Date of this Version
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology Online Masters Program Final Project. Lincoln, Nebraska.
Abstract: This list of butterflies of the Suusamyr Valley contains 20 species. Each species is listed with the scientific name, common name (if applicable), flight times, elevation, habitat, food plants, and life cycle. In addition to their natural history, each species has an included distribution map.
Introduction: Although the Suusamyr Valley is only 7-8 hours away by car from Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, this region is very poorly studied in regards to its ecology. Information on butterfly distributions in this region is lacking in most currently available resources. As a result, the data presented within provides new information that enhances our understanding of the distribution of many of these butterflies.
Results: Data was collected during the “Biosphere Expeditions: Tien Shan Expedition” during the summer of 2015. Citizen scientists from around the world were present during four two-week trips that the expedition took place over. Although the main duties of the expedition were not related to butterfly identification and distribution mapping, efforts were made by many members of the expedition to catalogue the butterflies seen. This was done by taking an image of the butterfly, writing down the file name on a spreadsheet and matching that with GPS coordinates taken at the time of the sighting. Identification verification was later done on the basis of these images, thereby providing the raw data for distribution maps. As this was only the first summer that this aspect of the expedition was implemented, the numbers are quite low, however, we expect future surveys to provide much more data, especially with the future implementation of the “Butterflies of Kyrgyzstan” smartphone application being produced by the author. In all, 20 species were identified with 77 individual sightings. All of these species provide new location data that is absent in other resources.
Maps and Species List: Included is a map detailing the location of all butterfly observations within the Suusamyr Valley. Following that is a species list ordered taxonomically by family and then alphabetically by species detailing the natural history of each observed species as well as a distribution map for each species.