LEPIDOPTERA

Pyrgus melotis ponticus Reverdin, 1914
 Pyrgus melotis (Duponchel, [1834])

TYPE LOCALITY. Milos Island, Greece. Probably a wrong indication (de Jong, 1987).

RANGE. Asia Minor to the Caucasus; the Middle East.

DISTRIBUTION AND VARIATION. The Caucasus, including the Caucasus Minor and Transcaucasia, is populated by the ssp. ponticus Reverdin, 1914; the nominate subspecies flies in the south of Asia Minor and in the Middle East.

TAXONOMIC NOTES. According to recent studies (de Jong, 1987), P. melotis is a semispecies of the superspecies P. malvae, because intermediate populations exist in Greece and Turkey.

HABITATS AND BIOLOGY. Grasslands and slopes from sea-level to 2,600 m a.s.l. Flight periods: April-June and July-September in two, sometimes three, generations. The only known host plant is Rubus (in Turkey).

SIMILAR SPECIES. P. malvae: the genitalia are different (Fig.).

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

fig 4

Fig. Male genitalia of the Pyrgus malvae- (right clasp, uncus and gnatos), centaureae- and alpinus-groups (right clasp):
1 - P. malvae malvae (Sumy Reg., Ukraine);
2 - P. melotis ponticus (Armenia);
3 - P. centaureae (Aktash, S. Altai);
4 - P. sibirica (Aktash, S. Altai);
5 - P. alpinus alichurensis (SE. Pamirs);
6 - P. darwazicus celsimontius (E. Pamirs);
7 - P. cashmirensis pumilus (Shugnansky Mts., W. Pamirs)