Wanted! Dead or alive: The tale of the Brown’s Grayling (Pseudochazara amymone)

Rudi Verovnik, Milos Popovic, Martina Sasic, Sylvain Cuvelier, Dirk Maes

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    The Brown’s Grayling (Pseudochazara amymone) is one of the most enigmatic and sought after species among European butterflies. Hiding its exact distribution for almost 40 years with the idea of protecting it, resulted in an increasing collector’s interest, with market prices reaching up to 1,000 euro for a single female after its discovery in Albania. Aiming to demystify this butterfly and enable entomologists and conservationists to see the species in its natural environment, we provide detailed information on its distribution in south-eastern Albania. In addition, we modelled the potential species distribution to facilitate further surveys within its potential range. The modelled range of P. amymone is highly fragmented stretching from the central part of eastern Albania to northern Greece and is strongly bound to ophiolite geological strata. The species was re-assessed as Endangered according to the IUCN criteria, with a predicted population decline due to construction of hydroelectric power plants in one of the locations. We argue that hiding valuable information regarding threatened insect species may have negative effects and we advocate publishing available distribution data so that conservation measures may be undertaken where and when necessary.
    Translated title of the contributionGezocht! Dood of levend: het verhaal van de Ionnina heremiet (Pseudochazara amymone)
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of insect conservation
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)675-682
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug-2014

    Thematic list

    • Species and biotopes

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B280-animal-ecology

    Taxonomic list

    • butterflies (Lepidoptera)


    • species directed nature management

    Geographic list

    • Europe


    • modelling

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