Maculinea alcon monticola (Staudinger, 1901)


Status. A rare species. According to IUCN criteria categorized as Vulnerable VU B1a+B2a.

Brief description. A small-sized butterfly, the length of the forewings is 15–18 mm in males. The ground color of the wings of males is dull purple with darkened outer edge and a distinct line of post–discal and discal spots, in females wings are homogeneously dark brown, with a vaguely expressed discal spot. The underside of the wings is homogeneously grey with distinct discal and postdiscal black spots.

Distribution. Europe, eastwards to Central Siberia, Asia Minor, South Caucasus.

Distribution in Armenia. Recorded in the Shirak (Jajur mountain pass), Tavush (surroundings of Dilijan and Ijevan towns, Acharkut village), Kotayk (Arzakan village), Vayots Dzor (surroundings of the Gnishik village), Syunik (vicinities of Kajaran town and the Shvanidzor village) provinces, southern slopes of the Mt. Aragats and Khosrov Forest Reserve.

Habitats. Dry meadows, glades, rocky steppes, at the altitude of 1400-2300 meters above sea level.

Biological traits. Flies in a single generation from mid-July to mid-August. Eggs–laying on the buds of Gentiana cruciata. Second and third instar larvae are moved to ant hill, thus here they winter. After wintering they finish feeding eating the larvae and pupae of ants.

Population size and its trends. Abundance is not high. Trends in changes of abundance are unknown.

Major threats. Overgrazing, agricultural land use.

Conservation measures. Protected in Khosrov Forest Reserve, Sevan and Arevik National Parks and Zangezur Sanctuary.

Suggested conservation measures. Incorporation of species habitats to the reserve zone of Arevik National Park and to planned Gnishik National Park, application of selective effect insecticides in aircraft treatments against leaf-eating forest pests.


© A. Danchenko

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Hesselbarth et al., 1995; Tuzov, 2000

Compiler. A. Danchenko