Polyommatus vanensis (de Lesse, 1957) Van Blue, Голубянка ванская, Վանական կապտաթիթեռ
Distribution and biological peculiarities in Armenia: The species is distributed in Turkey, Transcaucasia, and Iraq. Armenia is inhabited by subspecies P. v. sheljuzhkoi (Forster, 1960). In Armenia the species has patchy distribution associated with the host plant of the species - Onobrychis cornuta. Thus the Van Blue occupies fairly wide (for the monophagous species) elevation range - from about 1500 to 2600 m a.s.l. The species are on wing from mid July till mid August depending on elevation. Males have quite a large range of movements from the core habitat to watering places - thus a male was recorded at a distance of about 6 km from the only patch of the host plant.
Population dynamics: The species' density varies and in average can be considered as slightly uncommon within typical habitat. The population trend during 2003-2013 demonstrates stability, which is probably related to resistance of the host plant - a thorny bush to one of the main disturbing factors - the overgrazing. The only threat, which the host-plant is facing is its burning by local inhabitants usually as a part of entertainment, and sometimes as a quick way to have a fire in the field for local shepherds. Also there is a small scale trade for the species.
Conservation measures: The species is not included in the Global, European, and National Red Lists, as well as in CITES and Bern Conventions. Preliminary assessment of Van Blue's conservation status suggests it as a Least Concern. The distribution range of the species is partly covered by Khosrov Forest State Reserve, Lake Sevan National Park, Zangezur Biosphere Complex, and Gnishik Protected Landscape; another isolated population is covered by Emerald Site Jajur. The species is presented in Prime Butterfly Areas Gyumorats, Kajaran, Gnisheek, Ourtsadzor, and Artanish-Shorzha. Obviously the only need for conservation measures is related to education of local inhabitants in responsible behavior in the nature. In this regard it can be important to develop butterfly-watching in the Prime Butterfly Areas, thus providing alternative income opportunities for the local communities. It can help in developing link between the value of Van Blue for butterfly-watching and importance of safety of the host plants for the species.