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The butterflies (Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea, Lepidoptera) of East Europe.

The database: The butterflies (Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea, Lepidoptera) of East Europe..
The authors of the database: Igor G. Pljushtch, Dmytri V. Morgun, Kirill E. Dovgailo, Nicolai I. Rubin, Igor A. Solodovnikov.

This work is the complete survey and identification guide to 319 species (378 taxa are considered in details, including subspecies) of butterflies, occurring in Norway (Finnmark Province), Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Moldavia, European Russia (including all North Caucasus administrative units), and Western Kazakhstan (Ural and Atyrau Regions). The work includes additionally the list of 13 species possibly published erroneously for this area in old literature sources, belonged to the end of 19th - beginning of the 20th century. Based on our research we consider the inhabitation of these species on the study area does not confirmed by the available museum and new factual materials.

ISBN: 985-90000-6-9 Minsk, K. E. Dovgailo, 2006

The task to survey fauna, taxonomy, biology and ecology of such big and complex group as butterflies for the vast area of Eastern Europe was realized in this database thanking to the unity of efforts of five researchers from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus:
  • Igor Georgievich Pljushtch (Kiev, Ukraine),
  • Dmytri Vladimirovich Morgun (Moscow, Russia),
  • Kirill Yevgen'evich Dovgailo (Minsk, Belarus),
  • Nikolai Isaakovich Rubin (Grodno, Belarus),
  • Igor Al'bertovich Solodovnikov (Vitsebsk, Belarus)
The work runned by the following way. Several taxonomic lists of day butterflies, widely accepted in Russian lepidopterological school, were taken. All authors suggested their opinion and modifications, which were discussed and included in our list at the meeting of co-authors. Thus the original list of Eastern European taxa was compiled. The articles about common species were created jointly. The original data on biology and distribution of butterflies in Ukraine, Romania, Moldavia, Russian North Caucasus, and Finnmark province of Norway were composed mainly by Igor Georgievich Pljushtch. The detailed collection of faunistic data, summaries on biology of butterflies from European and North Caucasian Russia, North-West Kazakhstan were done by Dmytri Vladimirovich Morgun. The data from Belarus, Finland, and some regions of SE European Russia, NW Kazakhstan were prepared by Kirill Yevgen'evich Dovgailo. The work on data collection on fauna and biology of butterflies from Belarus, Baltic countries, Republic of Crimea (Ukraine), Slovakia, NW Kazakhstan - Igor Al'bertovich Solodovnikov. The data on species living in Poland, Belarus, and in big degree Crimea were prepared by Nikolai Isaakovich Rubin. Species mapping was carried out by each author in frames of regions as described above, and based on original and other data.

Many articles on endemic and strictly occurring species were written individually or by 2-3 authors. In such cases the authors are mentioned in the end of each article.Texts editing and supplementation was done by authors in turn and several times. Higher taxa diagnoses were written by Dmytri Vladimorovich Morgun or by Kirill Yevgen'evich Dovgailo.

Identification chapter was in many respects based on the dichotomous key published by Dmytri Vladimirovich Morgun. But in principle other approach in creating of polychotomous key demanded formulation of numerous new and additional characters and their states. The last work was done by Kirill Yevgen'evich Dovgailo, together with all illustrative material (2,111 pictures) showing characters and character states. Critical reading and unification of character states style definition was fulfilled by Nikolai Isaakovich Rubin. Database filling and the product testing was done by Kirill Yevgen'evich Dovgailo.

On the database also worked:
A. A. Osipov - database programming and organization,
I. Ye. Savkina - the help in labels text keyboarding,
Ye. V. Ryabovalova, T. V. Dovgailo - the help in preparing of photographic materials.

About the authors:

Igor Georgievich Pljushtch
Science Collaborator of I. I. Shmal'gauzen Institute of Zoology, NAS of Ukraine. Chairman of Kiev Oblast Branch of Ukrainian Enthomological Society. A member of several European enthomological societies. Candidate of Biological Sciences.
Born in 1956 in Zhytomir oblast (Ukraine). Graduated Biological Faculty of T. G. Shevchenko Kiev State University. In 1988 defended the thesis on rapalocera of Ukraine. Participator of Chernobyl catastrophe consequences liquidation. He carried out ecological research in the catastrophe area in 1987-1990. Author and co-author of more 45 scientific publications on fauna, systematics, and pre-imago stage morphology of many lepidoptera families, on insect conservation. A co-author of the Red Data Book of Ukraine. Traveller. Worked in many regions of the former USSR (Ukraine, Moldavia, Volga region, Caucasus and Transcaucasia, Polar Urals, Far East), and especially in Middle Asia countries, which visited 37 times. He carried out enthomological research in Norway, Jordan, Indochina countires, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Madagascar, Peru, Argentine, Chili. In period 1978-2005 taken part in more than 90 expeditions, being in last decade the head of many of them. Based on his collections ca 100 new species and several new genera were described.

Dmytri Vladimirovich Morgun
Deputy director on science and methodic work of Ecological Education Center of MGSYuN, Senior Science Colaborator of Ecology Education and Stable Development Center, Candidate of Phylosophy, teacher of M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State Universtity, Phylosophy Faculty, member of Moscow Naturalists Society.
Born in 1982 in Kazakhstan. Graduated M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State Universtity. Organizer and participant of a number of scientific research expeditions of different themes. The priority direction of field research - lepidoptera fauna and ecology. Last 10 years taken part in more 35 expeditions, in which he collected large lepidopterological material. Studied the fauna of many Eastern Europe regions (Khibiny, Polar Urals, Karelia, Central Russia, Low Volga region, South Urals, Caucasus), Kazakhstan, Transcaucasia, Baikal region, Primor'e. Faunistic research in European part of the former USSR, a number of publications on regional fauna, and special elaboration of diagnostic methods underlied his identification guide and handbook "Rapalocera of the European part of Russia and adjacent countries" (2002). Besides enthomological papers he published a number of articles and one monograph on phylosophy problems in biology, and a monograph and several articles on the theory and methods of ecological education. He is the editor-in-chief of several scientific and methodical books on ecology, biology, and pedagogics.

Kirill Yevgen'evich Dovgailo
Founder and manager of "Lysandra" project. Born in 1973 in Minsk (Belarus). Graduated Biological Faculty of Belarus State University. Participant of many research expeditions over Belarus, North Near-Caspian Sea region, Carpathians, Talysh, Tien Shan, Saur, Altai, Russian Far East. Recent years together with programmers group he develops "Lysandra" software for interactive identification of living organisms and databases creating. In 2002 he published the first database on leaf-eating beetles: "Beetles of the genus Cryptocephalus (Chrysomelidae) of Palearctic". He is a co-author of database "Day butterflies (Diurna, Lepidoptera)" of the Republic of Belarus" (Minsk, 2003) and the author of several articles on day butterflies in the Red Data Book of Belarus.

Nikolai Isaakovich Rubin
Collector, founder of "Oriks-Diont" Ltd. company. Born in 1960 in Grodno (Belarus). His speciality is decorator artist. At present the sphere of his interests includes rapalocera (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea) of Palearctic. Along with permanent collections in Belarus, he undertaken in 1985-2004 the expeditions in Northern Carpathians (Penins, Tatras), Crimea, West Caucasus, West and Northern Tien Shan, Dzhungar Ala-Too, South and West Altai, Saur. He is a co-author of database "Day butterflief (Diurna, Lepidoptera)" of the Republic of Belarus" (Minsk, 2003). His collection includes more 450 species (ca 600 subspecies) of butterflies from North Africa, Western Europe, countries of the former USSR, the Near East and the Middle East, China, and Japan.

Igor Al'bertovich Solodovnikov
Candidate of Biological Sciences, Reader of Vitsebsk State University Born in 1968 in Vitsebsk (Belarus). In 1999 defended the thesis "Structure and modern state of the Carabidae (Coleoptera) communities in Belarusian Poozer'e". The author of more 70 publications on fauna, ecology, and biodiversity of Carabidae, other Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera of Belarus and adjacent countries. Teaches the courses "Enthomology", "Nature Management Economy and Control". His pupils several times took prize places on international ecological competitions. He is a co-author of database "Day butterflies (Diurna, Lepidoptera) of the Republic of Belarus" (Minsk, 2003). In result of field works of many years in Belarus and adjacent countries he collected large stock insect collection - ca 100,000 exemplars of more 12,000 species, including several types.


Majority of photos are made on the basis of personal collections I. G. Pljushtch, D. V. Morgun, N. I. Rubin and I. A. Solodovnikov.
The authors express gratitude to curators or directors of muses for the possibility to study the requisite materials and images some butterflies from Museum stocks as follows:
  • curators of lepidopterological collection of Zoological Museum of T. G. Shevchenko Kyyiv State University and memorial collection of L. A. Shelyuzhko - I. Yu. Kostyuk and A. V. Bidzila;
  • curator of lepidopterological collection of Zoological Museum of Moscow State University - A. V. Sviridov;
  • curator of lepidopterological collection of Darvin State Museum - P. V. Bogdanov;
  • curator of lepidopterological collection of Zoological Museum of Russian Academy of Sciens- (St.-Petersburg) A. L. Lvovskiy;
  • director of Zoological Museum of Belarusian State University - A. D. Pisanenko;
  • director of Zoological Museum of Vitebsk State University - V. I. Piskunov.
The authors are sincerely grateful to the colleagues who give for our disposal some specimens from theirs private collections and possibility to made photos of rare or missing species, subspecies or forms:
  • S. V. Churkin (Moscow, Russia),
  • Ye. V. Nikolayeva (Moscow, Russia),
  • Yu. M. Vasilchenko (Kyyiv, Ukraine),
  • S. M. Kostevich (Minsk, Belarus),
  • A. V. Kulak (Minsk, Belarus),
  • V. P. Vdovichenko (Grodno, Belarus),
  • A. L. Devyatkin (Moscow, Russia),
  • Ye. P. Kozlovski (Minsk, Belarus),
  • V. A. Polkhovski (Grivkovichi, Belarus).
Most of all photos of collection specimens and photos in nature were created by K. E. Dovgailo, his copyrights are not labeled below each photo but mentioned in covers and in the introductions. Copyrights of unoriginal photos are mentioned in "Specimens label field". Several natural photos were done by coauthors : D. V. Morgun, N. I. Rubin and I. A. Solodovnikov.

The authors thank to the colleagues who give photos of butterflies in nature:
  • V. V. Alesenko (Gomel, Belarus),
  • A. V. Kulak (Minsk, Belarus),
  • A. N. Biryukov (Kislovodsk, Russia),
  • A. Roine (Vanha-Ulvila, Finland),
  • P. V. Bogdanov (Moscow, Russia),
  • V. V. Savchuk (Feodosia, Ukraine),
  • Ye. V. Tsvetkov (St.-Petersburg, Russia),
  • A. Kolesov (Moscow, Russia).
The authors are sincerely grateful to the colleagues who give useful information about distribution and biology peculiarities of some species in different regions of East Europe:
  • V. V. Alesenko (Gomel, Belarus),
  • A. V. Bezborodkin (St.-Petersburg, Russia),
  • A. N. Biryukov (Kislovodsk, Russia),
  • Ye. Ye. Borovikov (Bransk Region, Russia),
  • Ye. I. Budashkin (Karadag Reserve, Rep. of Crimea, Ukraine),
  • A. V. Danchenko (Moscow, Russia),
  • A. Elez (Moscow, Russia),
  • G. V. Kuznetsov (Volgograd, Russia),
  • S. P. Koltunov (Ul'yanovsk, Russia),
  • M. B. Markhasyov (Khimki, Russia),
  • Ye. V. Nikolayeva (Khimki, Russia),
  • N. I. Pleshchinski (Kazan', Russia),
  • O. A. Polumordvinov (Penza, Russia),
  • Ye. V. Rud'ko (Mozyr', Belarus),
  • V. V. Savchuk (Feodosia, Russia),
  • A. V. Samus (Volgograd, Russia),
  • S. K. Seleznyov (Glazov, Russia),
  • G. G. Sushko (Vitebsk, Belarus),
  • D. Ye. Tatarenko (Kursk, Russia),
  • V. V. Tikhonov (Pyatigorsk, Russia),
  • Ye. V. Tsvetkov (St.-Petersburg, Russia),
  • I. I. Shimko (Vitebsk, Belarus),
  • G. V. Yeryemkin (Moscow, Russia),
  • V. O. Zurilina (Chelyabinsk, Russia).
The database is a scientific publication. When using its textual date with scientific purpose, the reference its binding: "I.G. Pljushtch, D.V. Morgun, K.E. Dovgailo, N.I. Rubin, I.A. Solodovnikov. The butterflies (Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea, Lepidoptera) of East Europe. Key and database on the basis of software "Lysandra". Minsk, 2006".

This project was conceived as permanently supplemented and renewed work, and we hope it will also supplemented by readers and users of the Lysandra Online. Therefore we address to you with the earnest request to inform us about all mistakes and inaccuracies noticed, and about the supplements which you decide to do on the butterflies distribution and ecology. All data received will attentively considered by the authors and used, with the permission of persons given the data, with mentioning of their names in the text of subsequent database. If we will doubt about the data received, we reserve to ourselves the right do not include this information without an additional checking.

Regardless this work is first of all a faunistic one, the analysis of subspecies structure, discussion on the rationality of subspecies separation, their differences from nominative form, and taxonomic peculiarities of species or groups of close species were included in systematic notations. The taxonomy of butterflies in the work reflects the views of the authors collective and is, undoubtedly, a subject for discussion. Even inside the authors collective were disputes on systematic position or status of some species and subspecies. Therefore we believe, the belonging of a number of taxa to species or subspecies can be confirmed or challenged only after applying of new and still limitedly used experimental methods, and collecting of additional fact on their biology and detailed distribution. Thus we welcome your grounded objections and criticism on systematic position of East European butterflies, especially taxonomic complexes. The different opinions, by request of the opinion author, we will publish in the appropriate articles of the database in frames of taxonomic discussion with mentioning of this person name. We aware that synonyms list is far from complete and will welcome any supplement on this subject. For the taxa browsing and identification convenience we accepted the writing of species epithets together with subspecies epithets.

Faunistic data from the study area have generalized character, and are based on our own observations and collections, and big bulk of literature sources (about 2,000 entries). The literature is listed separately, but only the sources used in the text were included in the list. We analyzed the material of the biggest museum collections of Ukraine and Russia, plus numerous personal communications of professional zoologists and collectors. In all more 300,000 specimens of Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea from the study area were analyzed by the authors. Great part of the materials and data on distribution and ecology are original and published for the first time. Should be mentioned, that faunistic data on many rare and local Russian species and subspecies are given in the work more detailed. And such consideration and quotation of the data on interesting Russian taxa distribution (habitats and references to the authors of regional collections) we publish because of limited availability of faunistic data from Russia for European readers. Our work at most releases the readers from routine search of data sources, often published in small regional article collections. Such detailed data do not published for other areas. But in subsequent editions we will try to publish more detailed faunistic data on the all regions of Eastern Europe. The rubric "Distribution in Eastern Europe" is supplied by completely original distribution maps, serving as a good pictorial rendition. Notation conventions are explained under each map. Many taxa are illustrated by two maps with different scale, and the work contains in total 421 distribution maps.

Phenology and generation number data, characteristic and specific details on pre-imago development ethology for many rare and little known endemic Eastern European species are discussed separately and published for the first time.

The program have search function for correct names and synonyms, for key words from text rubrics, and it does also the selection by means of several classificator filters, using one or several means. For this purpose biotopical and hygro-preferences for the species were formulated as sets of classes. All administrative units or regions of big countries are also classified. The identification of Lepidoptera becomes much easier if to use the search by criteria of habitat types and administrative units.

Species articles are supplied with more 3,890 original photos of butterflies. There are at least four photos per each species or subspecies: upper and under wing sides for male and female exemplars, and pictures of insects in situ or pre-imago stage pictures for selected species.

The second essential part of the work is polychotomous key for taxa identification, including more 30 characters and more 2,000 character states. Each character state is illustrated by schemes or pictures for easier identification. The computerized key to such big number of butterflies is created for the first time and has not analogues in the world. The experience and the accepted users comments on the identification guide to butterflies of Belarus ("K. E. Dovgailo, I. A. Solodovnikov, N. I. Rubin. The Butterflies (Diurna, Lepidoptera) of Republic of Belarus. Database on the basis of software "Lysandra". Minsk, 2006") were taken into account when this computerized key was written. The key for identification was considerably revised in the way of maximum simplicity of characters and their states. Any of the characters suggested by the program can be selected for species or subspecies identification. The polychotomous principle permits to conduct the identification by using several characters simultaneously. When you select one or several fitting character states, the program creates the diagnosis of the exemplar and starts identification process, resulting in selection of taxa fitted to the diagnosis.

We want to stress here the educational meaning of this work. Thanking to convenient and intuitively understandable interface and big number of illustrations this program is a handy and simple educational manual. This is not a collection of boring reference data, but firstly a tool for learning, identification, and all-round study of day butterflies of the vast region of Eastern Europe. The work is destined for very wide circle or users - amateur naturalists and schoolboys, professional entomologists, ecologists, and nature conservation experts.

The software Lysandra – a software for creating keys and database on different groups of living organisms.
The authors of the software:
Andrei A. Osipau – a leader of programming, development of the database, programming the Lysandra,
Alexey M. Shumeiko – programming of the interface,
Kirill E. Dovgailo – idea, scenario, interface design, Help.

© 2006, K.E. Dovgailo, the software "Lysandra", database, all digital date and digital images.

  • 03/02/2011
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