Eversmannia exornata (Eversmann, 1837) - the only known representative
    of the Epiplemidae family (Lepidoptera) in West Palearctic.   

     V.V.Dubatolov (*), E.M.Antonova (**), O.E.Kosterin (***)     

Actias. Russian Journal for Scientific Lepidopterology. 
1994 - Vol. 1 - No 1-2 - p. 19-23

*   Zoological Museum, Biological Institute, Siberian Division of 
Russian Academy of Sciences, Frunze street 11, 630091 
Novosibirsk, Russia.
**  Zoologocal Museum of Moskow State University, Herzen street 6, 
103009 Moskow, Russia.
*** Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Division of 
Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician  Lavrentiev prospect 10, 
630090 Novosibirsk, Russia.

   KEYWORDS: Lepidoptera, Epiplemidae, Epiplema, Eversmannia, West 
Palearctic, Siberia.

ABSTRACT. The list of Epiplemidae species known from the territory 
of Russia is given. All the known findings of Eversmannia exornata 
(Eversmann, 1837) in Siberia and the European Part of Russia are 
enumerated. The natural conditions of the habitat of the most 
abundant population of the species in the ovosibirsk region are 
          (A Russian resume is at the end of the document)

   The Epiplemidae family is widely distributed in tropical and 
subtropical zones of the World, mostly in South America [Fletcher, 
1979], but is poorly represented at moderate latitudes. Six 
species inhabit the territory of Russia. Four of them, namely, Nossa 
palearctica (Staudinger, 1887), Eversmannia exornata (Eversmann, 
1837), Eversmannia erasaria (Christoff, 1881), and Eversmannia 
illotata (Christoff, 1880) are distributed in Amurland (Priamurie) 
and Primorie; Eversmannia plagifera (Butler, 1881) - in Sakhalin 
(Viidalepp, Remm, 1982); Eversmannia moza (Butler, 1878) was 
recently found out in the Kunashir Island (1 female, Alekhino, 
16.07.1989, V.V.Dubatolov et O.D.Rusanov leg.). And only 
Eversmannia exornata (Eversmann, 1873) penetrates into Siberia and 
European Russia. The species of the genus Eversmannia Staudinger, 
1871, are often regarded within the genus Epiplema 
Herrich-Sch4ffer, [1855], 1850-1858. However, the type species of 
Epiplema, E. acutangularia Herrich-Sch4ffer, [1855], is 
distributed in Brazil [Fletcher, 1979], and it is very improbable 
that Palearctic and Nearctis species (mostly tropical) are 
congeneric. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider the boreal 
and, may be, oriental species as belonging to the genus 
Eversmannia, which was proposed by Staudinger [Staudinger and 
Rebel, 1901] for "Idea exornataEversmann, 1873".
   The only so far known Epiplemidae species inhabiting the West 
of Palearctic, Eversmannia exornata, was described by Eversmann 
[1837] as a Geometrid Idea exornata from the surroundings of Kazan 
[Казань] (Tatarstan, Russia); this information was also reproduced 
in a later work [Eversmann, 1844]. There was no doubt in it among 
the researchers of the former century. Thus, this species was 
referenced exactly for Kazan' by M.A.Guenee [1857], while F.Walker 
[1861] mentioned it for South Russia. However, N. Erschoff [1870], 
for an unknown reason, had transformed the typical locality of 
this species into Kyakhta [Кяхта] (now - in South Buryatiya [Южная 
Бурятия]). This mistake was adopted by a great number of later 
catalogues, atlases and guides, such as O.Staudinger, M.Wocke  
[1971]; O.Staudinger, H.Rebel [1901]; A.Seitz [1913]; H.Inoue 
[1982]. The Epiplemidae family was completely missed in 
"Determinator of Insects of the European Part of the USSR" 
[Zagulyayev et al., 1978], although K.W. von Dalla Torne [1924] 
had included South Russia, together with East and Middle Siberia, 
Amurland, Primorie, Japan, and East Asia, into the known range of 
E. exornata. The typical locality was also correctly 
specified in the last catalogue "The Generic Names of Moths of the 
World" [Fletcher, 1979].
   So, the question arises where exactly is E. exornata  
distributed in West Palearctic?. In Europe, except for the typical 
locality of Kazan (the typical specimen, a female, with a label 
"Cas" written probably by E.Eversmann himself, is preserved in 
Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 
Sanct-Petersburg; its genitalia are shown in Fig.1), this species 
was known by a single specimen from Saratov Gubernie [Саратовская 
губерния] [Kroulikovsky, 1902]. Since "Kyakhta" is an erroneous 
locality resulting from Erschoff's [1870] transformation of 
"Kazan", we know the only reliable record of this species for 
Siberia: the Sayan Mts., where it was found out in the vicinity of 
the Tridtsatye ["30th"] Lakes [Тридцатые озера] in the middle 
reaches of the Kazyr [Казыр] river (the South of Krasnoyarsk 
Region [Красноярский Край - "Krasnoyarskii Krai"]) 
[Kozhantschikov, 1924]. These specimens were described as a 
distinct subspecies Epiplema exornata sibirica Kozhantschikov, 
1924; that, to our mind, was not necessary. 
   In 1980, while examining old untreated materials collected in 
various points of West Siberia, V.V.Dubatolov discovered the 
specimens of Eversmannia exornata originated from the western 
surroundings of  Tomsk [Томск] and from the South-East of 
Novosibirsk Region [Новосибирская область]. Later, the species was 
found out in several localities near Novosibirsk, in Altai Region 
[Алтайский край - "Altaiskiy Kray"], in north-east of the Altai 
Mountains, and in Gornaya Shoriya [Горная Шория] (south of the 
Kemerovo Region [Кемеровская Область]). In recent decades, E. 
exornata was also re-discovered by collecting it in numerous sites 
in European Russia, namely, in Moskow, Ryazan, Ivanovo, Bryansk, 
and Tula Regions [Московская, Рязанская, Ивановская, Брянская и 
Тульская области].
   Materials. "Cas" [Kazan], 1$ - a type specimen, being kept in in 
Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 
Sanct-Petersburg. The following specimens are kept in Zoological 
Museum of Moskow State University, Moskow. Moskow Region: 
Orekhovo-Zuevo District [Орехово-Зуевский район], the Maiskii 
settlement [поселок Майский], 14.VI.1987, 1 specimen, A.Devyatkin 
leg.; Voskresensk District [Воскресенский район], the Fosforitnyi 
settlement [поселок Фосфоритный], 12.VII.1983, 1 specimen, 
L.Solntsev leg., PT3; Luzhki [Лужки], 18.VI.1983, 1 specimen, 
A.Pokidov, leg.; PT3, Danki [Данки], 27.VI.1987, 1 specimen, 
I.Osipov, leg. Ryazan Region; Shilovo District [Шиловский район], 
the Rubetskoe village [село Рубецкое], 27.VI.1991, 1 specimen, 
I.Kusnetsov leg. Ivanovo Region: Kineshma District [Кинешемский 
район], Krasnogorskii [Красногорский], 25.VI.1988 1 specimen, 
A.Tikhomirov leg. Bryansk Region: 15 km south-east of Bryansk 
[Брянск], Poluzhye [Полужье], 5-17.VII.1982, 2 specimens, 
A.Aniskovich leg. Tula Region: Shulgino [Шульгино] 19.VI.1990, 3 
specimens, 29.VI.1992, 4 specimens,1.VII.1990, 10 spesimens, 
L.Bolshakov leg. The following specimens are preserved in 
Zoological Museum of Biological Institute of Siberian Division of 
Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk. Tomsk Region: Tomsk 
surroundings, Timiryazevskii [Тимирязевский], 2.VII.1969, 1$, 
N.Kolomiets leg. Novosibirsk Region: Ordynskiy District [Ордынский 
район], Tchingisy [Чингисы], 6.VII.1960, 1 $; 29.VI.1972, 1 #, V. 
Menyailo leg.; 2 km north-east of the Shelkovichikha [Шелковичиха] 
railway station (40 km east of Novosibirsk), 28.VI.1981, 1 
specimen, V.Ivonin leg.; Akademgorodok [Академгородок - 
Novosibirsk Academy Town], the Zyryanka [Зырянка] stream, 
21.VI.1992, 2# 3$, V.Dubatolov, O.Kosterin leg.; Altai Region: 100 
km south of Barnaul [Барнаул], Soldatovo [Солдатово], 26.VI.1990, 
1# 1$, S.Vasilenko leg. North-East of the Altai Mountains:  The 
Lake Teletskoe [Телецкое озеро], Artybash [Артыбаш], 16.VII.1992, 
1$, V.Dubatolov leg. Gornaya Shoriya: the Osman [Осман] railway 
station (5 km south of the Kuzedeevo [Кузедеево] raliway station), 
1.VII.1992, 1 $ (P.Ustyuzhanin leg.). The points of finding of 
Eversmannia exormnata in Siberia are shown on the map of Fig.2.
   Since all the so far known findings of Eversmannia exornata 
concern imagines, the biology of the species in the considered 
region remain poorly studied. It is possible only to outline its 
flying period and to characterize its habitats based on the data 
from West Siberia. There the majority of the findings of imagines 
of this species happened in the interval June 20th - July 10th. 
They are always met with near rivers or small streams in wet 
meadow openings in woodland. The most abundant population was 
found out by O.E.Kosterin in a close vicinity of Novosibirsk 
Akademgorodok [Academy Town] in the valley of the Zyryanka stream. 
This habitat of E. exornata is described below in detail.
   Although Novosibirsk resides in the forest-steppe zone of 
the Wes-Siberian Lowland, the Ob' valley, due to its sandy soils, 
was naturally covered with pine forests, which have been to a 
great extent cut or replaced by the secondary birch forests. The 
exact locality is situated 9 km east of the former left bank of 
the Ob river, that is 3 km of the recent bank of the Novosibirsk 
Water Reservoir. Although the altitude of this point is only 150 
m, there is a very mild land elevation outlined by the Ob river, 
which is the west extreme of the Altai-Sayan Mountain System. 
Therefore, the small (about 1 m wide and 8 km long) stream of 
Zyryanka has rather a well developed valley, the bottom level of 
which is 20 to 50 m lower than that of the surrounding plain. In 
several points the meandering stream discloses the rocks composed 
by the alternating Devonian alevrolites and argilites, which form 
the detritus locally covering the stream bed. In other sections of 
the valley, the stream crosses small tussock swamps. 
   Firstly an individual of E. exornata was photographed (but not 
collected) on June 10th, 1981, on meadow vegetation near the 
thicket of willow trees 3-4 m high (several species, mostly Salix 
cinerea L., and also S. pyrolifolia Ledeb. and S. pentandra L.), 
which covering such a boggy part of the valley. On June 21th, 
1992, seven imagines were found out in exactly the same very 
restricted (about 100 m long) section of the edge of the thicket. 
The neighbouring rich forb meadow, 5-10 m wide, covers the space 
of the valley bottom between the thickets and the southern slope, 
covered by open birch (Betula verrucosa Ehrh.) / asp (Populus 
tremula L.) forest with several individuals of Pinus silvestris L. 
The moths were met with at this meadow within 3-6 metres of the 
willow bushes, some individuals penetrated 1-2 m under their 
canopy. They mostly sat on the underside of the leaves of 
Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim. or other herbs (Fig.3). Disturbed, 
as a man came near, they easily got into the air, both in the 
middle of the sunny day, and in the cloudy dusk of this day. On 
28th of June this locality was visited again, but only one 
individual of the species was observed.
   The meadow where the moth were observed is composed by the 
following plant species: Filipendula ulmaria is a dominant; 
Dactylis glomerata L., Calamagrostis epigeios (L.) Roth, Agrostis 
gigantea Roth, Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel, Carex 
caespitsa L., Trollius asiaticus L., Sanguisorba officinalis L., 
Aegopodium podagraria L., Polemonium coeruleum L., Veronica 
longifolia L., Ptarmica impatiens DC., Senecio fluviatilis Wallr., 
are abundant; Equisetum pratense Ehrh., Trisetum sibiricum Rupr., 
Brachipodium pinnatum (L.) Beauv., Poa sibirica Roshev, Phleum 
pratense L., Veratrum lobelianum Bernh., Ranunculus propinquus 
C.A.Mey, Thalictrum simplex L., Geum rivale L., Rubus saxatilis 
L., Vicia cracca L.,  Lathyrus pratensis L., Geranium silvaticum 
L., Lysimachia vulgaris L., Galium boreale L., Galium uliginosum 
L., Cirsium heterophyllum (L.) Hill., Cirsium setosum (Willd.) 
M.B., Crepis sibirica L. are sparse; Equisetum palustre L., 
Equisetum hiemale L., Festuca pratensis Huds., Festuca rubra L., 
Lychnis chalcedonica L., Delphinium elatum L., Aconitum 
septentrionale Koelle, Agrimonia pilosa Ledeb., Vicia sepium L., 
Astragalus glycyphyllus L., Origanum vulgare L., Scutellaria 
galericulata L., Scrophularia nodosa L., Pedicularis incarnata L., 
Orobanche alsatica Kirschl., Inula salicina L., Centaurea scabiosa 
L., Serratula coronata L., and others, are solitary. It should be 
taken into account that the vegetation of the described meadow 
stripe continuously but rapidly (within several metres) changes 
along the transversal profile of the valley, so, the relative 
abundance of species can not be estimated unambigously. 
   Many of these plant species grow also on a wet ground with 
Carex caespitosa tussocks under the canopy of the willow thicket. 
Besides C. caespitosa, the predominating ones are Filipendula 
ulmaria, Urtica dioica L., Phragmites australis, Polemonium coeruleum. 
The bush layer is composed by juvenile willows, numerous bushes of 
the red currant (Ribes hispidulum Pojark.), and solitary individuals 
of the black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) and juvenile bird-cherry trees 
(Padus racemosa (Lam.) Gilib.). The food plant species of the larvae 
of Eversmannia exornata is not known, but Viburnum has been 
reported as a food plant of some Japanese species of the genus. No 
individual of the guelder rose (Viburnum opulus L.), which is quite 
common in this zone, has been found in the site described. We failed to 
isolate any factor which could restrict the presence of Eversmannia 
exornata to this short section of the valley, since superficially the 
same conditions extend to a much longer distance along the stream.
   The fact of multiple findings of Eversmannia exornata in European 
Russia and West Siberia, after its almost century-long absence, is 
undoubtly an entomological sensation. It is difficult to suppose 
that lepidopterologists merely missed this species, as Russian 
faunistics until 30ths years had been actively developing, whereas 
after 70ths years its new rise had started. It is noteworthy that 
in 1902, 1924, 1960, and 1969, only solitary findings of 
E.exornata took place, while in 1981-1992 a steady increase of 
both the number of sites and the number of specimens collected was 
observed. Some objective reasons should exist for such a 
   One of us (E.M.Antonova) supposes that a hypothesis by an outstanding 
paleontologist V.V.Zherikhin [1979] on an abrupt enriching fauna 
with relic elements in global biocenotic crisises seems to be 
helpful in this regard. Because it is dominants of the biotic 
communities which undergo depletion under conditions of the crisis 
of the cenose, some accessory species, and especially cenophobs, 
could be of advantage. Such species, which are often weekly 
connected with their communities, might have acquired mechanisms 
of pesisting with low density. So, the increase of the role of 
relic groups, the rise of vigour and number of relics and the 
expansion of their ranges can be an important indicators of 
profound changes of ecosystems. V.V.Zherikhin gave a number of 
impressive exampes of this kind, coming from the history of the 
Cretaceous Crisis and as well from the second half of the XX 
century. Thus, it is not excluded that numerous recent findings of 
an obvious relic Eversmannia exornata in West Palearctic can be a 
manifestation of the increasing disturbance of recent ecosystems.
   The authors express their gratitude to G.I.Taran (Central 
Siberian Botanical Garden, the Siberian Division of Russian 
Academy of Sciences) for the help in plant species identification. 
       Dalla Torne, K.W. von. 1924. Epiplemidae, Uraniidae // 
Lepidopterorus Catalogus. Ed. E.Strand. Pars 30. Berlin. 17 S.
       Erschoff, N. 1870. Bemerkungen uber einige von E.Eversmann 
aufgestellten Lepidopteren-Species // Bull. Soc. Imp. Nat. Mosc. 
Bd. 43. 2. S. 307-319.
       Eversmann, E. 1837. Kurze Notizen uber einige 
Schmetterlinge Russlands, als Beitrage zu Treitschke's 
Supplementen zu betrachten // Bull. Soc. Imp. Nat. Mosc. Bd. 10, 
4. S. 29-66.
       Eversmann, E. 1844. Fauna Lepidopterologica 
Volgo-Uralensis. Casani. 633 p.
       Fletcher, D.S. 1979. Geometroidea // The Generic Names of 
Moths of the World. Ed. I.W.B.Nye. London. 243 p.
       Guenee, M.A. 1857. Species  General des Lepidopteres. T. 
10. Paris. 584 p.
       Inoue, H. 1982. Epiplemidae // Moths of Japan. Vol. 1. P. 
       Kozhantsсhikov, W. 1924. [Materialien zur Macrolepidopteren 
Fauna des Minussinsk Bezirks. II.] // [Jahrb. Martjanov'schen 
Staatsmuseum in Minussinsk]. Bd. 2. Lief 1. S. 66-75 [in Russian].
       Kroulikovsky, L. 1902. [Petites notices 
lepidopterologiques. IV] // [Revue Russe d'Entomol.]. T. 2. 4. 
       Seitz, A. 1913. Uraniidae // A.Seitz. Die 
Gross=Schmetterlinge der Erde. Bd. 2. Stuttgart. S. 275-280.
       Staudinger, O., M.Wocke. 1871. Catalog der Lepidopteren des 
europaischen Faunengebits. Dresden. 426 S.
       Staudinger, O., H.Rebel. 1901. Catalog der Lepidopteren des 
palaearctischen Faunengebiets. Berlin. 111 S.
        Walker, F. [1861]. List of the specimens of lepidopterous 
insects in the collection of the British Museum. 23. 1020 p.
       Zagulajev , A.K. et al. 1978. Opredelitel nasekomykh 
evropeiskoi chasti SSSR. T. 4. Tcheshuekrylye. [Determinator of 
insects of the European Part of the USSR. Vol.4. Lepidoptera] Part 
1. Leningrad. 711 p.
       Zherikhin, V.V. 1979. [The use of paleontological data in 
ecological prognosing]// Biologicheskoe Prognozirovanie 
[Biological Prognosing]. Nauka. Moskow. P.113-131.

                          FIGURE LEGENDS                          
Fig. 1. Eversmannia exornata (Eversmann, 1837): a, the female 
genitalia (the type specimen, "Cas" [Kazan]); b, the male 
genitalia (Novosibirsk Region, Ordynskii District, Chingisy, 

Fig. 2. The points of findings of Eversmannia exornata in Siberia.
1, Timiryazevskiy; 2, Shelkovichikha; 3, Akademgorodok; 4, OBGES 
(a town of Ob electic power station, according to the personal 
communication of Mr. P.Ya.Ustyuzhanin); 5, Chingisy; 6, Soldatovo; 
7, Artybash; 8, Osman; 9, the Trydtsatye Lakes.

Fig. 3 a,b. Individuals of Eversmannia exornata sitting on the 
underside of the leaf of Filipendula ulmaria (natural positions).

             Eversmannia exormata (Eversmann, 1837) -             
единственный известный представитель семейства Epiplemidae (Lepidoptera) 
                      в Западной Палеарктике.                     
      В.В.Дубатолов (*), Е.М.Антонова(**), О.Э.Костерин (***)     

*    Зоологический музей, Биологический институт Сибирского 
отделения Российской академии наук, ул. Фрунзе 11, 630090 
Новосибирск, Россия.
**   Зоологический музей Московского государственного университета, 
ул. Герцена 6, 103009 Москва, Россия.
***  Институт цитологии и генетики Сибирского отделения Российской 
академии наук, проспект академика Лаврентьева 10, 630090 
Новосибирск, Россия.

   КЛЮЧЕВЫЕ СЛОВА: Lepidoptera, Epiplemidae, Epiplema, 
Eversmannia, Западная Палеарктика, Сибирь.

   В статье приводится список видов Epiplemidae, населяющих 
территорию России, и сообщаются все известные места сбора 
Eversmannia exornata (Eversmann, 1837) в Сибири и Европейской 
части России, отмечаются сроки лета и дается описание 
местообитания, где была обнаружена наиболее многочисленная 
популяция. Оно расположено в непосредственной близости от 
Новосибирского Академгородка, в долине ручья Зырянка. Бабочки 
обнаружены в 10 июня 1981 г. и 21-28 июня 1992 г. на небольшом 
участке (около 100 м) узкого разнотравного луга, тянущегося на дне 
долины вдоль опушки ивовых зарослей 3-4 м высотой, покрывающих 
заболоченный участок русла, где также встречались отдельные особи. 
С другой стороны луг ограничен склоном долины, покрытым 
разреженным березово-осиновым лесом с примесью сосны лесом. 
Преобладающими растениями на лугу были Filipendula ulmaria 
(доминант), Dactylis glomerata, Calamagrostis epigeios, Agrostis 
gigantea, Phragmites australis, Carex caespitsa, Trollius 
asiaticus, Sanguisorba officinalis, Aegopodium podagraria, 
Polemonium coeruleum, Veronica longifolia, Ptarmica impatiens, 
Senecio fluviatilis, и др. Под пологом ивовых зарослей влажную 
почву покрывыали кочки C.caespitosa и, кроме того, были обильны 
Filipendula ulmaria, Urtica dioica, Phragmites australis и 
Polemonium coeruleum, а в кустарниковом ярусе преобладала красная
смородина Ribes hispidulum. Бабочки держались на нижней стороне 
листьев и легко вспугивались как в дневное, так и в вечернее время. 
В статье обсуждаются возможные причины учащения в последнее время 
находок этого редкого в прошлом вида.

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