Pharaonus caucasicus (Reitter, 1893)



Status. A rare species of low numbers and limited distribution. According to IUCN criteria categorized as Critically Endangered CR B1ab(ii,iii,v)+B2ab(ii,iii,v).

Brief description. A medium–sized beetle (the length of the body is about 9,0 mm) having ovoid, shiny black body. The elytra are white–yellow, shiny.

Distribution. Endemic of Armenia.

Ditribution in Armenia. Originally recorded in the surroundings of Ejmiadzin town, Yerevan city and the Parakar village where it possibly went down to extinction because of desert development. At present, it is found in Goravan Sands Sanctuary situated near Vedi town.

Habitats. Sandy deserts with the presence of the shrubs of Calligonum polygonoides L.

Biological traits. Beetles are recorded from the end of May to the first half of June, the flight is in the afternoon. Individuals frequently visit the flowers, particularly those of Calligonum polygonoides. Larvae live in the soil, the development cycle probably lasts one year.

Population size and its trends. In the 1980s, abundance was quite high and the swarms of the beetles used to be recorded on the blooming shrubs of Calligonum polygonoides. At present, population size has severely decreased and only few individuals are recorded.

Major threats. Grazing, felling of Calligonum polygonoides for fuelwood, road construction, sand extraction for construction.

Conservation measures. Protected in Goravan Sands Sanctuary.

Suggested conservation measures. Enforcement of protection in Goravan Sands Sanctuary, control grazing.


© K. Makarov, G. Karagyan  

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Yablokov-Khnzoryan, 1967; Kalashyan, Sukiasyan, 1991

Compiler. M. Kalashyan, G. Karagyan