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Polar Biology

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 335–346 | Cite as

Moths and butterflies (Insecta: Lepidoptera) of the Russian Arctic islands in the Barents Sea

  • J. Kullberg
  • B. Yu. Filippov
  • V. M. Spitsyn
  • N. A. Zubrij
  • M. V. KozlovEmail author
Open Access
Original Paper
  • 226 Downloads

Abstract

Faunistic data are scarce for the Lepidoptera from the Arctic islands of European Russia. New sampling and revision of the earlier findings have revealed the occurrence of 60 species of moths and butterflies on Kolguev, Vaygach and Dolgij Islands and on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. The faunas of Kolguev and Dolgij Islands (19 and 18 species, respectively) include typical moths of the northern taiga (Aethes deutschiana, Syricoris lacunana and Xanthorhoe designata), and the low numbers of species discovered on these islands have resulted primarily from low collecting efforts. By contrast, the fauna of Vaygach Island (22 species) is relatively well known and includes several high Arctic species, such as Xestia aequaeva, X. liquidaria and X. lyngei. Nevertheless, Vaygach Island is depauperated even relative to the fauna of Amderma (29 species), which is located on the continent next to the Vaygach Island. The fauna of Novaya Zemlya totals 30 species, but only eight of these were collected from the Northern Island, mostly near Matochkin Shar strait. Noteworthy is the record of Plutella polaris from Novaya Zemlya: this species was recently re-discovered in Svalbard, where the type series was collected in 1873. Udea itysalis, described from North America, is reported here for the first time from Europe. The fauna of the Russian Arctic islands in the Barents Sea is dominated by holarctic species, many of which are confined to tundra habitats. We estimate that some 40–60 moth species remain to be found in this region.

Keywords

Arctic islands Barents Sea region Biogeography Insects Faunistic structure Tundra 

Introduction

The high Arctic habitats of Europe are restricted to several islands and archipelagos located within the Barents Sea or bordering this sea from other parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Russian Arctic islands are particularly difficult to access due to the scarcity (or complete absence) of public transportation and the need to obtain special permits to visit these remote areas. Consequently, faunistic data are scarce for Lepidoptera from the Arctic islands of Europe, except for the relatively well known but species-poor and isolated Svalbard archipelago, which has only three local species (Coulson 2007). The records of 15 species of moths and butterflies from Novaya Zemlya, which are included in the recent version of the Fauna Europaea (Karsholt and van Nieukerken 2013), are based exclusively on materials collected about a century ago (Jacobson 1898; Rebel 1923). The recently published entomological data from the Russian Arctic (Vaygach, Kolguev and Dolgij Islands) concern butterflies primarily (Tatarinov and Dolgin 1999; Makarova 2004; Bolotov 2011; Vlasova et al. 2014; Tatarinov 2016), whereas the so-called microlepidoptera (an artificial group of moth families, commonly known as the ‘smaller moths’, as opposed to the ‘macrolepidoptera’ comprising larger moths and butterflies) of this extensive region remain almost unexplored.

During the past years, the Northern (Arctic) Federal University situated in Arkhangelsk has organised expeditions to Vaygach Island (2013) and the southern island of Novaya Zemlya (2015). Although these expeditions focused on exploration of ground beetles (Carabidae), the researchers managed to collect representative materials of Lepidoptera, which are deposited in the Russian Museum of the Biodiversity Hotspots in Arkhangelsk (RMBH) and the Finnish Museum of Natural History in Helsinki (MZH). We have also reported the results of occasional samplings conducted on Kolguev and Dolgij Islands, as well as the identifications of specimens collected about a century ago and deposited at the Zoological Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia (ZISP). Keeping in mind the acute shortage of faunistic information from the Arctic islands of European Russia, we critically analysed the records that were published earlier but were not supported by the materials investigated by us, and we provided a complete list of Lepidoptera species in this region.

Materials

Administratively, all islands involved in the present study (Fig. 1) belong to Arkhangelsk oblast of Russia. On Kolguev Island, moths and butterflies were collected by B.Y.F. and N.A.Z. during a short stop made by the research vessel on 4 July 2013 near Bugrino. The vegetation of this region, according to Walker et al. (2005), is classified as dwarf-shrub tundra. The sampled area (Fig. 2a, b) was covered by low-stature shrubs of Salix lanata L., S. lapponum L., S. myrtilloides L. and S. phylicifolia L. (Salicaceae); herbaceous layer was dominated by Polemonium boreale Adams (Polemoniaceae), Deschampsia sp. (Poaceae), Myosotis caespitosa Schultz (Boraginaceae), Petasites frigidus (L.) Fr. and Artemisia tillesii Ledeb. (Asteraceae); moss layer consisted of Pleurosium sp. and Aulacomnium sp. July is the warmest month, with an average temperature of 13.3 °C, and January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of − 18.9 °C; the annual precipitation is 410 mm.
Fig. 1

Collecting localities. 1 Arkhangelskaya Guba; 2 Bashmachnaja Guba; 3 Belushja Guba; 4 Bolshie Karmakuly; 5 Bolvanskij Nos; 6 Bugrino; 7 Dyrovataja Guba; 8 Gusinyi Nos; 9 Krivoye Lake; 10 Malye Karmakuly; 11 Mashigina Guba; 12 Matochkin Shar; 13 Nochuev Ruchei; 14 Olginskyi; 15 Pankratieva Peninsula; 16 Pereuzie; 17 Propastchaja Guba; 18 Rogachev Bay; 19 Serebryanka Guba; 20 Shubert Bay; 21 Yangoto Lake. Inset: position of the study region in Russia

Fig. 2

Examples of habitats on Arctic islands: a, b Kolguev Island, surroundings of Bugrino; c, d Vaygach Island, surroundings of Bolvanskij Nos; e, f Novaya Zemlya, surroundings of Malye Karmakuly

Sampling on Dolgij Island was performed by O. L. Makarova and V. V. Gorbatovskii on 3–28 July 2004. These collectors sent the Lepidoptera specimens to different researchers; some identifications were reported by Makarova (2004). We investigated only a part of this material, which was identified by M. A. Klepikov and deposited at ZISP. Dolgij Island is a small (39 km long and up to 4 km wide) shelf island located 12 km from the mainland (Fig. 1). The topography of the island is relatively flat, with small lakes and patches of southern tundra. The most common shrub species are S. lanata L. and S. myrsinites L.; for a description of the vegetation and for photographs of landscapes, consult Makarova and Makarov (2006). The average temperature is 13.3 °C in July and − 21.3 °C in January; the annual precipitation is 326 mm.

Sampling on Vaygach Island was conducted by B.Y.F. and N.A.Z. on 7 July–3 September 2013 near the Bolvanskij Nos meteorological station. Searches for moths and butterflies were conducted during regular excursions, and the specimens were typically collected by netting or, less frequently, by pitfalls or sampling from plants. The surveyed area belongs to the zone of prostrate-shrub tundra (as defined by Walker et al. 2005), but includes meadows associated with small rivers and ravines, as well as bogs (Fig. 2c, d). A survey of the vegetation in 11 plots (10 × 10 m size) revealed 62 species of vascular plants, among which the most common were Dryas octopetala L. (Rosaceae), Carex aquatilis Wahlenb. (Cyperaceae), Bistorta vivipara (L.) Delarbre (Polygonaceae), Myosotis alpestris F. W. Schmidt (Boraginaceae), Pedicularis oederi Vahl in Hornem. (Orobanchaceae), Poa alpina L. and Festuca rubra L. (Poaceae), Ranunculus borealis Trautv. (Ranunculaceae), Astragalus alpinus L. (Fabaceae), Saxifraga hirculus L. (Saxifragaceae), Artemisia tillesii Ledeb. (Asteraceae), S. reptans Rupr., S. polaris Wahlenb. and S. reticulata L. (Salicaceae). Species richness of vascular plants within a plot varied from 3 to 18 species (mean = 13 species), and vegetation cover varied from 40 to 100% (mean = 71%). The average July temperature is 6.9 °C, and average January temperature is − 15.7 °C; the annual precipitation is 326 mm.

Sampling on Novaya Zemlya was conducted by V.M.S. on 17 July–11 August 2015 near the Malye Karmakuly meteorological station, within the zone of the barrens and graminoid tundras, with patches of prostrate-shrub tundra associated with depressions and floodplains (Fig. 2e, f). These prostrate-shrub tundras are dominated by S. arctica Pall., with occasional specimens of S. lapponum L. and S. lanata L. (Salicaceae). The vegetation cover in the study area ranged from 5 to 20%; for a detailed description of the vegetation, consult Shakhin (1993).

In addition to processing the new materials, we checked the collections at ZISP for specimens of all 108 species reported (Sinev 2008) from the biogeographical region that includes the studied islands. We also sought specimens from this region in the so-called Arctic collection created by N. Y. Kusnezov in the 1930s and in accession materials deposited in ZISP. Finally, we carefully searched the published records on Lepidoptera from the Arctic islands of European Russia, and we examined all discovered records for the reliability of identifications.

Nomenclature and data format

The nomenclature and the order of species follow the recent Nordic-Baltic checklist of Lepidoptera (Aarvik et al. 2017); locality data are listed in alphabetic order. An asterisk (*) indicates species that are reported for the first time from the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Novaya Zemlya (region 5 in Sinev 2008). Each record based on published data is referenced; noteworthy species are provided with brief comments on their distribution and status (Table 1).
Table 1

Collecting localities

Locality name and type

Coordinates

(N, E)a

Error radius, km

Number of speciesb

Arkhangelskaya Guba [bay]

75.843, 59.183

10

0/1

Bashmachnaja Guba [bay]

70.946, 53.757

10

1/0

Belushja Guba [bay]

71.550, 52.267

5

3/5

Bolshie Karmakuly [settlement, abandoned]

72.422, 52.812

5

1/0

Bolvanskij Nos [cape]

70.419, 59.046

5

14/3

Bugrino [settlement]

68.783, 49.327

5

13/2

Dolgij [island]

69.267, 59.103

20

8/10

Dyrovataja Guba [bay]

70.196, 58.491

5

1/0

Gusinyi Nos [cape]

71.780, 51.867

35

0/4

Kolguev [island]

0/5

Krivoye [lake]

69.004, 48.756

5

0/1

Malye Karmakuly [settlement]

72.407, 52.828

5

10/0

Mashigina Guba [bay]

74.717, 56.183

10

0/2

Matochkin Shar [settlement, abandoned]

73.200, 56.450

5

6/1

Nochuev Ruchei [river]

73.281, 56.400

3

7/1

Novaya Zemlya [archipelago]

0/2

Olginskyi [settlement, abandoned]

74.133, 55.300

10

1/1

Pankratieva Peninsula

76.058, 60.403

10

0/1

Pereuzie [strait]

73.318, 55.575

10

1/0

Propastchaja Guba [bay]

71.170, 53.783

5

4/0

Rogachev Bay

71.617, 52.416

10

1/0

Serebryanka Guba [bay]

73.463, 54.442

5

0/2

Shubert Bay

72.750, 55.922

10

0/6

Shumilina Bereg [coast], Novaya Zemlya

Not identified

1/0

Vaygach [island]

0/4

Vilcheka [mount], Novaya Zemlya

Not identified

1/0

Vosmaya Guba [bay], Novaya Zemlya

Not identified

1/0

Yangoto [lake]

70.251, 59.092

5

0/1

aCoordinates are given in the wgs84 system. Coordinates of some localities may have low accuracy due to insufficient details provided in original publications

bAbove the slash: based on specimens investigated by us; below the slash: based on published records

Results

List of Lepidoptera species

New sampling and revision of the earlier findings have revealed the occurrence of 60 species of moths and butterflies on Kolguev, Vaygach and Dolgij Islands and on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago (Table 2). Below we provide comments on distribution and status of noteworthy species.
Table 2

Moths and butterflies of the Russian Arctic islands in the Barents Sea

Family

Species

Locality

Dates of sampling

Exx.

Data source

Repository

Prodoxidae

Greya variabilis Davis & Pellmyr, 1992

Bolvanskij Nos

8.–18.vii.2013

2

Own data

MZH

Tineidae

Tineola bisselliella (Hummel, 1823)

Bolvanskij Nos

19.viii.2013

1

Own data

MZH

Plutellidae

Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bolvanskij Nos

7.–22.vii.2013

10

Own data

MZH

  

Dolgij

15.–25.vii.2004

2

Own data

ZISP

  

Malye Karmakuly

27.vii.2015

15

Own data

MZH

  

Serebryanka Guba

Rebel (1923)

 

Plutella polaris Stainton & Zeller in Stainton, 1880*

Matochkin Shar

13.vii.1925

1

Own data

ZISP

 

Plutella mariae Rebel, 1923

Belushja Guba

Rebel (1923)

  

Serebryanka Guba

Rebel (1923)

Tortricidae

Clepsis mehli (Opheim, 1964)*

Bolvanskij Nos

18.vii.2013

1

Own data

MZH

  

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

2

Own data

MZH

  

Dolgij

15.–27.vii.2004

2

Own data

ZISP

 

Aethes deutschiana (Zetterstedt, 1839)*

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

7

Own data

MZH

 

Apotomis frigidana (Packard, 1867)

Bolvanskij Nos

31.vii.1905

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Bolvanskij Nos

7.vii.–4.viii.2013

9

Own data

MZH

  

Dolgij

10.–15.vii.2004

3

Own data

ZISP

 

Celypha lacunana (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

Dolgij

21.vii.2004

1

Own data

ZISP

 

Phiaris inquietana (Walker, 1863)

Dolgij

4.–15.vii.2004

3

Own data

ZISP

 

Argyroploce mengelana (Fernald, 1894)

Belushja Guba

19.viii.1921

1

Rebel (1923) and Aarvik (2013)

NHM Oslo

 

Argyroploce aquilonana Karvonen, 1932

Bolvanskij Nos

1.viii.1897

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Dyrovataja Guba

6.viii.1897

1

Kuznetzov (1978)

ZISP

  

Malye Karmakuly

27.vii.2015

1

Own data

MZH

  

Novaya Zemlya

Kuznetzov (1978)

 

Argyroploce noricana (Herrich-Schäffer, 1851)

Dolgij

4.–27.vii.2004

25

Own data

ZISP

  

Malye Karmakuly

19.–27.vii.2015

3

Own data

MZH

 

Epinotia tedella (Clerck, 1759)

Malye Karmakuly

27.vii.2015

1

Own data

MZH

 

Eucosma ommatoptera Falkovitsh, 1965

Bolvanskij Nos

7.vii.–1.viii.2013

3

Own data

MZH

  

Dolgij

15.vii.2004

1

Own data

ZISP

 

Gypsonoma parryana (Curtis in Ross, 1835)

Belushja Guba

Rebel (1923)

  

Malye Karmakuly

19.–27.vii.2015

2

Own data

MZH

  

Propastchaya Guba

26.vii.1913

1

Own data

ZISP

Gelechiidae

Bryotropha galbanella (Zeller, 1839)

Malye Karmakuly

19.–27.vii.2015

1

Own data

MZH

 

Chionodes nubilella (Zetterstedt, 1839)*

Malye Karmakuly

19.–27.vii.2015

2

Own data

MZH

Coleophoridae

Coleophora glitzella Hofmann, 1869

Dolgij

Anikin (2006)

Pterophoridae

Paraplatyptilia sahlbergi (Poppius, 1906)

Dolgij

Makarova (2004)

 

Platyptilia calodactyla (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

Malye Karmakuly

24.vii.2015

1

Own data

MZH

Pyralidae

Udea alaskalis (Gibson, 1920)

Belushja Guba

13.vii.1907

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Bolvanskij Nos

8.vii.–1.viii.2013

8

Own data

MZH

  

Matochkin Shar

11.–19.vii.1925

8

Own data

ZISP

  

Nochuev Ruchei

11.–19.vii.1925

17

Own data

ZISP

 

Udea itysalis Walker, 1859*

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

4

Own data

MZH

 

Udea uralica Slamka, 2013

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

1

Own data

MZH

 

Eudonia alpina (Curtis, 1850)

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

4

Own data

MZH

  

Dolgij

10.–15.vii.2004

1

Own data

ZISP

 

Pediasia zellerella (Staudinger, 1899)

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

1

Own data

MZH

Pieridae

Aporia crataegi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bolvanskij Nos

9.vii.2013

1

Vlasova et al. (2014)

  

Dolgij

Makarova (2004)

 

Pieris napi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bugrino

Bolotov (2011)

 

Colias palaeno (L.)

Dolgij

Makarova (2004)

 

Colias tyche werdandi Zetterstedt, 1840

Nochuev Ruchei

23.vii.1924

3

Own data

ZISP

   

18.vii.1925

5

Own data

ZISP

   

31.viii.[sic!]1925

2

Own data

ZISP

  

Shubert Bay

4.viii.1879

Jacobson (1898)

Nymphalidae

Boloria chariclea (Schneider, 1794)

Bolvanskij Nos

18.vii.2013

1

Vlasova et al. (2014)

  

Dolgij

Makarova (2004)

  

Gusinyi Nos [?]

Lukhtanov and Lukhtanov (1994), Fig. 230

  

Kolguev

Lvovsky and Morgun (2007) and Bolotov (2011)

  

Shubert Bay

4.viii.1879

Jacobson (1898)

 

Boloria polaris (Boisduval, 1828)

Kolguev

Tatarinov and Dolgin (1999)

  

Propastchaya Guba

6.viii.1912

1

Kusnezov (1925)

ZISP

  

Vaygach

Tatarinov (2016)

 

Boloria frigga (Thunberg, 1791)

Dolgij

Makarova (2004)

  

Novaya Zemlya

Kozhanchikov (1958)

 

Boloria improba (Butler, 1877)

Dolgij

Makarova (2004)

  

Gusinyi Nos [?]

 

Lukhtanov and Lukhtanov (1994), Fig. 234

  

Shubert Bay

4.viii.1879

Jacobson (1898)

  

Vaygach

Tatarinov (2016)

 

Boloria alaskensis (Holland, 1900)

Bolvanskij Nos

18.vii.–1.viii.2013

25

Vlasova et al. (2014)

  

Dolgij

Makarova (2004)

 

Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus, 1758)

Dolgij

 

Makarova (2004)

  

Kolguev

 

Bolotov (2011)

 

Nymphalis antiopa (Linnaeus, 1758)

Yangoto Lake

 

Vlasova et al. (2014)

 

Erebia disa (Thunberg, 1791)

Belushja Guba

Lvovsky and Morgun (2007), and pers. comm.

  

Kolguev

Lvovsky and Morgun (2007), and pers. comm.

  

Vaygach

Lvovsky and Morgun (2007), and pers. comm.

 

Erebia pandrose (Borkhausen, 1788).

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

1

Own data

RMBH

  

Krivoye Lake

Tatarinov (2016)

 

Erebia fasciata Butler, 1868

Belushja Guba

Lvovsky and Morgun (2007), and pers. comm.

 

Erebia rossii (Curtis in Ross, 1834)

Kolguev

Kusnezov (1925)

  

Vaygach

Tatarinov (2016)

Geometridae

Psychophora sabini Kirby, 1824

Arkhangelskaya Guba

Rebel (1923)

  

Bashmachnaya Guba

20.vii.1911

2

Own data

ZISP

  

Belushja Guba

5.vii.1904

2

Own data

ZISP

  

Bolshie Karmakuly

20.vi.–1.7.1889

2

Own data

ZISP

  

Bolvanskij Nos

7.–10.vii.2013

3

Own data

MZH

  

Mashigina Guba

Rebel (1923)

  

Matochkin Shar

29.vii.1879

Jacobson (1898)

  

Matochkin Shar

vii.1925

4

Own data

ZISP

  

Nochuev Ruchei

26.vii.1912

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Nochuev Ruchei

vii.1925

6

Own data

ZISP

  

Olginskyi

16.vii.1911

1

Sumakow (1912)

ZISP

  

Pankratieva Peninsula

Rebel (1923)

  

Pereuzie

21.viii.1907

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Propastchaya Guba

30.vii.–8.viii.1913

2

Own data

ZISP

  

Propastchaya Guba

4.vii.1919

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Propastchaya Guba

1.–6.viii.1919

4

Own data

ZISP

  

Shubert Bay

4.viii.1879

Jacobson (1898)

  

Shumilina Bereg

4.viii.1907

3

Own data

ZISP

  

Vilcheka Mount

2.vii.1907

2

Own data

ZISP

  

Vosmaya Guba

15.viii.1907

1

Own data

ZISP

 

Psychophora cinderella Viidalepp, 2001

Nochuev Ruchei

14.v.–19.vii.1925

3

Own data

ZISP

 

Xanthorhoe designata (Hufnagel, 1767)

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

5

Own data

MZH

 

Xanthorhoe ferrugata (Clerck, 1759)

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

1

Own data

MZH

 

Xanthorhoe annotinata (Zetterstedt, 1839)

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

2

Own data

MZH

 

Eupithecia satyrata (Hübner, 1813)

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

1

Own data

MZH

 

Macaria fusca (Thunberg, 1792)

Bugrino

4.vii.2013

1

Own data

MZH

Erebidae

Arctia lapponica (Thunberg, 1791)

Dolgij

Makarova (2004)

 

Arctia subnebulosa tundrana Tshistjakov, 1990

Belushja Guba

14.vii.1907

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Bugrino

Bolotov et al. (2015)

Noctuidae

Sympistis zetterstedti (Staudinger, 1857)

Bolvanskij Nos

18.vii.–18.viii.2013

20

Own data

MZH

 

Apamea lateritia (Hufnagel, 1766)

Rogachev Bay

8.vii.1911

1

Sumakow (1912)

ZISP

 

Polia richardsoni (Curtis, 1834)

Bolvanskij Nos

18.vii.–22.viii.2013

3

Own data

MZH

  

Matochkin Shar

20.vii.1924

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Matochkin Shar

23.vi.1925

5

Own data

ZISP

  

Shubert Bay

Rebel (1923)

 

Lasionycta staudingeri (Aurivillius, 1891)

Malye Karmakuly

24.–27.vii.2015

2

Own data

RMBH

  

Matochkin Shar

18.vii.1924

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Nochuev Ruchei

1925

2

Own data

ZISP

  

Shubert Bay

Hampson (1905)

 

Graphiphora augur (Fabricius, 1775)*

Bolvanskij Nos

2.vii.2013

1

Own data

MZH

 

Xestia quieta (Hübner, 1813)

Nochuev Ruchei

1925

2

Own data

ZISP

 

Xestia lyngei (Rebel, 1923)

Malye Karmakuly

27.vii.2015

1

Own data

RMBH

  

Mashigina Guba

  

Rebel (1923)

  

Matochkin Shar

18.vii.1924

1

Own data

ZISP

  

Nochuev Ruchei

1925

14

Own data

ZISP

  

Olginskyi [?]

Lafontaine et al. (1983), map 5

 

Xestia liquidaria (Eversmann, 1848)

Bolvanskij Nos

9.vii.–22.viii.2013

91

Own data

MZH

  

Gusinyi Nos

16.–20.vii.1875

Jacobson (1898)

  

Propastchaja Guba

1.viii.1912

1

Own data

ZISP

 

Xestia aequaeva (Benjamin, 1934)

Bolvanskij Nos

8.–18.vii.2013

7

Own data

MZH

  

Gusinyi Nos [?]

Lafontaine et al. (1983), map 4

 

Xestia thula (Lafontaine & Kononenko, 1983)

Nochuev Ruchei [?]

Lafontaine et al. (1983), map 1

An asterisk (*) indicates species that are reported for the first time from the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Novaya Zemlya [region 5 in Sinev (2008)]

MZH Finnish Museum of Natural History in Helsinki, RMBH Russian Museum of the Biodiversity Hotspots in Arkhangelsk, ZISP Zoological Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia

Prodoxidae

Greya variabilis Davis & Pellmyr, 1992. This Holarctic species was described from North America and later on reported from the Chukchi Peninsula (Kozlov 1996), Taymyr Peninsula (Kozlov et al. 2006), Amderma (Kullberg et al. 2013) and Naryan-Mar (Kozlov et al. 2018) in NW Europe.

Tineidae

Tineola bisselliella (Hummel, 1823). Synanthropic cosmopolitan species that was originally confined to western Palaearctic, but now is introduced to all regions.

Plutellidae

Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus, 1758). Cosmopolitan. Found on many of high Arctic islands, including Severnaya Zemlya; is generally considered as migrant (Makarova et al. 2012).

*Plutella polaris Stainton & Zeller in Stainton, 1880. Karsholt and Razowski (1996) and Aarvik et al. (2017) attributed this name to Zeller; however, the primary description published by Stainton (1880) clearly indicated that both authors investigated the specimens and agreed that they represent a distinct species. This species, described from Wijdefjorden [Wide Bay] in Svalbard, has not been observed for more than a century, until a single female was found in 2015 near the type locality (Aarvik et al. 2017; Søli et al. 2018). Zagulajev (1981) included this species into the key for Lepidoptera of European Russia and described new subspecies, Plutella polaris continentalis Zagulajev, 1981, without providing any data on the type specimen. Kozlov (1989), referring to a private letter by K. Sattler, who investigated male genitalia of the type specimen of P. polaris, indicated that this species differs from P. xylostella by wide, nearly triangular valva and thick phallus without two basal arms, which are present in P. xylostella. Based on these characters, Kozlov (1989) synonymised P. polaris continentalis to P. xylostella and concluded that P. polaris had not been found in Russia by that date. Consistently, P. polaris was not included into the Catalogue of the Russian Lepidoptera (Sinev 2008). Coulson and Refseth (2004), without any justification, synonymised P. polaris to P. xylostella, and this incorrect synonymy was cited in several subsequent publications (e.g. Makarova et al. 2012). However, after Baraniak (2007) published photographs of the moth and of the male genitalia of P. polaris, Coulson et al. (2014) concluded that the distinct features currently support the specific status of P. polaris. We agree with the latter conclusion, and our finding, along with the current discovery of this species in Altai Mountains (Huemer et al. 2017), indicates that P. polaris is not endemic to Svalbard, as it was believed for more than a century.

Plutella mariae Rebel, 1923. This species is very similar to P. polaris in characters of male genitalia, but differs from the latter species externally. Still there remains the possibility that P. mariae is a junior synonym of P. polaris.

Tortricidae

*Clepsis mehli (Opheim, 1964). Arctic species, which so far was reported only from northern Norway (Aarvik and Larsen 1984) and Taymyr Peninsula in Russia (Kozlov et al. 2006).

Phiaris inquietana (Walker, 1863). This species was reported from Eastern Europe by Karsholt and Razowski (1996), subsequently included into the Fauna Europaea (without any distribution record) and listed for the Nenets Autonomous Okrug by Sinev (2008). However, we were unable to locate any specimen of this species originating from Europe or a published information listing exact locality data. The former westernmost records of this Beringian species were from Taymyr Pns. (Kozlov et al. 2006) and Amderma (Kullberg et al. 2013). In Greenland and Ellesmere Island, the larva of this species bores the stems and roots of several species of Pedicularis (MacKay and Downes 1969).

Argyroploce mengelana (Fernald, 1894). This record, under the name Olethreutes glaciana Möschler, was published by Rebel (1923); identification was corrected by Aarvik (2013). In Greenland and Ellesmere Island, the larva of this species feeds by spinned leaves of Dryas integrifolia (MacKay and Downes 1969).

A. aquilonana Karvonen, 1932. The source of information on the occurrence of this species in Novaya Zemlya (Kuznetzov 1978) remains unknown.

Epinotia tedella (Clerck, 1759). Presumably migrant; the host plants of this leafroller, Picea obovata Ledeb. and, presumably, Larix species, were not recorded in Novaya Zemlya (Sekretareva 2004).

Eucosma ommatoptera Falkovitsh, 1965. The westernmost records; earlier, this species was reported from Amderma (Kullberg et al. 2013), Taymyr Peninsula (Kozlov et al. 2006) and the Russian Far East, from Chukotka to Primorye region (Sinev 2008).

Gypsonoma parryana (Curtis in Ross, 1835). Holarctic species, described from Canada; in Russia was reported from Taymyr Peninsula (Kozlov et al. 2006), Chukotka and Magadan oblast (Sinev 2008).

Pterophoridae

Platyptilia calodactyla (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775). The principal host plant of this species, Solidago virgaurea L., was not recorded in Novaya Zemlya (Sekretareva 2004). However, its larva may also feed on Senecio spp. and other Asteraceae.

Pyralidae

Udea alaskalis (Gibson, 1920). High Arctic species described from Alaska; recently was found in Amderma (Kullberg et al. 2013).

*Udea itysalis Walker, 1859. A variable Holarctic species, which was described from North America, where it is widely distributed (Pohl et al. 2018). In Russia, this species was earlier recorded from Chukotka, Kamchatka and Magadan oblast (Sinev 2008). The first record from Europe.

Udea uralica Slamka, 2013. The species was recently described from the Asiatic slopes of Polar Ural Mountains (Slamka 2013); it is also known from Amderma (Kullberg et al. 2013) and from the Altai and Sayan Mountains (S. Sinev, pers. comm.). The earlier record of U. cretacea Fil. from Taymyr Peninsula (Kozlov et al. 2006) should be attributed to this species.

Pediasia zellerella (Staudinger, 1899). Described from Altai Mountains; recently found in Taymyr Peninsula (Kozlov et al. 2006) and in Amderma (Kullberg et al. 2013); common in surroundings of Vorkuta and in Polar Ural Mountains (J.K., pers. obs.). The westernmost record.

Pieridae

Aporia crataegi (Linnaeus, 1758). Palaearctic species, most likely a migrant.

Colias tyche werdandi Zetterstedt, 1840. This taxon may appear conspecific with Colias nastes zemblica Verity, 1911, described from Shubert Bay. Lvovsky and Morgun (2007) reported records of C. n. zemblica in Belushja Guba, but did not include Novaya Zemlya into the distribution range of C. tyche. However, we follow Tuzov et al. (1997) and Fauna Europaea (Karsholt and van Nieukerken 2013) and attribute the specimens from Novaya Zemlya to C. tyche.

Nymphalidae

B. frigga (Thunberg, 1791). The data behind the record from Novaya Zemlya (Kozhanchikov, 1958) remain unknown; no specimens from Novaya Zemlya were found in ZISP.

B. improba (Butler, 1877). Bolotov (2011) reported this species also from Kolguev, with reference to Lukhtanov and Lukhtanov (1994) and Tatarinov and Dolgin (1999); however, two latter publications did not include information on records of this species from the Kolguev Island.

Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus, 1758). A migrant.

Nymphalis antiopa (Linnaeus, 1758). Holarctic species, obviously a migrant.

Erebia rossii (Curtis in Ross, 1834). Record from Kolguev (Kusnezov 1925) is questionable (Bolotov 2011).

Geometridae

Psychophorasabini Kirby, 1824. Holarctic species. Some of published records may actually refer to P. cinderella Viidalepp.

Erebidae

Arctia lapponica (Thunberg, 1791). The record from Novaya Zemlya (Karsholt and Nieukerken 2013) was based on data from Rebel (1923) (B. Skule, pers. comm.); however, the latter work does not contain any information on A. lapponica.

Arctia subnebulosa tundrana Tshistjakov, 1990. The record from Belushja Guba is based on pinned dry larva.

Noctuidae

Sympistis zetterstedtii (Staudinger, 1857). The taxonomic status of this Holarctic species is controversial. We accept it after Lafontaine and Schmidt (2013) who consider S. zetterstedtii as a northern Holarctic species, which is separate of S. nigrita occurring in Alps.

Lasionycta staudingeri (Aurivillius, 1891). The record from Shubert Bay was published as Anarta zemblica (Hampson 1905).

Xestia aequaeva (Benjamin, 1934). The record from Gusinyi Nos [?] (Lafontaine et al. 1983, map 4) was published as X. brachiptera Kononenko, 1981. Holarctic species; recently found in polar deserts of Severnaya Zemlya (Makarova et al. 2012).

Species erroneously reported from the study region

Sterrhopterix fusca (Haworth, 1809). Novaya Zemlya (Arnscheid 2013). Presumably a technical error that occured at the time of data entry into the Fauna Europaea database (W. Arnscheid, pers. comm.). The record of this species in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug by Sinev (2008) is presumably based on Fauna Europaea and should therefore be disregarded.

S. standfussi (Wocke, 1851). Novaya Zemlya (Arnscheid 2013). Same as for the previous species.

Phiaris glaciana (Möschler, 1860). Reported from Novaya Zemlya (Belushja Guba) by Rebel (1923) on the basis of two misidentified specimens of Argyroploce mengelana (L. Aarvik, pers. comm.). The record of P. glaciana in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug by Sinev (2008) is based on publication by Rebel (1923) and should therefore be disregarded.

Epagoge grotiana (Fabricius, 1781). Reported from in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug by Sinev (2008) on the basis of misidentified specimens of Clepsis mehli from Dolgij Island.

Apotomis demissana Kennel, 1900. Reported from in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug by Sinev (2008) on the basis of misidentified specimens of Apotomis frigidana from Dolgij Island.

Entephria punctipes (Curtis 1835). Reported (as Larentia byssata Aurivillius, 1891) from Novaya Zemlya (Olginskyi) by Sumakow (1912) on the basis of a misidentified specimen of Psychophora sabini.

Discussion

According to the recent review of invertebrate biodiversity of the archipelagos of the Barents Sea, only 23 species of Lepidoptera have thus far been recorded from Svalbard and Novaya Zemlya (Coulson et al. 2014). Our study, reporting 60 species, clearly demonstrated that earlier impressions regarding the extremely low species richness of moths and butterflies on Arctic islands primarily reflect a low sampling effort, especially of so-called microlepidoptera. Based on the list of species found in the continental part of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Kozlov et al. 2018), we estimate that some 40–60 species of moths still remain to be found in this region, especially in Kolguev Island.

Six of the 60 species were recorded for the first time from the region consisting of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO) and the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. Interestingly, some of these species, such as Aethes deutschiana and Graphiphora augur, are widely distributed in Eurasia; nevertheless, they have not been collected in the continental part of the NAO until now (Kozlov et al. 2018). At the same time, we report several biogeographically important findings: Udea itysalis is recorded for the first time in Europe, and both Clepsis mehli and Plutella polaris are recorded for the first time in the European part of Russia. Our findings also expand the known distribution ranges of Phiaris inquietana, Eucosma ommatoptera and Pediasia zellerella further west.

Some 30% of Lepidoptera species, which have been recorded earlier from Svalbard and Novaya Zemlya, are considered to be vagrants and not residents of these archipelagos (Coulson et al. 2014). Of course, given the current paucity of knowledge, it is almost impossible to conclude whether a species completed its life cycle in a given locality. Indeed, even the absence of known host plants cannot exclude the possibility that a local population evolved to use alternative hosts. Nevertheless, we have classified five of 60 species recorded in the Arctic islands of European Russia as likely migrants.

The faunas of Dolgij and Kolguev Islands (18 and 19 species, respectively) include moths typical of northern taiga forests (e.g. Aethes deutschiana, Celypha lacunana and Xanthorhoe designata), and we believe that the low numbers of Lepidoptera species discovered on these islands have resulted primarily from a low collecting effort. By contrast, the fauna of Vaygach Island (22 species) is relatively well known and includes several high Arctic species, such as Xestia aequaeva, X. liquidaria and X. lyngei. However, it is depauperated even relative to the fauna of Amderma (29 species: Kullberg et al. 2013), a site located on the continent only 80 km to the south of Bolvanskij Nos, the main sampling site on Vaygach Island. The fauna of Novaya Zemlya totals 30 species of Lepidoptera, only eight of which were collected from the Northern Island, mostly near Matochkin Shar strait.

Three quarters of the moth and butterfly species recorded on the Arctic islands were reported earlier from the continental part of the NAO (Kozlov et al. 2018). Importantly, ten of these 45 common species within the continental part of the NAO were found only in Amderma. We estimate that some 20 of the 60 species recorded on the Arctic islands, primarily those found on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago and Vaygach Island, are either limited to the polar desert zone or are most abundant in the northern tundras.

Interestingly, the ratio between the numbers of ‘microlepidoptera’ and ‘macrolepidoptera’ recorded on Arctic islands (0.76) is only slightly lower than that determined for the continental part of the NAO (1.09; Kozlov et al. 2018), indicating that the faunas of moths and butterflies of these two areas have been explored to about the same level. Still, the local fauna of Amderma, the relatively well-studied continental locality near Vaygach Island, has an unexpectedly high (1.64) ratio between the numbers of ‘microlepidoptera’ and ‘macrolepidoptera’. This ratio is even higher than that found in the Murmansk region (1.52: Kozlov and Kullberg 2011), which has the best studied lepidopteran fauna among the regions of Russia (Sinev 2008). This finding confirms that the relatively low proportion of ‘microlepidoptera’ reported so far from the Arctic islands reflects the common sampling bias towards ‘macrolepidoptera’, rather than a predominance of the latter group in the Arctic fauna. The question remains whether, as suggested by Makarova et al. (2012), the northernmost representatives of Lepidoptera are Psychophora spp. and Cynaephora groenlandica, or whether this conclusion is biased by the absence of knowledge on the ‘microlepidoptera’ that inhabit polar deserts.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to L. Aarvik, W. Arnscheid, E. Beljaev, P. Gorbunov, A. Lvovsky, O. Makarova, D. Morgun, K. Sattler, S. Sinev and B. Skule for providing us with various information on Arctic Lepidoptera, to P. Gorbunov and K. Silvonen for identification of difficult taxa, and to V. Zverev for assistance in preparation of illustrations. This study was partially supported by the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations (project 0409–2016-0022) and Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project 16–05-00854).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sitowise OyEspooFinland
  2. 2.Department of Zoology and EcologyNorthern (Arctic) Federal UniversityArkhangelskRussia
  3. 3.Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research, Russian Museum of Biodiversity HotspotsRussian Academy of SciencesArkhangelskRussia
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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