Butterflies (Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera) in the Arctic fauna

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Abstract

The Arctic fauna includes 106 species of diurnal butterflies: Papilionidae (6 species), Pieridae (20), Lycaenidae (18), Nymphalidae (30), Satyridae (27), and Hesperiidae (5). Among them, representatives of the family Nymphalidae predominate as to the features characterizing the biological progress in the Arctic, as well as to the number of the most strongly pronounced arctic forms. The family Satyridae shares the first place with Nymphalidae by the number of species, but differs from the latter in the uneven or local distribution. The family Pieridae demonstrates a wide distribution of polyzonal and boreal species in the tundra zone. The distribution patterns of Lycaenidae are different in the Eurasian and Beringian-American sectors. Species of Papilionidae and Hesperiidae occur only in the southern part of the tundra zone. Each family is characterized by specific distribution in the Arctic subzones and landscapes and by latitudinal trends in its specific ratio in the faunas. There are 30 to 40 arctic species, including arctic proper (euarctic and hemiarctic) and hypoarctic, arctoalpine, arctomontane, and arctoboreal species. The species developing successfully under high-latitude conditions are Boloria chariclea, B. polaris, B. improba, Colias nastes, C. hecla, and Erebia fasciata; the first two species can be considered true euarctic forms. Specific features of the latitudinal and longitudinal distribution of the butterfly species in different parts of the Arctic are discussed.

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