Satyrium abdominalis, (Gerhard, 1850) Gerhard's Black Hairstreak,
Distribution and biological peculiarities in Armenia: The species is distributed in Transcaucasia, Eastern Turkey, Iran, and Lebanon, and is monotypic. Throughout the range, the only known host plant isCerasus microcarpa. In Armenia the Gerhard's Black Hairstreak is distributed in Western, Southern, and South-eastern regions, occupying dry mountain steppes and juniper woodlands between 800 and 2200 m a.s.l. Depending on elevation, the flight period begins from late May to mid June and ends in mid to late July.
Population dynamics: The species is quite uncommon within a typical habitat, and has a patchy distribution. The population trend of the species during 2003-2013 demonstrates slow decline. Unlike the other species, which are developing on the bushes, the host plant of Gerhard's Black Hairstreak -Cerasusmicrocarpa is less resistant, and can be influenced by overgrazing and other forms of habitat transformation. Also, since some populations of the species are located close to forest edges, they can potentially be poisoned by pesticides used for forest pest control.
Conservation measures: The species is not included in the Global and European Red Lists, as well as in Red Book of Animals of Armenia. Also the species is not included in CITES and Bern Conventions. Preliminary assessment of its National conservation status suggests it as Near Threatened. At current the populations of the species are covered by protected areas and Emerald Sites, as well as located in some prime butterfly areas: Agarak, Gudemnis, Lichk, Meghri, Shvanidzor, Gnishik, and OurtsadzorPrime Butterfly Areas. Among necessary conservation measures it should be mentioned development of management plans for the designated Emerald Sites, which will consider the sustainable pasture management and protection of host plants of the species from overgrazing. Also, the approaches of forest pest control should be reviewed and transformed into ecosystem friendly.