Scientists discover new, rare subspecies of Arctic butterfly in Yakutia

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TOMSK, June 7. /TASS/. A new subspecies of the Arctic butterfly, which lives exclusively in Yakutia, was studied by scientists from the Tomsk (TSU) and the Altai (AltSU) state universities. Discoveries of the kind point to the environment transformation in the Arctic, the Tomsk University's press service told TASS on Wednesday.

Earlier, scientist at the Tomsk and Altai universities, Doctor of Biological Sciences Roman Yakovlev told TASS that a discovery of every new subspecies in the group of Arctic butterflies is a sensation. There are very poorly studied areas on the vast territory of the Russian Federation, especially in the northern regions.

"The subspecies of the northern butterfly, which was not known earlier, was found in the upper part of the Arga-Tas mountain range. This subspecies has a clear external difference from other representatives of Arctic Apollo and at the same time it significantly differs genetically. We have dedicated the description of the northern fauna's representative to Roman Shavlov, an amateur naturalist from Yakutsk, who has been studying northern nature for decades. We have named the new subspecies after him - Parnassius Arcticus Shavlovi," the scientist said.

The rare species was found by naturalist and traveler from Lipetsk Yuri Bakhaev. For many years he has been studying the northern nature, choosing remote and completely unexplored destinations.

Parnassius arcticus is a unique and northernmost species that lives only in the Arctic, in northeastern Yakutia. It is monophagous: the butterflies are fed only on one plant - Corydalis gorodkovii.

"The northern fauna reacts very sensitively to warming, thus scientists use it as a climate change indicator. The new fundamental data obtained during the research will be used as a starting point to study how northern faunas were formed and to monitor the Arctic environment transformation," the press service said.

The new subspecies' studies were carried out under the "Global Earth changes: climate, ecology, quality of life" project, which the Tomsk State University implements with the support from the Priority 2030 federal program.



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