In Europe this species occurs across southern Europe from the Balkans to SE France. Outside Europe Its range extends eastwards to the Southern Urals and Northwest Kazakhstan.
In Bulgaria it is widespread but local. It flies in the spring at low altitudes and in mountain foothills.
Although it does not appear to be threatened in Bulgaria, the species is included as a protected species in Appendix II of the Bern Convention as it has generally declined throughout its range. It is extinct in Germany and Switzerland.
Like those of the Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisy), the larvae are often easy to spot on their fooplant, where (though they are often sitting in the shade of the leaves of their hostplant), they are poorly camouflaged. Presumably they rely on their toxicity to protect them from predation. They pupate away from their foodplant on the more substantial stems of woody plants etc., and sometimes on the walls and sheltered parts of buildings.
They are easy to separate from the larvae of their earlier flying cogener the Eastern Festoon as they have dark tips to their spiky tubercles. For comparison see photos of larvae under both species here.
It occurs in a variety of damp and dry shrubby grasslands and waste places where its foodplant grows, including in agricultural settings.
Recorded in 25 (1.3%) of the 1900 10km squares of Bulgaria.
Last recorded in June 2019
Recorded date range (Adult): 03 May to 29 June
Recorded date range (Larva/Leafmine): 11 July to 11 July