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Polyommatus nephohiptamenos

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA INSECTA LEPIDOPTERA LYCAENIDAE

Scientific Name: Polyommatus nephohiptamenos
Species Authority: (Brown & Coutsis, 1978)
Common Name(s):
English Higgins’s Anomalous Blue

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-01-29
Assessor(s): van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J.
Reviewer(s): Lewis, O. (Butterfly RLA) & Cuttelod, A. (IUCN Red List Unit)
Justification:
A European endemic, only occurring in the border area of Bulgaria and Greece. The extent of occurrence (EOO)  is less than 5000 km² and the area of occupancy (AOO) is less than100 km². There are probably fewer than 10 locations. No information on trends or fluctuations is available, and the species is therefore classified as Near Threatened.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Higgins’s Anomalous Blue occurs locally in mountains in northern Greece and rarely in bordering mountainous area of southern Bulgaria. It occurs mostly between 1,500-2,000 m, sometimes at lower altitudes. This is a European endemic species.
Countries:
Native:
Bulgaria; Greece
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A local species, restricted to (semi-) natural areas.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Higgins’s Anomalous Blue is a mountain butterfly, found above the tree-line on flower-rich, calcareous grasslands. The males tend to roam outside their usual habitat. Onobrychis montana ssp. scardica, a sainfoin that only grows in the Balkans, is used as foodplant. The caterpillars hibernate when they are still small, the following spring feeding on the young leaves of the sainfoin (an Eurasian perennial herb). They are often found with ants. Higgins’s Anomalous Blue has one generation a year. Habitats: mesophile grasslands (33%), screes (33%), dry calcareous grasslands and steppes (33%).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: All butterflies are collected to some extent, but only for the extremely rare species it can be a problem and the trade in Europe is generally at a low level compared to other continents. There is no specific trade information for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Probably threatened by intensified grazing, abandonment and wildfires, but much is still unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More research is needed on the distribution and ecology of the species. Suitable habitats should be protected and appropriately managed. The effects of conservation actions should be monitored by a Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. In Bulgaria, the species only occurs in protected areas.

Citation: van Swaay, C., Wynhoff, I., Verovnik, R., Wiemers, M., López Munguira, M., Maes, D., Sasic, M., Verstrael, T., Warren, M. & Settele, J. 2010. Polyommatus nephohiptamenos. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
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