Papilio alexanor orientalis Romanoff, 1884



Status. According to IUCN criteria categorized as Vulnerable VU B1ab(iii)+B2ab(iii). The species is included in the Appendix II of the Bern Convention.

Brief description. A large–sized butterfly (the length of the forewing is 35–58mm), sexually dimorphic. The ground color of the wings is light yellow in females and ocherous–yellowish–creamy in males. There are marginal and discal lines, oftenly covere with yellow and blue scales, hindwings with narrow and elongated black tales.

Distribution. South Europe, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Afghanistan.

Distribution in Armenia. Recorded in the southern slopes of the Mts. Aragats, Hatis and Arailer, Khosrov Forest Reserve, Kotayk (Arzakan, Garni and Geghadir villages, Jrvezh district), Vayotz Dzor (Vayk town, Gnishik village) and Syunik (Meghri town) provinces.

Habitats. Semi–deserts, xerophyte communities at the altitude of 1000–2000 m above sea level, rocky places along the timberline.

Biological traits. Flies in a sinle generation from mid–May to mid–August. Eggslaying onto the buds and flowers of the plants Ferula orientalis and F. rigidula. Adult larvae generally feed at night and move downwards in the afternoon. Overwintering as pupae.

Population size and its trends. Number is rather high in areas without human facilities. Abundance sharply fluctuates depending of vegetation period of host plants.

Major threats. Degradation of ecosystems because of overgrazing.

Conservation measures. Protected in Khosrov Forest Reserve and Arevik National Park.

Suggested conservation measures. Incorporation of species habitats to planned Gnishik National park. Establishment of a protected area on the Mt. Arailer.


© A. Danchenko  

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Hesselbarth et al., 1995; Kaabak et al.,1997 (Tuzov editor); Convention,...Bern

Compiler. A. Danchenko