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Plebeius nephohiptamenos (Brown & Coutsis, 1978)   

Name in Tolman & Lewington (1997): Agrodiaetus nephohiptamenos

Taxonomy: This taxon is morphologically very similar to Plebeius ripartii. The two however differ in some morphological traits and ecological preferences. So far they have not been found together in Bulgaria, unlike in Greece.

Range: An endemic of the Balkan Peninsula with a very restricted distribution comprising NE Greece  and SW Bulgaria.

Distribution in Bulgaria: The record of this species from W Rhodopi (Ganev 1984) is erroneous and refers to Plebeius ripartii. For the first time true nephohiptamenos was discovered by myself on Mt. Alibotush in July 1993 (Kolev 1994a) and thereafter in C Pirin (Beshkov & Nowacki 1998). According to my observations occurs from 1400 up to ca. 2000 m a.s.l.

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

Bionomics: One generation from early July till 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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