Boloria frigidalis Warren, 1944.
The genus Boloria Moore, 1900 s. str. is a very difficult one for systematics as being represented with a great number of quite similar forms which, moreover, show a substantial individual variation. Besides, these forms as a rule occupy areas (mostly mountains) far isolated from each other. In his classical work B.C.S. Warren (1944. Review of the classification of the Argynnidi with a systematic revision of the genus Boloria (LEPIDOPTERA; NYMPHALIDAE)//Trans. Roy. Entomol. Soc. London. Vol.94. Part 1. P.1-101.) attributed all them to three species only, basing on a very delicate differences in the male genitalia. However, cases are known when two forms of the same Warren's species, i.e. with indistinguishable genitalia, fly together without intergradation. It is such a case I illustrate here. On this shot Boloria frigidalis is shown, at first described by Warren himself as a form of Boloria napaea altaica, which is probably the most abundant butterfly in the alpine belt of the mountains of South Siberia. However, it behaves as a bona species, that was first expressed in a combination Boloria frigidalis by W. Forster (1968. Ergebnisse der zoologischen Forschungen von Dr. Z. Kaszab in der Mongolei. 147. Rhopalocera et Hesperiidae. II. // Reichenbachia. B.11. Nr.18. P. 189-205.) and is discussed in my paper (Kosterin O.E. Butterflies (Lepidoptera, Diurna) of the Katunskii mountain ridge (Central Altai). // Actias. Russian Jo- urnal of Scientific Lepidopterology - 1994 - Vol. 1 - Iss. 1-2 - P. 45-76.). It is less numerous than B. napaea altaica and never met with below 2500 m altitude (B. napaea altaica may descend to 1500 m), to fly in highest cirques with alpine meadow vegetation only. B. frigidalis is easily distinguished from B. altaica even when flying as being somewhat smaller and having a much darker, brown with a violet tint, hind wing ground colour.
RANGE: West, Central and South-East Altai, the Sayans, the mountains of Tuva and the western half of Mongolia. A local species.
A male, wings closed; on Geranium albiflorum
A chionophylic alpine meadow in a cirque of one of the Chikty Rivulet sources, 2700 m above sea level, the southern principle slope of the Yuzhno-Chuiskii mountain range, the upper Dzhazator River basin, Kosh-Agach District, Altai Republic, West SIberia, Russia. 13th July 1998. O. Kosterin.