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Plebeius aroaniensis (Brown, 1976)   

Name in Tolman & Lewington (1997): Agrodiaetus aroaniensis

Systematics: All prior reports of "aroaniensis" from SW and S Bulgaria may eventually have to be relegated to the recently described taxon Plebeius eleniae (Coutsis & De Prins, 2005). This taxon is reported to be virtually identical to P. aroaniensis (Brown, 1976) from S Greece except for its lower chromosome number (n=41 vs. n= 48). For now, pending karyological studies of C Greek and Bulgarian populations, I retain the name aroaniensis for the latter.

Range: Endemic to the Balkan Peninsula, exact range uncertain (see above). Reported from Greece, SW and S Bulgaria and Republic of Macedonia.

Distribution in Bulgaria: Discovered by myself on Mt. Alibotush in July 1993 (Kolev 1994a), subsequently found also in S Pirin, E Stara Planina (Kolev & Poorten 1997), also occurs in W Rhodopi (Bálint 1995, Kolev 2005c). From 700 to ca. 1700 m a.s.l.

Habitat: Dry stony and/or rocky, often precipitous places in calcareous terrain.

Bionomics: One generation, late June-August. Larval host-plant: Onobrychis (Fabaceae) (Tolman & Lewington 1997).

Conservation status: An interesting Balkan endemic with very restricted range and generally small populations in Bulgaria, and thus of high conservation interest despite not being directly threatened. IUCN category: Vulnerable. Its inclusion in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria is herewith recommended.


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