Hypermnestra helios (Nickerl, 1846)
· TYPE LOCALITY. "...westliche Kirgisensteppe" [SW. Kazakhstan].
Hypermnestra helios helios (Nickerl, 1846)
· RANGE. Confined to arid regions of Middle Asia, Iran and Afghanistan.
· DISTRIBUTION AND VARIATION. The nominate subspecies occurs over most of the range. Populations from Kopet-Dagh are sometimes referred to as the ssp. persica Nellburger, 1900 (= hyrcana Sheljuzhko, 1956), those from Ghissar and Alai as the ssp. maxima Grum-Grshimailo, 1890. Subspecific variation relatively little.
· HABITATS AND BIOLOGY. Usually observed in river valleys, on banks, in valley shrub forests in semi-deserts, and over arid foothills. In S. Ghissar (Babatag and Aktau Mts.), it reaches about 1,500 m a.s.l. Flight period: end of March to early June. Host plants: Zygophyllaceae (Zygoptlyllum., Halimiphyllum).
Photo and text: Guide to the BUTTERFLIES OF RUSSIA and adjacent territories Volume 1. PENSOFT, Sofia - Moscow. 1997