Ural Expeditions &smp; Tours

Butterflies of the Southern Altai

Systematic List         Butterflies



Papilio machaon

Rather scarce seen mostly on high passes. 4/14

Scarce Swallowtail 

Iphiclides podalirius

1 between Ust-Kamenogorsk and Zaysan


Parnassius ariadne

1 seen well and photographed on route up the Cold Pass at Markakol

Small Apollo

Parnassius phoebus

2 probably this species photographed on the dry hill north of Markakol and 4+ almost certainly this species on the way up the Alatay Pass. 2/14


Parnassius apollo                                

Subspecies alpherakyi. Seen above Cim Bulak, Almaty and 2+ between Kamenka and Ust-Kamenogorsk. 2/14



Anthocharis cardamines

Widespread in low numbers. 7/14

Black-veined White

Aporia crataegi

Widespread. 9/14

Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow

Colias rate                          

Probably widespread but only identified with certainty on 4 days. Certainly there were other Colias species present that went unidentified


Colias tyche

1 seen on the Scots Pine Pass in the Kalbinskiy Hills


Gonepteryx rhami

Noted in the Kalbinskiy Hills and 1 on the Alatay Pass. 3/14


Leptidea morsei

At times the commonest of the wood whites at Markakol. Distinctive with pronounced cross-bars on the hindwings and slightly more attentuated forewings. 3/14

Wood White

Leptidea sinapis

Markakol. 3/14

Large White

Pieris brassicae

Scattered. 6/14

Green-veined White

Pieris napi muechi

Widespread. 8/14

Small White

Pieris rapae

Only seen in Almaty at the Cathedral!

Eastern Dappled White

Euchloe ausonia pulverata

?Probably this species above Cim Bulak, Almaty

Eastern Bath White

Pontia edusa

Widespread and common


Metaporia leucodice

Noted at Cim Bulak, Almaty


Holly Blue

Celastrina argiolus

Only noted at the yourta service area in the Kalbinskiy Hills

Osiris Blue

Cupido osiris

The commonest blue in the Markakol area. 3/14

Small Blue

Cupido minimus

Also very common at Markakol. 2/14


Cupido buddhista

Noted at Cim Bulak, Almaty

Chequered Blue

Scolitantides orion

1 on the Marble Pass and 3+ on the dry hill north of Markakol. 2/14

Large Blue sp

Maculinea sp                        

1 seen on the Alatay Pass

Idas Blue                          

Plebeius idas

In the hotel garden at Ust-Kamenogorsk

Silver-studded Blue

Plebeius argus

A colony of hundreds at the orchid marsh in the Bukhtarma Valley

Zephyr Blue

Plebeius pylaon

Noted between Ust-Kamenogorsk and Zaysan and several at the yourta service area there on the way back. 2/14

Mountain Argus

Aricia artaxerxes

Subspecies strandi. Seen on the Alatay and Bukhtarma Passes. 2/14

Geranium Argus

Eumedonia eumedon

The commonest blue in meadows between Markakol and the Burkhat pass. 2/14

Mazarine Blue

Cyaniris semiargus

Scattered. 5/14

Amandas Blue

Agrodiaetus amandus

1 on the Alatay Pass

Common Blue

Polyommatus icarus

Only noted on the Alatay Pass


Dark Green Fritillary

Argynnis aglaja

Only seen at the orchid marsh in the Bukhtarma Valley


Argynnis pandora

Singles in the Kalbinskiy Hills and Marble Pass. 2/14

Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Clossiana euphrosyne

A few in the Markakol area. 2/14

Queen of Spain Fritillary

Issoria lathonia

Scattered. 5/14

Lesser Marbled Fritillary

Brenthis ino                            

1 at the orchid marsh in the Bukhtarma Valley

Glanville Fritillary

Melitaea cinxia

Noted in the Kalbinskiy Hills and on the Altay Pass


Melitaea latonigena

Common on the dry hill north of Markakol and on the Alatay Pass. 2/14

Freyers Fritillary

Melitaea arduninna

Noted in the Kalbinskiy Hills


Melitaea arcesia

2 on the Alatay Pass looks superficially like a small Euphydryas species!

Assmanns Fritillary

Mellicta britomartis

A few seen around Markakol, Alatay and Burkhat Passes. 3/14

Lapland Fritillary

Euphydryas iduna

2 just outside the village at Markakol

Asian Fritillary

Euphydryas intermedia

Seen on the Alatay Pass and below the Burkhat Pass. 2/14

Marsh Fritillary

Euphydryas aurinia

1 near Markakol

Hungarian Glider

Neptis rivularis

Widespread. 8/14

Poplar Admiral

Limenitis populi

Around a dozen seen on each journey along the Bukhtarmas main northward tributary below the climb to Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi


Limenitis sydyi

1 dead one found at the yourta service area in the Kalbinskiy Hills


Limenitis helmanni

Abundant at the yourta service area in the Kalbinskiy Hills

Camberwell Beauty

Nymphalis antiopa

Singles twice at Markakol overwinterers as they were in bad condition!

Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell

Nymphalis xanthomelas

Widespread and common. 11/14

Small Tortoiseshell

Aglais urticae

Widespread and common except Zaysan. 10/14

Map Butterfly

Araschnia levana

Not uncommon around Markakol and the Alatay Pass. 3/14


Inachis io

Only seen once at Markakol


Polygonum c-album

Singles on the Alatay Pass and on the northward tributary of the Buktarma below the climb to Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi. 2/14

Painted Lady

Cynthia cardui

Scattered. 4/14



Chazara briseus magna

Only seen in the Bukhtarma Valley

Great Sooty Satyr

Satyrus ferula                     

1 at the Spring in Zaysan

False Ringlet

Coenonympha oedippus

Quite common around the bee farm at Kamenka. 3/14

Chestnut Heath

Coenonympha glycerion

1 in the Kalbinskiy Hills and also noted at the bee farm near Kamenka. 2/14


Coenonympha sunbecca

Quite a few seen above Cim Bulak, Almaty

Dalmatian Ringlet

Proterebia afra

A single in the Kalbinskiy Hills

Arran Brown

Erebia ligea

The common ringlet at Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi. 2/14


Erebia jeniseiensis

Common on the Burkhat Pass


Erebia kindermanni

Seen on the Alatay Pass. Like the next species but with no orange areas on the inner part of wing


Erebia theano

Widespread and quite common in meadows above about 1100m. 4/14


Erebia cyclopius

Singles at Markakol and by the north tributary of the Bukhtarma River below the rise to Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi. 2/14. A very distinctive ringlet

Scotch Argus

Erebia aethiops

Above Cim Bulak, Almaty


Erebia turanica

Above Cim Bulak, Almaty


Aphantopus hyperantus

1 by the north tributary of the Bukhtarma River below the rise to Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi


Hyponephele naricina

?The small browns in the Kiin Kerish Canyon and other parts of Zaysan were probably this species?

Oriental Meadow Brown

Hyponephele lupina

?Large meadow brown types seen in various areas must surely have been this species?


Oeneis nanna

2 amid dry tundra on the Burkhat Pass

Large Wall Brown

Lasiommata maera

Quite common at Markakol and on the Kalbinskiy Hills

Northern Wall Brown

Lasiommata petropolitana

Seen on the Alatay Pass


Lopinga achine

1 going to roost on the side of the mess hut at the bee farm, Kamenka

Espers Marbled White

Melanargia russiae

Scattered. 3/14


Chequered Skipper

Carterocephalus palaemon

Singles on the Alatay Pass and in a bog by the lake at Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi. 2/14

Orbed Red-underwing Skipper

Spialia orbifer                      

A single at Markakol

Large Skipper                

Ochlodes venetus

Scattered. 3/14

Olive Skipper

Pyrgus serratulae  

1 on the Burkhat Pass

Large Grizzled Skipper

Pyrgus alveus

Common on the Alatay Pass

Essex Skipper

Thymelicus lineola

Common at the yourta service area in the Kalbinskiy Hills

Small Skipper

Thymelicus sylvestris

1 on the Alatay Pass

 The taxonomy and nomenclature for the following list has been taken from Die Tagfalter Nordwestasiens by
 Lukhtanov and Lukhtanov (1994)
Copyright © 2004 «Ural Expeditions & Tours»
: «Softmajor», 2003 .