Yu. P. Korshunov


B U T T E R F L I E S  of  N O R T H  A S I A

New taxa and synonyms


The present book contains the main information from our publications, including the first descriptions of the taxa, as well as the descriptions related to the North Asia made by my colleagues.

I tried to exclude all the «innovations» of my co-author of the book [Korshunov, Gorbunov, 1965] introduced by him into my descriptions of the taxa and the rest of the text.

The given publication takes into account the very recent nomenclature information. Thus, it is necessary to make alterations in the order of genera in connection with the biochemical researches in the taxa of Argynninae [Aubert et al., 1996] and to concern Argynnis only for paphia and to order all other larger Argynninae according to the system assumed in [Warren 1944, 1955] and successfully utilized in [Higgins, 1975]. Some changes were made among the other groups ― for the sp. of the genera Ahlbergia, Neolycaena, etc. Like before, I tried to follow the official Nomenclature Codex and the common sense, as a whole. The introduction of new taxa comes true in case of presence of a complex of distinctive features and peculiarities of the life of populations. It is well-known that the news become generally accepted not straight away, they are firstly called in question, that is useful as a whole. To our regret, such doubts are frequently rather speculative and have no ground but a naked denial. There is seen a sole exit ― to utilize the noted above biochemical methods along with cytological ones for the specification of the status of sp. and ssp. Many descriptions appear sometimes unsuccessfully titled in honor of collectors; that is exused in exceptional cases only, as a whole only litter the nomenclature and synonymy.

In the last time the “Red books” appear where in general the rare and «showy»species are included. The quality of information in such books depends on their authors. Unsuccessfully sometimes they give a wrong information. The Altai region suffers especially. A «Red book of Rebrikhinsk region» appeared, where almost all the indicated sp. of butterflies are only “possible”. The absurd facts are also given in the other publications. Thus, there is a number of inaccuracies in the book «Rare animals of the Altai» by A. P. Kuchin [Kuchin, 1991], where the texts about Rhopalocera are written by Yu. P. Malkov. Citing the A. E. Standel’s work [Standel, 1957], based on A. Suvortsev’s collection from the environs of v. Kolyvan, he notes Papilio machaon, Iphiclides podalirius, Parnassius mnemosyne, P. apollo, P. phoebus, Colias thisoa; Parnassius tenedius is indicated not only for Kolyvan’, but also for the «environs of Ust’-Kamenogorsk». A. Suvortsev wasn’t showing these points for the noted sp. Yu. P. Malkov received his information not from the original A. Suvortsev’s text, but from the common list in A. E. Standel’s work wherefrom Yu. P. Malkov extracted the «suitable» points. In A. Suvortsev’s work [Suvortzev, 1894] all these Papilionidae are shown for the places to the west of the former Altai Territory and the Altai Republic.

The permanent collectors and my opponents in many different problems were V. V. Dubatolov, O. E. Kosterin. It is necessary to express my thyanks to my old companion-in-arms and pupil S. L. Nikolaev, whose finds in the Upper Priobye, Khakassia, Tuva and Altai contained several new taxa. The contacts with the respected Yu. P. Nekrutenko brought a great use. I express my true gratitude to my colleagues V. V. Batlikov and V. B. Palekha in Magadan distr., K. Yu. Vodyanov in Voronezh, I. S. Zakharzhevski in Krasnoyarsk, V. A. Lukhtanov and A. L. L’vovski in St. Petersbourgh, V. G. Makhat in Moscow, A. G. Mikhailov in Orel, E. V. Novomodny in Khabarovsk, G. D. Samodurov in Korolev, Moscow distr., I. V. Sil’chenko in Bryansk, P. S. Sitnikov in Tyumen’, A. N. Strel’tsov in Blagoveshchensk, V. I. Shuvalov in Chelyabinsk, A. G. Tatarinov in Syktyvkar, P. Ya. Ustyuzhanin in Novosibirsk, N. A. Utkin in Kurgan and all the others whose collections and observations helped me to supplement various facts concerning the life of butterflies and their mode of life. It is impossible not to mention the foreign specialists. The contacts and consultations with O. Kudrna (Germany), E. Niculescu (Romania), M. Kogure and M. Takahashi (Japan), K. Philip (Alaska, USA), D. Troubridge (Canada) were very useful. Their works as well as such publications as «The life histores of butterflies in Japon» [Fukuda et al., 1982-1984], «The butterflies of Scandinavia in Nature» [Henriksen, Kreutzer, 1982], such books as [Lang, 1884], [Buckler, 1886], [Eckstein, 1913], [Lampert, 1913], [Schwarz, 1948, 1949], [Forster, 1954], [Forster, Wohlfahrt, 1955], [Düring, 1955], [Scott, 1986] and many other ones permitted me to specify the details of the distribution, morphology, way of life of butterflies. I thank very much Dr Ulf Eitschberger who during many years helps us in all my afairs providing us useful ideas and valuable sources.

The original drawings in this book were made by V. V. Ivonin. He realized many successful excursions an gathered perfect materials in various regions of Siberia and Far East, therefore his contribution in the common work is evident and merits the highest appreciation.

The translations of the original descriptions of the taxa of different ranks described by me and my colleagues, proposed synonymy and some taxonomical comments are given below.




FWl. —-length of forewing measured from apex to point of attachment to the thorax

FW — fore wing(s)

HW — hind wing(s)

UPS — upper side of wing(s)

UNS — under side of wing(s)

UPF — upper side of forewing(s)

UNF — under side of forewing(s)

UPH ― upper side of hind wing(s)

UPH ― underside of hind wing(s)

TL (= TS)― type locality (type site)



Nasekomye MongoliiНасекомые Монголии [Insects of Mongolia], iss. 5. Leningrad, 1977.

Entomol. obozr. – [ Revue d’ Entomologie] – Энтомологическое обозрение, издание ЗИНа РАН

Pauki i nasekomye Sibiri – [ Spiders and insects of Siberia. Novosibirsk, 1984. Collected papers.] Пауки и насекомые Сибири, Новосибирск, изд-во «Наука»1984

New sp., Novosibirsk – [ Series New and little known sp. of the fauna of Siberia. Nauka, the Siberian Division] ─ серия Новые и малоизвестные виды фауны Сибири, Новосибирск, изд-во «Наука»

Dnevnye babochki, Ekaterinburg, 1995 – Ю. П.Коршунов, П. Горбунов. Дневные бабочки Азиатской части России. Изд-во Екаринбургского гос. университета, Екатеринбург, 1995. 202 с. ─ Yu. Korshunov, P. Gorbunov. Dnevnye babochki Aziatskoi chasti Rossii. Spravochnik. [Butterflies of the Asian Part of Russia. A handbook]. Ekaterinburg State University Press, Ekaterinburg, 1995. 202 p.

Dopolnenie 1, Novosibirsk, 1996Ю. П. Коршунов. Дополнения и исправления к книге «Дневные бабочки Азиатской части России». Новосибирск, 1996 – Yu. Korshunov 1996. Dopolneniya i ispravleniya k knige “Dnevnye babochki Aziatskio chasti Rossii” ─ [Additions and corrections to the book «Butterflies of the Asian Part of Russia». Publishing group «ETa Grp», Novosibirsk, 1996. 66 p.

Dopolnenie 2, Novosibirsk, 1998Ю. П. Коршунов. Новые описания и уточнения для книги «Дневные бабочки Азиатской части России». Новосибирск, 1998 ─ Yu. Korshunov 1998. Novye opisanija i utochnenija dlya knigi “Dnevnye babochki Aziatskoi chasti Rossii” ─ [New descriptions and corrections for the book «Butterflies of the Asian Part of Russia.»]. Publishing house Centre NICH NGAU, Novosibirsk, 1998. 70 p.

Vestnik zoologii, KievВестник зоологии. Киев, Украина.

Far East. Entomol. – [Far Eastern Entomologist] ― Дальневосточный энтомолог, Владивосток

Atalanta – [Atalanta, journal of Ulf Eitschberger, Germany] – Аталанта, журнал У. Эйчбергера, Германия.




Syrichtus cribrellum (Eversmann, 1841)


The S. Urals is inhabited by the nominotypical ssp. Further eastwards butterflies are darker and smaller, with smaller white spots and marginal dots. Such characters are expressed in the ssp. obscurior Staudinger, 1892 (described from Zabaikalye).

Later a form hybrida Mabille, 1909 was described from «Kentei» with «mate-black UNH, small ash-gray arches at vein ends, without a white stripe at the end of the central band». As the exact locality was not indicated, while the name suggests a hybrid, it is hard to judge on relation of this traxon with obscurior unless the old type materials (if preserved) were studied.

The taxon incompleta Warren, 1926 has been reported for Altai. In these butterflies veins on the UNH are very narrowly, while on the UPF the central row of spots has a fracture as in tessellum, the spots 5 and 6 are usually absent. A description of ssp. heilong from the southern Amur Distr. was quite unexpected. The colleagues seem to have described obscurior next time (the description and pictures in Atalanta,1997, 28 [1/2]: 125-128 do not extend beyond the characters of obscurior), thus, S.c.obscurior Staudinger, 1892 = S.c.hellong Streltzov et Dubatolov, 1997, syn. n.

Note that it was O. Staudinger himself [Rom. Mem.6, 1892] who wrote that the Amurican and other eastern specimens of cribrellum differ scarcely from the western ones, only dark and light spots being smaller. The Altai incompleta remains the most deviating form.


Syrichtus tessellum (Hübner, 1803)


A ssp. tessellum is known from the S. Ural and the W. Siberia. Beside the typical form there occur a small form cribrelloides Warren, 1926. In the mountains of the S. and E. Siberia there occurs ssp. hibisci Böber, 1812 (TL ─ the Baikal region) (= dilutior Rühl, 1895). They are somewhat larger than typical ones, differ in muddy-green ground color of the UNH and a dark ground color of the UPF. The white spots on wings are sometimes reduced ,so that only the largest ones remain.


Syrichtus orbifer (Hübner, 1823) (= sertorius auct., nec Hoffmansegg, 1804)


The butterflies from the S. Ural and S. Siberia are nearest to the nominotypical ssp. [Lukhtanov&Lukhtanov, 1994]. For Priamurye and Primorye lugens Staudinger, 1886 [De Jong, 1978] was indicated This Asiatic ssp., however, probably bears no relations to our fauna. The butterflies from the southern Far East must be rather designated as murasaki Sugitani,1936. As to the taxon pseudolugens P.Gorbunov, 1995, in principle it doesn’t differ from orbifer; its distinctive features do not exceed the limits of variability of the nominotypical one.


Pyrgus malvae (Linnaeus, 1758)


In the main аrea, including The Urals, Siberia, North Priamurye and Far East, the ssp. malvae (= ochotica Kurentzov, 1970, kusnetzovi Kurentzov, 1970) occurs. In the southern locations of Priamurye and in Primorye the butterflies of the ssp. kauffmanni Alberti, 1955 fly; they have small white spots on the UNH.


Pyrgus centaureae (Rambur, 1839)


The ssp. centaureae is known from the forest-tundra and forest zone of the W. Siberia. The inhabitants of the S. Siberian mountains are closely related to it. Eastwards the ssp. kurenzovi Korshunov, 1995 occurs.

The name kurenzovi Korshunov, 1995 has been suggested for the ssp. Pyrgus centaureae sibirica Kurentzov, 1970 (ranging in the Magadan distr. and the Koryak Upland and is characterized by a darker ground color of the UPS and reduced white spots on the UPH), since sibirica Kurentzov is a secondary homonym of Pyrgus sibirica (Reverdin, 1911).


Pyrgus serratulae (Rambur, 1839)


The butterflies from the Urals and southern W. Siberia have small dots on the FW, usually not found on the HW and greenish UNH, with noticeable and compact white spots. In view of these indications they are closer to the nominotypical ssp. than to small butterflies with large white spots on the UPS, described from Uralsk in Kazakhstan as uralensis Warren, 1926.

In S. Siberian mountains the butterflies have a white oval spot and a clearly visible paired rectangular spot near the central cel on dark-yellowish UNS background at the front edge near the root The nominotypical ssp. has spots of an irregular shape. We call these specimens P. s. shushkini. The butterflies from Tuva are similar to shushkini by all the features but are smaller, FWl = 11-13 mm long.


Pyrgus serratulae shukshini Korshunov et Ivonin, 1996 (fig. 1, 2)

Translation of the original description:

«For the mountains of the S.Siberia a new ssp. is being described:

Pyrgus serratulae shukshini Korshunov et Ivonin, ssp. n. (fig. 1, 2)

HOLOTYPE: a male. FWl. 14 mm. On the UPF the white spots are distinct and on the UPH they are diffuse, gray-whitish on the brownish-black background. The UNH are ground-green with white spots with distinct margins; there is a large white oval spot at the wing base and the fore margin, and a double rectangular spot at the cell is well expressed. In the nominotypical ssp. the spot at the ventral angle of the HW is not roundish and the spot at the cell is of an irregular shape. In [P. s.] uralensis these spots are present in some specimens, but the butterflies are smaller, with larger white spots on the UPS.The UNH have whiter scales on the ground color.

ALLOTYPE: a female. FWl. 14 mm. The UPS are as in the male, the HW are darker, almost without spots. In other females the grayish-white spots are more noticeable on the HW. The pattern of the underside is as in males. The fringe in both sexes is chequered. The butterflies from Tuva resemble shukshini in all the features, but they are smaller, FWl. being 11-13 mm.

MATERIALS: The holotype: ♂ — 12.06.1995, Altai, the Chibit village surroundings, the Chuya River valley, a forb meadow (V.Ivonin).The allotype: ♀, the same locality and date. Paratypes: 4 ♂♂ 3 ♀♀― 12.06.1995, the same locality; ♂ – 10.06. 1902, the Katun’ River, Ustyuba (G. Orlov); ♂ ―- 14.08.1959, Altai, the village Kurai (L. Zheltikova), ♂ – 17.08.1960, the same locality; ♂ ―- 9.06.1974, Altai, the village Berkh-Kukuya, the Cherginskii Mt.Range ( V. Dubatolov); ♂ – 13.06.1989, the Novosibirsk Region, the upland Sokur, the village Acha (Yu. Korshunov), ♀ – 17.06.1982, the same locality; ♀ – Tuva, Lake Azas (V. Zinchenko); ♂ – 23.07.1988, Kyzyl (V. Zinchenko); ♂and ♀- 16.06 and 3.07.1988, Tuva, 35 km west of the village Samagaltai, the Shivilig-Khem River left bank (M.Sergeev); ♂ ― 17.07.1990, the same locality (O. Kosterin).

ETYMOLOGY. The new ssp. is named by the surname of Shukshin,Vasilij Makarovich (1929-1974), a well known Siberian writer born in Altai.»

Origin: Dopolnenie 1, Novosibirsk, 1996, p. 11

NOTE. In view of the publication in Zoosyst. Rossica, vol.5, p.313, 1997, P.serratulae shukshini Korshunov et Ivonin, 1996 = P. serratulae albertianus Korb, 1997, syn. n., taking into account the identitical Altai evidence.


Ochlodes venata (Bremer et Gray, 1853).


The ssp. amurensis Mabille, 1909 (= selas Kurentzov, 1970) inhabits Primorye. The butterflies similar to the Japanese ssp. herculea Butler, 1881 occur in Sakhalin and Kuril Islands.


Ochlodes similis (Leech, 1894) (= venata auct.)


The ssp. faunus Turati, 1905 (TL – Pyrenees) (= sylvanus Esper, 1778, homonym) is widespread in Europe. The ssp. esperi Verity, 1934 (TL – «Rossia borealis») inhabits the Urals and Siberia; it has a well developed dark pattern on the UPS and yellowish-green backround on the UNS. The ssp. parvus Kurentzov, 1970 was described for Zabaikalye; it is smaller and paler, and inhabits the steppes. The ssp. similis (= amurensis Kurentzov, 1970) occurs in the southern Far East.

NOTE. The relation of venata and similis in the Far East is far from being clear. Above all, there is no evidence about their mode of life. This prevents precise conclusions concerning the status of individual specimens as well.


Hesperia comma (Linnaeus, 1758)


The butterflies from the Polar and Subpolar Ural regions approximate the ssp. catena Staudinger, 1861 with dark coloring of the UNS, described from Lapland. The ssp. repugnans Staudinger, 1892 ( TL – Khabarovsk) occurs in E. Zabaikalye, Priamurye and Primorye; the light spots on the UNH are very small, their white part almost desappeared, beeing replaced by yellow-green background scales.The UPS are rather dark, on the black outer border the light spots are displaced toward the apex. The butterflies from Sakhalin are known as sachalinensis Matsumura, 1933.

Three new ssp. of Hesperia comma (Linnaeus, 1758) have been described from Siberia [Korshunov, Gorbunov, 1995]. It was stated that «a variation exists in females within these ssp., and they have certain differences in configuration of the teeth on the valva and other details of male genitalia.» [Korshunov, 1996]. In fact, they differ from the nominotypical ssp. by the ground color, the spots, the presence of their dark rims; in the male genitalia there are differences in the shape of teeth on the valva. In the lateral view the apical processus of the valva bears small teeth in ssp. sushkini and is lower than the basal spine, in ssp. planula the processus lacks teeth and is on the same level as the basal spine, in ssp. lena the processus is lower than the spine and is covered with uneven knobs.


Hesperia comma lena Korshunov et P.Gorbunov, 1995 (fig. 1, 2, 3, 4; tabl. 1)

Translation of the original description:

«Hesperia comma lena Korshunov et P. Gorbunov, ssp. n. HOLOTYPE: a female. FWl.: 16 mm. The UPS is relatively dark, brown with fulvous spots; the UNS and the UNF apex have a muddy-green ground color, the inner margin of the UNH is yellowish; the white spots are contrasted but their dark rims are not distinct being hidden by muddy-green scales.

ALLOTYPE: a male. FWl.: 15 mm. On the UPS the dark-fulvous color is to a great extent displaced by dark-brown scales. The androconial streak contains a light stria inside. The UNH is muddy-green, with a fulvous suffusion at the ventral angle and with roundish and angular white spots, their dark rims being masked by the scales of the ground color.

MATERIALS: Te holotype: ♀, the Suntar-Khayata mountain range, 356th km of the road Khandyga―Magadan, a damp meadow on the Suntar R. bank, 19th July 1985 (V. V. Dubatolov leg.); the allotype: ♂, the Suntar-Khayata mountain range, 232-nd km of road Khandyga-Magadan, the mountain Baranya, 1600 m altitude, 7th July 1985 (V. V. Dubatolov leg.); paratypes: ♂and ♀ — C. Yakutia, settlement Khaptagay, the Tamma river valley, 20th July 1973 (Yu. N. Ammosov leg.); 10 ♂♂, 8 ♀♀ — Suntar-Khayata mountain range, 232-nd km of road Khandyga–Magadan, 16th-27nd June and 1si-22th July 1985 (V. V. Dubatolov leg.); 2 ♀♀, Yakutsk, Botanical Garden, (V. V. Dubatolov leg. ), a male — NW. Chukotka, 100 km south of settlement Pevek, Ust’-Chaun, 24th July 1986 (V. K. Zinchenko leg.).»


Hesperia comma planula Korshunov, 1995 (fig. 1, 2, 3, 4, table 1).

Translation of the original description:

«Hesperia comma planula Korshunor, ssp.

HOLOTYPE: a male. FWl.: 15 mm. The FW apex is more pointed than in the nominotypical ssp.; the UPF is light-fulvous with a smoller amount of dark scales; the androconial streak contains a conspicuous light streak; the UNH is yellowish-green ( while in Swedish specimens it is olive-green) with angular white spots.

ALLOTYPE: a female. FWl.: 16 mm. On the UPF the yellow scales cover not all the white spots, this especially concerns the spots at the outer margin. The UNH is yellowish-green with large white spots within the dark rims.

MATERIALS: the holotype: ♂, Novosibirsk region, settlement Karasuk, Lake Krotovaya Lyaga, a birch grove border, 29th July 1981 (V.V.Dubatolov leg.); the allotype: ♀, Novosibirsk region, 10 km NNW of town Zdvinsk, a steppefied meadow at a road, 14th August1990 (V.V.Dubatolov leg.); paratypes: ♀, environs of Barnaul, 29th July 1902 (E.G.Rodd, leg.);1 ♂ 2 ♀♀ – Novosibirsk region, village Novyy Sharap, birch groves, 8th, 19th, and 28th August 1957; ♀ – the same locality, 2nd August 1959; Novosibirsk region, railway station Izdrevaya, 1st July 1959; ♂ – Tyumen’ region, village Oktyabrskoe, the Ob bank, 9th July 1969 (Yu.P.Korshunov leg.); ♂ – surroundings of Chelyabinsk, 30th July 1979 (A.E.Kulyginskiy leg.); ♀ – Chelyabinsk region: town Troitsk surroundings, 14th August 1982 (M.F.Manapov leg.);1 ♂ 5 ♀♀ – Novosibirsk region, settlement Karasuk, Lake Krotovaya Lyaga, 23th July 1981; ♂ – the same locality, 10th August 1990; ♀ – the same locality, 11th August 1990 (V.V.Dubatolov leg.); ♂ – Novosibirsk region, 10 km NNW of town Zdvinsk, 19th August 1990 (V.V.Dubatolov leg.).»


Hesperia comma sushkini Korshunov, 1995 (fig. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; table 1)

Translation of the original description:

«Hesperia comma shushkini Korshunov, ssp. n.

HOLOTYPE: a female. FWl.: 18 mm. All the light-yellow spots are distinct on a dark ground color of the UPS; the UPH is grayish-green with a light-gray inner border; the scales at the ventral angle are lighter than the rest and thus form a conspicuous spot; the white spots are distinct, of intermediate size.

ALLOTYPE: a male. FWl.: 16 mm. The UPS is fulvous, the outer area of the FW and the margins of the HW are dark; the androconial streak contains a light stria; the white spots of the UNH are large, distinct, within dark rims.

MATERIALS. Hhe holotype: ♀, Altai, the Chulyshman river valley, 19th August 1980 (V. Ivonina leg.); the allotype: ♂, Altai, Katunskiy mountain range,the Nizhniy Kuragan river bank terrace at the mouth, a steppefied meadow, 24th July 1986 (O.E.Kosterin leg.); paratypes: ♀ ─ Nizhnyaya Ustyuba, 25th July 1902 (G.Orlov leg.); 3 ♂♂ ─ N. Pribaikalye, the Malaya Kosa river, a larch wood border (Velizhanin leg.); 1 ♂ 1 ♀ – Novosibirsk region, Bugotakskie Sopki [Bugotak Hills] at settlement Semenovskiy, 5th August 1982 (V. V. Ivonin leg.);♂ ─ Krasnoyarskiy Kray, the Sayano-Shushenskiy reserve, the Uzun-Suk river, 11-16th August 1988 (V.A. Vagin leg.); ♂ ─ West Altai, Glubokaya, 2nd September 1990 (V.K.Zinchenko leg.).

The ssp. is named in honor of Petr Petrovich Sushkin (1868―1928), a known ornitologist and lepidopterist, who collected Lepidoptera in the mountains of South Siberia togerther together with S. S. Chetverikov.»

NOTE. The spelling «shukshini» is obviously an error, since it was clearly stated that the taxon is named after the surname Sushkin.

Origin: Dnevnye babochki, Ekaterinburg, 1995, pp. 39-40.

NOTE. In a Japanese publication [Fujioka et а1., 1997] the butterflies from Каrаsuk (No. 128-131 on the table 11) and Bugotak (No 124-127 on the table 11) in Novosibirsk Distr. are incorrectly grouped within the ssp. repugnans, but their features coincide with those of panula.


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