What such the butterfly? Fragile and gentle creation, flying on wings of a wind. Soul of any landscape. Center of generosity of a nature on bright paints and unusual forms, on air ease. And still butterfly are numerous riddles: where live and that eat her larves, when and where there is it, as it finds the partner for copulation and much, much another.
The butterflies great variety - after Hymenoptera and Coleoptera this group is richest by species. Without them it is impossible to imagine a summer meadow or wood, a mountain slope or shady garden … Not all butterflies are described by a science - even in excellently investigated Western Europe them describe in tens per one year what to speak about the tropical countries, where them describe in thousand …
Butterflies of the former USSR - theme separate, large and difficult. Why former USSR ? It seems, that this territory, so long time trying to be by the uniform country, can be considered all wholly - and by virtue of the reasons historical, and by virtue of the reasons zoogeographical. In this territory major are made formgenetic centres of Palaearctic area. And many from natural regions practically are wholly made in territory of former USSR. How, for example, it is possible to examine the Russian Caucasus and Caucasus Georgian separately? They can be considered only together, and in any way differently.
For last 10 years the science about the butterflies in former USSR has tested prompt rise. Certainly, it is the very inexact formulation - actually as a result of democratic transformations in the country at the majority of the people opportunity simply has appeared to visit other countries, to communicate with the people from other countries - and, as a consequence, scientific from territory former USSR of steel actively be published abroad.
My work - this catalogue. Probably, many will see in it parallels with the book of TUZOV et al. A guide to the butterflies of Russia and adjacent territories, but these parallels - only illusion. The book of TUZOV et al. is published with the purpose to facilitate definition of the butterflies former USSR, with the purpose to give full information on each species. My work is written with other purpose: with the purpose to capture all fauna as a whole to give a complete and maximum detailed picture of the specific variety. As any catalogue, my work is constructed by a principle of the barn-book - to copy everything, that is stored in a barn, and to give its quantitative characteristic. In case of the catalogue of the butterflies it - to copy species and subspecies and to specify their distribution. Certainly, I could not pass by the basic problems of the systematics of the butterflies former USSR, and has given them in this catalogue the estimation. It is possible, that this estimation is subjective and is wrong - but for this purpose and there is a Science, that discussing a problem to find the correct answers to all problems, included in a circle of qustions.
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The butterfly fauna of the ex-USSR is very rich in species and comprises between 700
and 800 of it. This region is very interest in his geographic position – here are many
landscape zones (from tundra to subtropics) and the interminable number of biotopes
(photos 1 – 16). The lepidopterological investigations in this area activized in the
last 20 years by Dr. Y.P.KORSHUNOV, Dr. Y.P.NEKRUTENKO, Dr. V.A.LUKHTANOV,
Dr. V.V.DUBATOLOV, Dr. V.A.DEVYATKIN, Mr. A.V.-A.KREUZBERG and by numerous collectors;
in the last 10 years this region visited more western specialists and collectors.
From this territory in the last 20 years described many taxa of Rhopalocera,
especially in genera Erebia, Oeneis and Polyommatus sensu lato.
The history of catalogisation of the ex-USSR's butterfly fauna includes three
great works. The first paper was published in  by N.ERSCHOV &
A.FILD () and had only the distributive data of wide charakter.
This catalogue is in fakt only the list of species and some varieties with
distributive data but it had a great value for the starting of the thorougher
faunistic and taxonomic investigations. In 1972 Y.P.KORSHUNOV (1972)
published the second catalogue of butterflies of this territory –
the catalogue with descriptive data and more detailed distributive part.
This catalogue has a system of butterflies which I named as the Korshunov's
system. Finally, in 1993, published The synonymic list of butterflies from
the ex-USSR of V.K.TUZOV (1993) which includes very important distributive data
and contains all notorious taxonomic mistakes. All three catalogues are insufficiently
good: the ERSCHOV & FILD'S catalogue is very old, the KORSHUNOV'S one
has the old taxonomic base, and the TUZOV'S list don't have the nomenclatorial
part. I worked about 10 years and made the catalogue which is here.
My work based on the pursuit of original descriptions, faunistic and nomenclatorial papers, materials of some collections and my expedition's data.
Standard catalogue format is used including materials about Species/Subspecies name, Description citation, Original generic combination, Type locality, Original status, Distribution and Remark(s).
Specimens were studied from the author's collection as well as from collections of many Russian collectors (see Acknowledgements); the colour slides of some species of butterflies which deposited in the Natural History Museum (London) were studied too (these slides I received from Dr. Philip R.ACKERY, Natural History Museum, London).
Abbreviations used throughout the text include:
TS: – type species
TL: – type locality
D: – distribution
In this paper I used a lot of faunistic works which published in the last 50 years and contain data about butterflies of all administrative regions of the ex-USSR (ANUFRIEV, 1978; BÁLINT et al., 1996; BARANCHIKOV, 1979a, 1979b, 1980; BARANCHIKOV & PLESHANOV, 1991; BARSOV, 1988; BERLOV, 2004; BERMAN & MORDKOVICH, 1979; BOGDANOV, 1987; BOLDARUEV et al., 1977; BUDASHKIN, 1986; CHARNY, 1987; CHARUSHINA, 1973; CHARUSHINA & SHERNIN, 1974; CHISTYAKOV, 1992; DARICHEVA & DEVYATKIN, 1990; DUBATOLOV, 1991; DUBATOLOV & MURZIN, 1988; EFETOV, 1987a, 1987b, 1988; FALKOVICH, 1969; FILIPJEV, 1971; GORBUNOV, 1987, 1992; GORBUNOV & OLSHVANG, 1991, 1993, 1996; GORBUNOV et al., 1992; GRIZKEVICH, 1994; GROSSER, 1983; HANUS et al., 1997; HUANG & MURAYAMA, 1992; ISAKOV & GROMOV, 1997; IVONIN, 1987, 1988; IZENBEK, 1990; KAABAK & LESIN, 1990; KARISCH, 1994; KESKÜLA, 1992; KLITIN, 1991; KONDAKOV & BARANCHIKOV, 1975; KONOVALOVA, 1966; KOPTELOV, 1987; KORB, 1994, 1997a; KORSHUNOV, 1960, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973a, 1973b, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1985a, 1985b, 1996; KORSHUNOV & AMMOSOV, 1978; KORSHUNOV & DUBATOLOV, 1987a, 1987b; KORSHUNOV & GORBUNOV, 1995; KORSHUNOV et al., 1982; KOZLOV & JALAVA, 1994; KRASILNIKOVA, 1977; KUMAKOV & KORSHUNOV, 1979; KOSTERIN, 1993a, 1993b; KURENTZOV, 1970, 1974; KUSNETZOV, 1960; KUWAYAMA, 1967; LASTUCHIN, 1994; LUKHTANOV & LUKHTANOV, 1987, 1988, 1994a; LVOVSKY, 1987; MALKOV, 1987; MARTYNENKO, 1994; MIGRANOV, 1991; MOSKALENKO, 1991; MRÁČEK, 1989; MURZIN, 1986; MUTIN, 1992; NEBAJKIN, 1987; NEKRUTENKO, 1983, 1985a, 1985b, 1990; NEKRUTENKO & PLJUSTSH, 1983; OLSHVANG & BARANCHIKOV, 1981, 1982; PLJUSTSH, 1992; PLJUSTSH & TSHIKOLOVETS, 1991; PLJUSTSH et al., 1993; POPOVA, 1988; RAYGORODSKAYA et al., 1968; SACHKOV, 1987; SASOVA, 1983; SEDYKH, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980; SEDYKH & RAYGORODSKAYA, 1973; STANDEL, 1957; STRELTSOV, 1993a, 1993b, 1995a, 1995b, 1996, 1997; STSHETKIN Y.Y., 1974, 1981a, 1981b; STSHETKIN Y.L., 1960, 1963, 1981; STSHETKIN et al., 1987; SUKHAREVA & FALKOVICH, 1984; SVIRIDOV, 1970, 1981a, 1981b; TATARINOV & DOLGIN, 1994, 1996; TSCHIKOLOWEZ, 1991, 1992a, 1992b, 1993; TSHIKOLOVETS, 1994, 1997; TSHIKOLOVETS & PLJUSTSH, 1992; TUZOV, 1993, 1995; UTKIN, 1987; WOSKRESENSKY, 1969; YAKOVLEV, 1998; ZHDANKO, 1980a, 1980b, 1993).
The geographic part of this catalogue based on the Geographic atlas of USSR [Географический атлас СССР] which is close to Die große Atlas der Welt – all geographic names transliterated from Russian in English. I used the zonal division of ex-USSR: this territory in the following zones is divided: arctic deserts, tundra, forests-tundra, forests, forests-steppe, steppe, halfdeserts, deserts and subtropics. If a species has a local distribution or small area, I write only reliable geographic (distributive) data with citations or lists of materials. All great geographic names I include on the maps (Maps 1 – 3).
© Korb S.K.