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LEPIDOPTERA

Carcharodus alceae (Esper, [1780])
 Carcharodus alceae (Esper, [1780])

• TYPE LOCALITY. "Eriangen, Suddeutschland" [S. Germany].

• SYNONYMS: malvarum Hoffmannsegg, 1804.

• RANGE. The S. parts of Europe and temperate Asia (up to Arabia in the south) to S. Siberia and N. India.

• DISTRIBUTION AND VARIATION. The central and S. European parts, the whole Caucasus, lowlands and mountains of Middle Asia from the Kopet-Dagh to Saur Mts., N. Kazakhstan, the Altai. Individual, ecological and seasonal variations in size and colour are great, but geographical variation can hardly be traced. Several subspecies have been described from the adjacent territories of Asia, but they are likely to reflect climatic rather than geographical differences.

• HABITATS AND BIOLOGY. Open habitats from the south of the forest zone to deserts; in the mountains at least up to 2,500 m a.s.l. Flight period: March-November in a succession of generations depending on climatic conditions. Host plants in Europe (Eckstein, 1913): Malvaceae [Malva, Althea, Lavatera, Hibiscus, etc.). Hibernation larval.

• SIMILAR SPECIES. C. lavatherae: lighter in colour, FW hyaline spots broad, UNH almost uniform yellowish-white; in all other congeners, male with a hair tuft at base of UNF.

Photo and text: Guide to the BUTTERFLIES OF RUSSIA and adjacent territories Volume 1. PENSOFT, Sofia - Moscow. 1997