Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - MELITAEINI
Melitaea sibina, 2920m, Vanj mountains,
© J-F. Charmeux
Melitaea comprises of about 70
small-medium sized butterflies - species which are only very
distantly related the the larger Fritillaries such as
Argyreus, which are members of the subfamily Heliconiinae.
are distributed widely across the Palaearctic region with
representatives found from Portugal and Spain to Tibet, Siberia,
China and Japan. There are 8 European species, of which 4 extend
their range into north Africa. A single species
abyssinica is found in Ethiopia, but
the genus is not represented south of the Sahara. The remaining
species, i.e. the vast majority, are inhabitants of the temperate
grasslands, woodlands and mountain valleys of central Asia.
sibina is endemic to the Tien Shan and Vanj mountains at the
borders of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Xingjian
Uyghur region of western China.
This is a high altitude species found on scree slopes and
rock-strewn grasslands of the Tien Shan.
To be completed.