New subspecies of the species group Euchloe (ausonia Hubner)
from the highlands of Dzhungarian Alatau (East Kazakhstan)
Atalanta - 1994 - Vol. 25 (3/4) - p. 513-520
The Dzhungarian Alatau mountain chain is one of the most
northern parts of Tien Shan situating on the frontier of
Kazakhstan and the Chinese province Xinjiang (Sintzian). Its
butterfly fauna is unique in respect of co-existence in the
same biotopes of both typical Tien Shan species and
Euro-Siberian species being at their southern limit. For
instance, during our work in the western part of the
Dzhungarian Alatau (the Kora river basin, upstream of the city
Tekeli, the Taldy-Kurgan province) in June 1993 we observed
such Euro-Siberian species as Lycaena helle (Den. et Schiff.)
and Euphydryas maturna (L.) and a siberian species Tongeia
fischeri (Ev.) flying together with the montane Central Asian
species Metaporia leucodice (Ev.) and Coenonympha sunbecca
Alph., peculiar Tien-Shan species Cupido buddhista (Alph.) and
Euphydryas alexandrina (Stgr.), and a Dzhungarian Alatau
endemic Mellicta alatauica (Stgr.) within the belts of
deciduous (birch) and mixed (the Shrenk spruce/the Siberian
fir/the connom birch) forests. while An East-European-Siberian
species Oeneis tarpeja (Pall.) is accompanied by C. sunbecca
in the steppe belt. The same picture was seen in
highlands as well, where within the habitats of Parnassius
tianschanicus Obth. and P. delphius Ev. (the early imagines of
the latter being just appearing) we found, firstly for Tien
Shan mountains, a typical Siberian boreomontane species
Euchloe naina V.Kozh., which was formerly known for the Sayans
(E. n. naina V.Kozhantschikov, 1923, stat. nov., rev.) and
Norh-East Siberia and the northern Far East (E. n. jakutica
Back, 1990, stat. nov., rev.) (Belyaev, 1986; Back, 1990).
We consider this species as different from the European
species Euchloe simplonia (Boisduval, 1828) (=E.a. marchandae
(Geyer-Hb., 1832)), ranging in the highlands of the Alps,
Pyrenees, and Kantabre mountains. (There were certain
nomenclature problems concerning European taxa ausonia (Hb.),
simplonia (Bsd.), and crameri (Bsd.), which are considered by
us following the recent revision by Back, 1990)). This species
differs well from E. naina by the size of the harpa on the
valva: it is very small, the ratio of its width to the width
of the valva at the narrowest point being 0.36-0.44 (Verity,
1947: T. XI, fig. 12; 1 male, France, 05 Ceillac, Vallee du
Melezet, 1700-1950 m, 22.VI.1984, Nieszporek leg., Zool. Mus.
Biol. Ins. Novosibirsk), while in E. naina this ratio is
always greater than 0.5. The specimens of the latter species
from the Dzhungarian Alatau deviate from the hitherto known
subspecies and are described here as a new subspecies. The
types are preserved in the collection of Zoological Museum of
Biological Institute of Siberian Division of the Russian
Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk.
Euchloe naina irina Dubatolov et Kosterin, ssp. n.
Male (Fig. ). In holotype the fore wing length 21.5 mm
(the wing expance 40 mm), in paratypes 20-22 mm (wing expance
Fore wing upperside white; wing base with black suffusion
forming a slanting triangle about 1 mm wide in cell and up to
4 mm wide at inner margin. Costal margin up to discoidal vein
entirely suffused with black scales, most intensively at
discoidal vein, distally of it the suffusion developed only
frontally of vein 11. Discoidal spot bracket-like curved,
more rarely almost quadrangular, usually fusing with costal
suffusion. Apex shaded proximally to bifurcation of veins 6
and 7+9 and to the distal third of vein 4 along outer margin,
ending of vein 3 is also shaded. On dark grey apical area
there are a large, up to 2 mm in diameter, roundish white
costal spot and two spots at outer margin in spaces 5 and 4,
respectively; these two spots are either roundish or, more
frequently, stretched out and fused with white spots of
fringe. There are three white spots on fringe in spaces 6, 7,
and 8, the rest of fringe white troughout, with minute black
shadings at vein endings, that at vein 2 being the least
expressed, while ending of vein 2 white.
Hind wing upperside white with underside pattern strongly
seen through, with diffuse black basal suffusion extending
5-6 mm along space 1c. Margin with dark marks at vein endings
starting from vein 2 or, more rarely, from vein 1b. At vein 7
apex, there usually presents a roundish or even quadrate dark
spot centered with white.
Fore wing underside white, costa frontally of the cell
ash-grey with irregular black marks. Discoidal spot oval
with falcate white discoidal vein in the middle. Apical area
of bright yellowish-green colour made by mixed green, yellow
and black scales, with the same white spots as on upperside,
but they are larger, especially those at the costa. Endings of
veins 2 and 3 with black marks.
Hind wing underside ground colour dark yellowish green,
formed by mixture of green, yellow and black scales. The veins
bear more yellow scales and so are conspicuously lighter than
ground colour. White spots with nacreous bloom, relatively
large, contrasted and more or less roundish and smooth in
shape; minor white spots nearly absent or present only in anal
area (Fig. ).
Male genitalia similar to those of E. ausonia, E. n.
naina and E. n. jakutica Back.; harpa relatively large, the
ratio of the harpa width to the width of the valva at the
narrowest point of the latter being 0.51-0.57.
Female. Fore wing length 20-22 mm in the paratypes (wing
expance 34-30 mm). Wing ground colour either white or
conspicuously yellowish, sometimes the yellow tint is brighter
on hind wings. The pattern corresponds to that of male but its
elements substantially enlarged and diffuse. The pattern and
dark suffusion is more pronounced in yellowish females.
On fore wing upperside, the basal suffusion often forms
three projections alond costa, cubital trunk (medial trunc
according to Higgins & Riley (1970), and vein 1, the second
being the shortest. The area between the widened, as compared
with male, rectangular or, rarely, bracked-shaped discoidal
spot and the apex usually more or less suffused with dark
scales, especially along vein 4. Only one paratype has this
area light but with suffusion on vein 4, the proximal edge of
apical dark area also being suffused. Apical dark area extends
along outer margin to vein 3 or, more rarely, to vein 2.
Costal white spot on it is the largest; the number of marginal
spots varies from 2 to 4, the lowest one fusing with white
ground colour. Fringe at apical dark area mottled.
Hind wing upperside more or less suffused by black
scales; underside pattern strongly seen through. The proper
upperside pattern is better seen if the suffusion is dark
enough, the more expressed is the suffusion the more the
upperside pattern is diffuse and deviating from that of the
underside: there appear lighter roundish spots on outer and
costal margins and in the middle of cell and a light
irregularily shaped spot on discoidal vein, and lighter veins.
Underside pattern of both wings is principally the same
as in males, especially in lighter individuals. In darker
females a suffusion with scattered black scales is developed
on fore wing in the hind part of cell and proximally of apical
Ethimology. The subspecies is dedicated to Irina
Davydova, our nice companion on the expedition in Dzhungarian
Materials. Holotype: a male, SE Kazakhstan, Dzhungarian
Alatau, 40-50 km ENE of the city Tekeli, the headwaterds of
the Kora [Karai] river, 18.VI.1993 (Dubatolov, Zintshenko,
Kosterin leg.). Paratypes: 8 males, 5 females, the same
locality, 35-50 km ENE of Tekeli, 17-20.VI.1993 (Dubatolov,
Zinchenko, Kosterin legs.).
Habitat. All the specimens were collected within the
altitude interval of 2100-3100 m above sea level in the upper
part of the Kora valley (Fig. ). Their occurence well
coincided with the traces of ancient glacierization in the
relief, namely, the peculiar U-shaped pofile of the valley and
a number of stadial moraines. The vegetation in this part of
the valley changes with altitude from subalpine to alpine
type. The subalpine spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch. et Mey.)
parkland with peculiar saucer-like bushes of the junipers
(Juniperus pseudisabina Fisch. et Mey. and J. sibirica
Burgstr.) covers the surface of magnificent lower moraines,
displayng an explicit case of the so-called knob-and-kettle
topography. At greater altitudes the spruce disappears and the
junipers become more densely growing on the valley bottom,
bordered by magnificent screes. In the vicinity of the snout
of the Bessonov glacier the junipers in turn nearly disappear
manifesting entering the alpine zone. In the period of our
work the meadow areas all over these parts of the valley were
covered by a carpet of luxuriant flowers, among which Iris
bloudowii Ledeb., Fritillaria pallidiflora Schrenk,
Eritrichium villosum (Ledeb.) Bunge, and Primula algida Ad. in
Weber et Mohr. were extremely abundant making the lawns a
yellow, blue, rose, or mixed aspect. Phenologically, there
was early spring in these altitudes, thus the butterflies
considered were among the earliest highland butterflies,
together with Pieris bryoniae bryonides Shelj., Synchloe
callidice (Hb.), Clossiana dia (L.), and Euphydryas
Remarks. According to the pattern of wing upperside, the
new subspecies is very close to E. n. naina and E. n.
jakutica. It exhibits the dimorphism of females, i.e. the
occurence of yellowish and heavily dark suffused forms, as in
both mentionned Siberian subspecies (while females of the
related European species E. simplonia may only have a partial
yellowish tint on hind wings). The males of all these taxa have
a substantial costal suffusion.
The males of other species of the group E. (ausonia
(Hb.)), namely, E.ausonia (Hb.) and E. crameri (Bsd.), lack
such an even costal suffusion, their costa is light and may
have only irregular black dots and streaks. The females of
these taxa, as different from E. naina and E. simplonia, are
never yellowish, they are white and have no suffusion between
the discoidal spot and the apical dark area.
The new subspecies differs substantially from E.
simplonia and other subspecies of E. naina by the hind wing
underside with large and even roundish nacreous-white spots
and without or almost without minor white spots. As different
from it, E. n. jakutica has numerous minor spots and large
spots irregular in shape (the same combination of characters
is exhibited by E. ausonia), while in E. n. naina all the
white marking is reduced and diffuse, minor spots are absent,
but large spots are not roundish but irregular in
shape. Another pecularity of the new subspecies consists in
the roundish marginal spots on the hind wing underside,
resembling those of E. ausonia (Hb.) and E. pulverata (Chr.)
and differing from the oblonge ones in E. simplonia and other
subspecies of E. naina. The common feature of E. simplonia, E.
n. naina, and E. n. irina ssp.n., and also E. ausonia and E.
crameri is lighter yellowish veins on the hind wing underside,
as different from E. n. jakutica. Besides, the fore wing apex
underside in E. n. irina is of a bright yellowish-green colour
a bit paler than that of hind wing underside, while in E. n.
naina and E. n. jakutica, especially in the latter, the apices
are much more greyish, and in E. simplonia are whitish.
The taxon pulverata (Chr.), which inhabits the deserts at
the foot of the Dzhungaran Alatau and has certain superficial
similarities with E. n. irina consisting in very roundish
large spots of the hind wing underside (although accompanied
with numerous minor spots), should be considered as a separate
speies. Its harpa is very narrow, the mentionned ratio being
always less than 0.5, as different from E. ausonia (Hb.), E.
crameri (Bsd.), and E. n. jakutica Back, where this ratio is
greater than 0.5 (we were not able to examine the genitalia of
E. n. naina).
Discussion. The new subspeciesis is an extreme southern
variant of the boreomontane species Euchloe naina V.Kozh.,
represented by E. n. jakutica on a vast territory of NE Asia,
and by E. n. naina in the Sayans and North Mongolia (Belyaev,
1986). E. simplonia, the European alpine counterpart of E.
naina, has acquired the differences of a specific rank. The
fauna of the E. (ausonia) species group of the Central Asian
mountains is still poorly known and demands a thorough study,
but from the first glance the specimens originating from
moderate altitudes of the Zailiyskiy Alatau (North Tien Shan)
and the Gissaro-Alai mountains belong to E. ausonia s.str.
which were thought to inhabit semiarid landscapes of South
Europe and West Asia to South Ural, NW Iran and West
Kopetdagh Mts. in Turkmenistan (while E. pulverata inhabits
deserts and dry steppes of Central Asia, North Afghanistan
and, possibly, Iran. In Turkmenistan, according to V. V.
Dubatolov's observations, E. pulverata occurs throughout the
republic, including the mountains of Central Kopetdagh, and only
in West Kopetdagh it is sympatric with E. ausonia).
The most intriguing fact is that the butterflies much
resembling E. ausonia s.str. (not E. naina!), which will be soon
described by Yu.P.Korshunov as a separate subspecies, fly in
the alpine zone of Central Altai (the Katunskii mountain
range). The only character approaching E. naina is the
projections of the dark suffusion of the apical area of the
fore wing upperside in the direction of the discoidal spot,
noticable in some females. A question arises: how can the
range of E. naina extend the NE Tien Shan leaving Altai
beside? An acceptable explanation may be as follows. During
the Pleistocen cooling all the high mountains underwent
glaciation but to different extent, depending on the height,
latitude and on the precipitation amount. The
greater this amount the greater was the depression of the
snow-line (Ivanovskii, 1960). The Russian and Kazakhstan parts
of the Altai have a relatively wet climate, therefore, their
natural conditions in Pleistocen were most different from the
recent. The fate of the alpine insect species during the
ice-age is difficult to reconstruct, but it is reasonable to
suppose that E. naina failed to persist in Russian Altai by
moving to lower altitudes, where the conditions could differ
from the ones of recent alpine valleys. After the climate had
become warm, E. ausonia, the similar species of moderate
altitudes, could occupy the vacating niche of E. naina. NE
Tien Shan is situated in a more arid zone, so, in spite of
bearing numerous glaciers even nowadays, its Pleistocen
climate was less different from the recent one than that of
Altai. Besides, the penetration of the Siberian E. naina
during one of the Pleistocen stadials into the Dzhungarian
Alatau from the Sayans can be imagined to happen through
Mongolian Altai and the East Then Shan rather than through
Russian Altai and Tarbagatai, taking into account that
Mongolian Altai, having dry and continental climate, retained
the conditions close to the recent ones (Ivanovskii, 1960).
Back W. Taxonomische Untersuchungen innerhalb der
Arten-gruppe um Euchloe ausonia (Hubner, 1804). Atalanta. -
1990. - Bd. 21, Heft 3/4. - S. 117-206, 318-321.
Belyaev E. A. Belyanki roda Euchloe Klots (Lepidoptera,
Pieridae) Sibiri i Dal'nego Vostoka. [Whites of genus Euchloe
Klots (Lepidoptera, Pieridae) of SIberia and Far East]. In:
Sistematika i ekologia cheshuekrylykh Dal'nego Vostoka SSSR. -
Nauka, Vladivostok - 1986. - p. 113-120 (in Russian).
Higgins L.G., Riley N.D. A field guide to the butterflies
of Britain and Europe. London: Collins, 1970, 381 p., 58 pl.
Ivanovskii L.N. Voprosy sopostavleniya konechnykh moren
na Altae [Questions of comparing terminal moraines of Altai].
In: Glyatsiologiya Altaya. IV. - Izdatel'stvo Tomskogo
universiteta, Tomsk. - 1965. - pp. 49-69. (in Russian)
Kozhantschikov V. Materialy k faune cheshuekrylykh
Minusinskogo Kraya (Sibir, Eniseiskaya gub.) [Materialen zur
Macrolepidopteren Fauna des Minussinsk-Bezirkes (Sibirien,
Ienissey Gouv.)]. Ezhegodnik Gosudarstvennogo Muzeya imeni
K.M.Martyanova [Jahrbuch Martjanov'schen Staatsmuseums in
Minussinsk]. Minussinsk, Bd. 1, 1923,Lief. 1, S. I-VII, 1-50
Verity R. Le farfalle diurne d'Italia. Firenze: Casa
Editrice Marzocco, S.A., 1947. - 318 p., 13 t.
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