Erebia graucasica (Jachontov, 1909) Caucasian Ringlet, Чернушка кавказская, Կովկասյան սևուկ
Distribution and biological peculiarities in Armenia: The species is distributed in Caucasus, Northern Iran, and Eastern Turkey. Armenia is inhabited by subspecies E. g. savalanica de Lesse, 1956. The Caucasian Ringlet is one of the few species of high-mountains which occurs from about 2700 m and can be found as high as 3500 a.s.l. often being the only butterfly species flying in these alpine tundra. The host plant is still unknown although it is supposed that the species uses Gramineae, just like the other Ringlets. The assumption is proven by the fact that in lab conditions the females were stimulated for oviposition by various Gramineae, but not other plants. The species gives one generation per year, having butterflies on wing from mid July till mid, sometimes late August.
Population dynamics: The species density varies from rare to quite common depending on location and shows stable population trend during 2003-2013 (p>0.05). It appears that this high mountain specialist is protected from local influences, such as intensive grazing, mowing, and so on. However, as the other high mountain species the Caucasian Ringlet could potentially be affected by climate change, especially the lower populations.
Conservation measures: The species is not included in the Global, European, and National Red Lists, as well as in CITES and Bern Conventions. Assessment of its conservation status suggests it as a Least Concern. At current some populations of the species are covered by Zangezur Biosphere Reserve and some Emerald Sites, also the species is presented in Lichk and Kajaran Prime Butterfly Areas. Obviously there is no need for extra conservation measures, however it is important to continue monitoring of the species as potential victim of the climate change, which can also demonstrate its consequences for the biodiversity.