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                 Butterflies (Lepidoptera, Diurna)
              of the Koni Peninsula (Magadan Region)

Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Division of the
Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician Lavrentiev Avenue 10,
630090 Novosibirsk, Russia.

Actias. Russian Journal for Scientific Lepidopterology. 
Vol. 1, Iss. 1/2 (1994) PP:77-81

   KEY WORDS: butterflies, Magadan Region, the Koni Peninsula,
biotope specificity, Parnassius stubbendorffii Menetries.

   ABSTRACT. 28 species of butterflies were collected in July 1989
in the Koni Peninsula (the southern extreme of Magadan Region),
including Parnassius stubbendorffii M2n2tri3s., which was thought
not to be distributed to the north from the low reaches of the
Amur river. A brief descriptions of landscape and vegetation types
of the peninsula is given and the butterfly species inhabiting
them are specified.

         (A Russian resume is at the end of the document)

   The butterfly fauna of Magadan Region in general and the
ecology of certain species in particular are still insufficiently
studied [Kurentzov, 1970, 1974]. While working in a floristic
expedition of the Institute of Biology and Edaphology of the
Far-East Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, on
July 6th-26th 1989, the author had a possibility to collect
butterflies and to make some observations on them in the Koni
Peninsula, on the territory of the Ola section of the Magadan
Nature Reservation. This observations may be helpful for the
increase of knowledge on the ecology of butterfly species in
North-East Asia.
   The Koni Peninsula is situated about 60 km south of Magadan
City, being the southern extreme of Magadan Region. It is in fact
a mountain range with prevailing altitudes of 800-900 m (the
maximal altitude being 1,548 m). The climate is of the oceanic
type: the average temperatures of January are -9 - -15 degrees
Centigrade (the minimal temperature being -28 - -32 degrees
Centigrade), those of July are +8 +10 degrees Centigrade (the
maximal being +18 +23 degrees Centigrade) [Berkutenko et al.,
1989]. In summer the coast is frequently covered by fog.
   The low levels of the peninsula correspond to the taiga belt,
but the rigorous climate of a land extended into the Ochot Sea
prevents the development of larch forest, which covers the
neighbouring continental coast but is absolutely missing from the
studied territory. Only stone birch (Betula ermanii Cham. ssp.
lanata (V. Vassil.) A. Skvorts.) forests are developed on the
slopes of river valleys or, rarely, on coastal slopes, but they
hardly reach the altitude of 300 m. Besides, the narrow stripes of
Korean willow (Chosenia arbutifolia (Pall.) A.Skvorts.) or poplar
(Populus suaveolens Fisch.) forests are developed alongside river
banks. The slopes at greater altitudes, up to 1000-1100 m, are
covered with thickets of the dwarf pine (Pinus pumila (Pall.)
Regel), which becomes 0.5 m high at its upper limit. From the very
feet of the slopes, large-stoned screes are frequent.
   We have examined the valleys of the Khindzha and the Burgauli
rivers, the former falling into the sea at the northern coast, the
latter - at the southern one. Their narrow bottom flats are
covered with more or less sparse but tall (up to 3 m) and vigorous
bushes of the dwarf alder (Dushekia fruticosa (Rupr.) Pourar in
Precila) or the dwarf pine; the lateral parts of the flats, as a
rule, have large heath-like openings. This landscape is close to
forest-tundra as the tundra-specific plant species (various
Ericaceae, Empetrum nigrum L. s.l., etc.) predominate in herbage
composition, neighbouring with meadow ones, and the ground lichens
are very abundant. The lower bushes are represented by Juniperus
sibirica Burged., several Salix species, Betula divaricata Ledeb.
(mostly at the southern coast), Spiraea beauverdiana Schneid.,
Pentaphylloides fruticosa (L.) O.Schwarz, Lonicera edulus Turcz.
ex Freyn. The majority of butterflies are confined to this
openings. These are mostly the characteristic species of the
Siberian taiga: Carterocephalus silvicolus (Meigen, 1829),
Carterocephalus palaemon (Pallas, 1771), Pieris bryoniae (H1bner,
1791) ssp. sheljuzhkoi Eitschberger, 1983, Euphydryas intermedia
(M2n2tri3s, 1859), Clossiana selene (Denis et Schifferm1ller,
1775), Clossiana thore (H1bner, 1803), Clossiana oscarus
(Eversmann, 1844), Brenthis ino (Rottemburg, 1775) (flied after
July 20th), Coenonympha tullia (M1ller, 1761), and Erebia
jenisseiensis Trybom, 1877, were abundant all over the
examined valleys. Besides, after July 22th, numerous butterflies
of the Erebia (ligea (Linnaeus, 1758)) group appeared, the
taxonomic attribution of which is now being elucidated [personal
communication of Mrs. P.Yu.Gorbunov, Yu.P.Korschunov, and
V.V.Dubatolov]. Vacciniina optilete (Knoch, 1781) and Colias
palaeno (Linnaeus, 1761) were less abundant - the latter was met
with, as a rule, in vast openings and burnt-over areas with
Calamagrostis langsdorfii (Link.) Trin. dominating. Besides,
Proclossiana eunomia (Esper, 1799) and Clossiana euphrosyne
(Linnaeus, 1758) (this species has not been reported for Magadan
Region [Kurentzov, 1970]) turned out to be frequent in the
Burgauli valley. On 17th of July, 2-3 km upstream of the mouth of
this river in forest-tundra with lichens and Empetrum
predominating in the ground vegetation, and Salix spp., Dushekia
fruticosa, and Betula divaricata - among bushes, there were found
young imagines of Mesoacidalia aglaja (Linnaeus, 1758) and Boloria
sp. prelimenarily identified as aquilonaris (Stichel, 1908), the
latter - in abundance. The exact identification demands a revision
of North Asiatic representatives of the Boloria (pales (Denis at
Schifferm1ller, 1775)) group of genus Boloria Moore, 1900. The
collected series exhibits a considerable variation of the
characters of hind wing underside, such as the degree of
development of the dark suffusion in the central band and the
intensity of the basic dark-red-brown colour, some of the
specimens much resembling a typical B. aquilonaris, some
approaching in appearance the Mongolian/Siberian taxon Boloria
(pales) banghaasi (Seitz, 1909) [Crosson du Cormier, 1982]. In the
upper reaches of the Khindzha river at the wet stream-side meadow
surrounded by dwarf alder bushes, a female of Euchloe creusa
(Doubleday, 1847) ssp. orientalis (Bremer, 1864) was caught; in an
opened alder thickets 10 km upstream of the mouth of this river,
we also obtained a female of Oeneis magna (Graeser, 1888).
   A small section  of the Khindzha valley flat, about 3 km
upstream of its mouth, (and roughly 1 km long) is covered by rich
mesophytic meadows, containing such plant species as Calamagrostis
langsdorffii, Deschampsia borealis (Trautv.) Roshev., Carex
falcata Turcz., Fritillaria camschatcensis (L.) Ker.-Gawl.,
Veratrum oxysepalum Turcz., Iris setosa Pall. ex Link, Thalictrum
kemense Fries, Aruncus kamtschaticus (Maxim.) Rydb., Geranium
erianthum DC., Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Scop., Anthriscus
aemula (Woron.) Schischk., Galium boreale L., Valeriana capitata
Pall., Senecio tundricola Tolm., Senecio cannabifolius Less.,
Saussuraea oxyodonta Hult., Tanacetum boreale Fisch. ex DC.,
Cacalia hastata L. It is only this restricted area where rather
numerous individuals of Parnassius stubbendorffii M2n2tri3s, 1849,
(Fig.1) were observed (on July 8th, 10th, 22th, 25th and 26th). It
turns out to be the extreme northern and eastern locality known to
this time for P. stubbendorffii, which was thought not to range
north of the low reaches of the Amur river [Kurentzov, 1970]! The
specimens collected have later been described as a new subspecies
[Kreuzberg & Pljushch, 1991]. Corydalis arctica M.Pop., which was
reported for the peninsula [Berkutenko et al., 1989] but not met
with by us, might be a larval food plant for this species.
   The highlands of the peninsula are mostly covered by large
screes and mountain-top detritus with sparse spots of prostrate
Pinus pumila, or, more rarely, Dushekia fruticosa. Cirque bottoms
are usually tundrous, with Ericaceae species dominating. Flowering
Rhododendron camtschaticum Pall., which is especially abundant,
even colour the landscapes with a rose tint. Two butterfly
species, Synchloe callidice (H1bner, 1799) and Euphydryas iduna
(Dalman, 1816), are common there at altitudes above 700 m,
although they were sometimes met with at subapline meadows
surrounded by dwarf woodland at an altitude of about 500 m. It
should be noted that some specimens of E. iduna has the traces of
black spots in the marginal red band on the underside of the hind
wings, which are common in E. intermedia, yet, the other traits of
the ornament and coloration are characteristic for E. iduna.
Besides, on July 23th and 24th, at the detritous divide between
two cirques at the altitude of 1,100 m, we observed (but failed to
catch) several individuals of Oeneis sp. and collected a male of
Erebia dabanensis Erschoff, 1871.
   The coastal mountains form abrupt cliffs extended along long
sections of the coastline. Where the mountains step back, a
wave-cut terrace is developed. At the northern shore, it is low
and covered mostly by Pinus pumila dwarf woodland, but in the
close vicinity of the shore, the rich coastal meadows are
frequent. The same butterflies as in the river valleys fly there
(Pieris bryoniae being especially numerous), but quite abundant
Parnassius phoebus (Fabricius, 1793) was added. Besides, on Urtica
angustifolia Fisch. ex Hornem., growing at the foot of the
terrace, the colonies of Aglais urticae (Linnaeus, 1758) larvae
were common. On the southern coast, which is subject to much more
severe winds and waving, the terraces are covered by a fruticulose
tundra and are terminated by bluffs 3-6 metres high. There were
observed  Colias palaeno, Pieris bryoniae, Vacciniina optilete,
Euphydryas iduna, Clossiana selene, C. euphrosyne, Brenthis ino,
Coenonympha tullia. The bluffs have the southern aspect, so,
notwithstanding a constant wind from the sea, their sparse
vegetation are composed by various plant species, including
brightly flowering ones: Leymus mollis (Trin) Hara, Rhodiola
atropurpurea Praeger, Sedum cyaneum Rudolph., Potentilla
fragiformis Willd. ex Schult., Potentilla rupifraga Khokhr.,
Astragalus alpinus L., Oxytropis czukotica Jurtz., Senecio
pseudoarnica Less., Artemisia arctica Less., and others. Such
butterflies as Plebejus tancrei (Graeser, 1888) ssp. verchojanicus
(Kurentzov, 1970), Polyommatus kamtschadalis (Sheljuzhko, 1933)
ssp. extremiorientalis (Kurentzov, 1970), and Colias hyperborea 
Groum-Grshimailo, 1899, were almost confined to these bluffs. They
did not penetrate into the tundrous terrace surface; and only rare
individuals of these species were met with in the Burgauli valley
up to several km upstream from the shore. The legumes Astragalus
alpinus and Oxytropis czukotica might be food plants of the larvae
of these species. Parnassius phoebus was also common on the bluff.
Its food plant must be Rhodiola atropurpurea, and, probably, Sedum
cyaneum. Although the latter species was found apart from the
coasts, Parnassius phoebus was restricted to them.
   We have observed feeding of imagines of Carterocephalus
silvicolus and C. palaemon on the flowers of Geranium erianthum,
Rubus arcticus L.; of Parnassius phoebus - on Scorzonera radiata
Fisch. ex Ledeb.; of Parnassius stubbendorffii - on Senecio
tundricola; of Colias palaeno - on Pentaphylloides fruticosa,
Scorzonera radiata; of Vacciniina optilete - on Ledum decumbens
(Ait.) Lodd. ex Steud.; of Euphydryas intermedia - on Spiraea
beauverdiana; of Boloria aff. aquilonaris - on Senecio tundricola;
of Clossiana thore - on Spiraea beauverdiana, Geranium erianthum;
of Brenthis ino - on Saussuraea oxyodonta; of Coenonympha tullia -
on Geranium erianthum, Spiraea beauverdiana; of Erebia
jenisseiensis - on Spiraea beauverdiana.
   Thus, we have collected 28 butterfly species. Although we
found two species (Parnassius stubbendorffii and Clossiana
euphrosyne) which were not reported for Magadan Region, the total
number of species observed is too small even for a month-long
investigation. It is quite possible that the local butterfly fauna
is indeed poor because of the severe climate of the peninsula.
   The author expresses his gratitude to Mr. V.V.Dubatolov and
Mr. Yu.P.Korshunov at Zoological Museum,  Biological Institute of
the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Novosibirsk, for the help in identification of butterfly species
and to the head of the expedition Mr. V.V.Yakubov, the Institute
of Bilolgy and Edaphology of the Far East Division of the Russian
Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, for his understanding and help
in the field and for the botanical information.

       Berkutenko, A.N., V.B.Dokuchaeva, A.N. Polezhaev. 1989.
[Flora and Vegetation of the "Magadanskiy" Nature Reservation. I.
North Ochot Part.]. Preprint of IBPS DVO AN SSSR. Magadan. 38 pp.
[in Russian].
       Crosson du Cormier, A. 1982. Boloria banghaasi Seitz,
esp3ce m3connue// Alexanor. Pars 12, No.7, P. 290-295.
       Kreuzberg, A.V.-A., I.G.Pljushch. 1992. [New Parnassius
butterfly subspecies (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae) from the East
Palearctic]// Vestnik Zoologii. No.2, P. 78-80 [in Russian].
       Kurentzov, A. I. 1970. The Butterflies of the Far East
USSR. Leningrad. Nauka. 163 p. [in Russian].
       Kurentzov, A.I. 1974. [Zoogeography of the Far East of the
USSR Exemplified by the Distribution of Lepidoptera -
Rhopalocera]. Novosibirsk. Nauka, Siberian Division. 158 pp. [in

                           FIGURE LEGEND
Fig.1. Butterflies of the Koni Peninsula photographed  in  natural
positions. A-B, Parnassius  stubbendorffii,  males;  C,  Parnassius
phoebus, a female; D, Synchloe callidice; E, Colias hyperborea,  a
male; F, Colias palaeno, a female; G, Plebejus tancrei verkhojani-
cus, a male; H, Euphydryas iduna; I-J, Boloria  aff.  aquilonaris;
K, Clossiana thore.

           Булавоусые чешуекрылые (Lepidoptera, Diurna)
              полуострова Кони (Магаданская область).

Институт цитологии и генетики Сибирского отделения Российской
академии наук, пр. Академика Лаврентьева 10, 630090 Новосибирск,

   КЛЮЧЕВЫЕ СЛОВА: дневные бабочки, Магаданская обл., п-ов Кони,
биотопическая приуроченность, Parnassius stubbendorffii M2n2tri3s.

   РЕЗЮМЕ. В сообщении перечислены 28 видов дневных бабочек,
отмеченных на полуострове Кони (Магаданская область) в июле 1989
г. Кратко охарактеризованы природные условия и характерные для
полуострова типы ландшафтов и растительности, для которых указаны
характерные виды бабочек. Низкогорные части речных долин носят
лесотудровый характер, они покрыты более или менее разреженными
зарослями ольхового и кедрового стланика, встречаются открытые
участки, покрытые растительностью лугового и тундрового характера.
Здесь обычны Carterocephalus silvicolus, Carterocephalus palaemon,
Pieris bryoniae sheljuzhkoi, Euphydryas intermedia, Clossiana
selene, Clossiana thore, Clossiana oscarus, Brenthis ino,
Coenonympha tullia, Erebia jenisseiensis, Erebia (ligea), реже
встречаются Vacciniina optilete, Euchloe creusa orientalis, Colias
palaeno, Proclossiana eunomia, Clossiana euphrosyne (ранее не
указывалась для Магаданской обл.), Mesoacidalia aglaja, Boloria
aff. aquilonaris, Oeneis magna. На ограниченном участке
разнотравного луга в трех километрах вверх по течению от устья р.
Хинджа обнаружен Parnassius stubbendorffii, который ранее не был
известен для Магаданской области и считался распространенным не
севернее Нижнего Амура. Высокогорья полуострова покрыты в основном
каменными осыпями и кустарничковой тундрой, здесь обитают Synchloe
callidice, Euphydryas iduna, Erebia dabanensis. На приморских
лугах береговой  террасы северного побережья встречаются те же
виды, что и в речных долинах, но к ним добавляется Parnassius
phoebus, отмечена также Aglais urticae. Терраса южного побережья
покрыта тундрой, но на ее обрыве южной экспозиции, где развита
довольно богатая травянистая растительность, обитают Parnassius
phoebus, Plebejus tancrei verchojanicus, Polyommatus kamtschadalis
extremiorientalis и Colias hyperborea.

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