Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Armenia part VI

Day 8: Meghri -> Jermuk
This day was spent mostly on travelling from Meghri to Jermuk with a shared taxi. The main observation were some fresh males of Melitaea caucasogenita on the place where we had a lunch stop. Unfortunately too active to have pictures of.
In Jermuk my plan was to meet up with Peter Adriaens, who is spending some 4 months in Armenia working on Brown Bear monitoring.

Day 9: Vorotan pass
I went with Peter to the high slopes (2300-2700m) above Vorotan pass on this day. Main objective was to look for some Brown Bear traces and to look for Radde's accentor. This last one gave very nice views with several birds around. I spare you from the brown bear dung pics...
Poor day butterfly wise because of hard winds blowing constantly. Also flight season of most butterflies that fly on this height still had to start. Most important sightings were some whites of the napi-complex with very obvious suffused pattern. Dependent on the source this would be Pieris bryoniae or Pieris bowdeni in this region, a Transcaucasian counterpart of Pieris bryoniae. One Pyrgus melotis also showed that on 2500+m we were still early in the season for butterflies.

Day 10: Arpa valley south of Jermuk
A very nice warm day, still lots of wind but because walking in a deep gorge there was always some corner out of the wind where butterflies gathered. I walked the old road from just south of Kechut reservoir to Gndevaz village. The road is still on the road maps as a normal road but lots of rocks are scattered all over the road, even with 4-wheel drive you wouldn't manage to use this road.

Eogens alcides

Pyrgus melotis

Papilio alexanor

Pontia chloridice

Lycaena asabinus

Cupido osiris

Turanana endymion

Euphydryas aurinia

Libythea celtis, green color morph on the foodplant Celtis species

Idem but a younger brown color morph

Habitat in the gorge where P. alexanor and P. chloridice were flying

View on the Gndvanq monastery where I got out of the gorge at the end of the afternoon

Provisional species list
Erynnis tages
Erynnis marloyi
Pyrgus melotis
Pyrgus sidae
Spialia orbifer
Ochlodes sylvanus
Thymelicus lineola
Thymelicus sylvestris
Eogenes alcides
Parnassius mnemosyne
Iphiclides podalirius
Papilio alexanor
Leptidea duponcheli
Anthocharis cardamines
Aporia crataegi
Pieris brassicae
Pieris krueperi
Pieris ergane
Pontia chloridice
Pontia edusa
Colias croceus
Colias alfacariensis
Lycaena phlaeas
Lycaena tityrus
Lycaena alciphron
Lycaena asabinus
Satyrium abdominalis
Cupido osiris
Glaucopsyche alexis
Pseudophilotes vicrama
Aricia agestis
Aricia eumedon
Polyommatus amandus
Polyommatus icarus
Polyommatus bellargus
Polyommatus coelestinus
Plebejus eurypilus
Turanana endymion
Argynnis niobe
Argynnis pandora
Issoria lathonia
Euphydryas aurinia
Melitaea cinxia
Melitaea persea
Melitaea phoebe/pseudosibina
Melitaea telona
Neptis rivularis
Vanessa cardui
Aglais urticae
Polygonia egea
Lasiommata megera
Lasiommata maera
Coenonympha arcania
Maniola jurtina
Melanargia larissa
Melanargia russiae
Chazara persephone
Libythea celtis

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