New subspecies of the species group Euchloe (ausonia Hubner)
  from the highlands of Dzhungarian Alatau (East Kazakhstan)

                  V.V.Dubatolov, O.E.Kosterin

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
35-40 mm).
     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
dark area.
     Ethimology.  The  subspecies  is   dedicated   to   Irina
Davydova, our nice companion on the expedition in  Dzhungarian
Alatau.
     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
alexandrina (Stgr.).
     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).

     References

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