Maculinea nausithous Bergstrasser, 1779



Status. A rare species of fragmented distribution. According to IUCN criteria categorized as Vulnerable VU B1a+B2a. It is listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver 2.3) as Low Risk/Near Threatened LR/nt and in the Appendix II of the Bern Convention.

Brief description. A small–sized butterfly, the length of the forewing is 13–16 mm in males and 12–15 mm in females. The ground color of the males is dark blue with line of postdiscal and discal spots. The female is dark brown. The underside of the wings is dark–brown with lines of discal and postdiscal black spots.

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

Distribution in Armenia. In Armenia it is recorded in a few places: in the vicinities of Stepanavan town (Tashir Province), Semyonovka and Shorzha villages (Gegharkunik Province) and Tsaghkadzor town (Kotayk Province).

Habitats. Meadows, steppe areas along the timberline at the altitudes of 2000–2300 m above sea level.

Biological traits. Flies in a single generation from mid-July to mid-August. The eggs-laying in the flowers of Sanguisorba officinalis. 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. Land tillage, mowing of blooming fodder plants, overgrazing, forests aircraft applications by insecticides.

Conservation measures. Protected in Sevan National Park.

Suggested conservation measures. Incorporation of species habitats to Arzakan–Meghradzor Sanctuary. 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; IUCN 2009; Convention,...Bern

Compiler. A. Danchenko