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Erebia orientalis Elwes, 1900   

 

Systematics: Until recently considered only a subspecies of the related euromontane Erebia epiphron, which reaches eastward to Republic of Macedonia and Romania. Currently ranked a separate species.

Range: An endemic of the Balkan Peninsula whose range lies almost entirely within Bulgarian borders. Elsewhere occurs only in a very limited area along the Bulgarian border in the Serbian part of Stara Planina.

Distribution in Bulgaria: Rila, N Pirin and the highest parts of W and C Stara Planina, between 1900 and 2700 m a.s.l.

Habitat: Wet or dry grassy subalpine and alpine meadows.

Bionomics: One generation from July till September. Larval host-plants: apparently grasses (Poaceae).

Conservation status: This remarkable endemic species is one of the most interesting and emblematic butterflies in the Bulgarian fauna. It has a very restricted range and, despite not being directly threatened at present, must be considered vulnerable and of high conservation interest owing ot its endemic nature. IUCN category: Vulnerable. Its inclusion into the Red Data Book of Bulgaria and protection by law are herewith recommended.

 
 

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