Boloria napaea (Hoffmannsegg, 1804) - Mountain Fritillary Range: the Alps, Fennoscandia, the mountains of South Siberia, Yakutia, and Mongolia.

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. On this shot Boloria napaea altaica is shown which is probably the most abundant butterfly in the alpine belt of the mountains of South Siberia. In the highlands of Central and SE Altai an another taxon flies together with them. This is Boloria frigidalis, at first described by Warren himself as a form of the former. 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 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. However, any differences in morphology or pattern seem to absent.

ssp. altaica (Grum-Grshimailo, 1893) (= Boloria altaica); range: the Altai and Sayan Mts., the mountains of Tuva.

A male, wings closed; on an Aster alpinum L. flower.

An alpine meadow, 2200 m above sea level, on the eastern spurs of the Katunskiy Mt. Range, the valley of the Argem (Direntai) stream, Central Altai Mts., West Siberia, Russia. 17th July, 1988. Oleg Kosterin.

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