the wings are not fully expanded on the Alpujarra specimen? The sites are 115Km apart and at very different altitudes (40 m Higuera and 900-1000 m Busquistar."
The larval food plant of the Zerynthian rumina are different of Aristolochia species and because of the rarity of larval food, the Spanish Festoon are not common. Aristolochia baetica is an evergreen climber that can be found along the GR-7 footpath between Montenegro and Mecina Bombarón, it is therefor not surprising that one guests photographed this extremely striking species on their walk from Yegen to El Paraje at the beginning of April. From now on we will pay better attention to the Dutchman´s pipe, which perfectly explains the Dutch name of this butterfly, namely ´Spaanse pijpbloemvlinder´.
PS On the 10th of April 2011 we did see a Spanish Festoon on our estate, but were not able to get a good picture.
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