Friday, 26 June 2015

Armenia preface

From june 5th until june 18th I traveled through central and south Armenia to see some butterflies. I traveled alone mostly and with public transport (including some hiking). So taking into account this was my first visit to Transcaucasia for butterfly watching and taking into account that the way of travelling included some limitations I didn't have a real wishlist of species I really wanted to see.
Of course this didn't mean that I didn't do some preparation. For a start i bought this book of the Thsikolovets series:
Some websites I used for preparation also gave valuable information, especially following 3 websites.
This first one is a Russian website on the Butterflies of Caucasus and Transcaucasia. With google translate easy to follow and giving valuable distribution maps of the region.
A second one is the website of Heiner Ziegler, a Swiss Pierid specialist, who has been in Armenia and has a trip report of his journey on his website.
Another website i used is the website of Butterfly conservation Armenia. The website is still under construction but gives some valuable information on some prime butterfly areas in Armenia.
All these sources gave very valuable information but also revealed that butterfly taxonomy in this region still holds some problematic issues, more than we are used to in Europe, with different opinions in each of these sources on difficult to determine groups such as Pieris napi-group, Melitaea phoebe-group, the genus Callophrys, the Agrodiaetus-complex, Pseudochazara mamurra-group,... So in the following pages I will sometimes refer to some of these species with giving names where you will probably have to read these names with a 'sensu lato"-state of mind. I don't feel like I am in any position to take a stand in some of these taxonomic issues.

An overview of the region i visited is given in following 2 maps:

Enough talking now, let's get to Armenia part I!!


  1. Hi Pieter, thank you for using our site:
    If you are in Facebook, please feel free to post your observations in the group: Butterfly Conservation Armenia:
    Also we would like to have your records to incorporate those for the atlas book. Is it possible?

  2. Hi Karen, I was planning to send you my observations but in a few cases I'm still struggling a bit with taxonomy so I need to go through my observations list again to get everything straight. Also I need to go through my pictures again. As you will probably know at drinking spots where there are 100's of blues it is not always possible to put a name on everything in the field. This week for example I discovered I have Aricia (Eumedia) eumedon on picture from the Selim pass, something I didn't notice in the field... So sometime this winter you can expect an export of my sightings... cheers

  3. Excellent, thank you very much! Please let me know if I can be helpful in identification. In the same time, I would like to ask: may we use some of your pictures for our atlas book and for the website? Of course with proper acknowledgement.

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