Argynnis aglaja (Linnaeus, 1758)
• TYPE LOCALITY. Sweden.
• SYNONYM. charlotta [Haworth], 1802.
• RANGE. The entire Palaearctic Region exclusive of the tundra and desert.
• DISTRIBUTION AND VARIATION. This species shows little geographical variation. The ssp. borealis Strand, 1901 occupies the northern part of the range (N. European part, Siberia, Far East, Kamchatka). The nominotypical subspecies (= cluxoJachontov, 1908) inhabits the central and S. European parts, the Caucasus Major and Minor, the Altais, the Sayan, and W. and S. Siberia. The Armenian Highland, the Talysh and the Kopet-Dagh are populated by the ssp. ottomana Rober, 1896. Specimens from the Tian-Shan, the Ghissar, the Darvaz, the Alai, and the S. Altais are larger and these are referred to as gigasvitatha Verity, 1935 (= alaicola Verity, 1935). Individuals belonging to the ssp. vitatha Moore, 1875 (? = cannelata Peschke, 1934), which occurs in the Pamirs, are smaller. The ssp. kenteana Stichel, 1901 (= graeseri Kardakov, 1928) is known to occur in Transbaikalia, the Amur and N. Ussuri regions, yet the ssp. clauimacula Matsumura, 1929 in the S. Ussuri region. Sakhalin supports the ssp. tonnai Matsumura. 1928 (= sachalinensis Matsumura, 1911, nom. praeoccup.), while the Kuriles the ssp. matsumurai Nakahara, 1926 (= chish-imensis Matsumura, 1928). In addition, many other species-group taxa have been described from Japan, China and NW. India.
• HABITATS AND BIOLOGY. Open landscapes such as glades, roadsides, different kinds of meadow and other open places up to 3,000 m a.s.l. Flight period: June to August. Eggs laid on leaves and stalks of Viola. Host plant (Eckstein, 1913): Viola tricolor, Bistorta major. Larvae ofinstars 2 and 3, sometimes even eggs, hibernating.
• SIMILAR SPECIES. Argynnis alexandra: silvery spots on UNH irregularly angular in shape; row of silvery lunules along outer margin absent.
Photo and text: Guide to the BUTTERFLIES OF RUSSIA and adjacent territories Volume 2. PENSOFT, Sofia - Moscow. 2000