The present preface essentially is an addition to the introduction placed in first volume of this book (Toropov&Zhdanko 2006) and also contains general explanations to essays and illustrations. During the time after publishing of 1st volume, authors have received many comments from colleagues and friends. We are grateful to them for the criticisms. There are forthcoming reviews to the first volume, including published ones (Kazenas 2007; Tennent 2007).
There were listed some species in preface in 1st volume, which taxa are known from the region con-sidered (Dzhungar, Tien Shan, Alai and Eastern Pamirs) but no included deliberately. These species are typical inhabitants of lowland deserts, and it will be more appropriate to present descriptions of these species in the second book («The butterflies (Lepidoptera, Papilionoidea) of Eastern Turan, Tarbagatai, Saur and Southern Altai», is planned for publication in 2010). However it is necessary to add and annotate the list of species no included in the present volume deliberately.
Nymphalis polychloros – isolated records of this species (for Western Tien Shan) are out of date and need to be verified by modern study;
Limenitis lepechini – is known in Fergana Mt.R. by single record,
Mellicta aurelia distans – this species is known from the only one small isolated population in Eastern Tien Shan;
Melitaea acraeina is the narrowly distributed species, which has ends of area overlapping the territory considered (in Northern Alai piedmonts);
Melitaea persea – this species has northernmost isolated part of the specific area in Kurama Mt. R.;
Athamanthia athamantis – this species has the disjunctive specific area and was recorded in isolated sites within the territory considered;
Rhymnaria rhymnus rufina was recorded in Altyn-Emel Mt. R., that is the end of area only overlapping the territory considered.
Maps are presented (at pages 8–9, 10–11) for an idea about the region, fauna of which is considered in this book. These maps are analogous to ones used in the first volume and are schematic: administrative borders have no official character, there are plotted all towns with population over half of million citizens while another settlements are selectively mapped. Some elements and toponyms are verified and made more accurately in these maps, in the comparison with maps given in first volume. We include part of Matcha mountain system (in Sokh River heads) into the limits of the considered territory.
This volume presents information about 171 species diurnal butterfly species from Danaidae, Nymphalidae, Libytheidae, Riodinidae and Lycaenidae families, which representatives are registered in Dzhungar, Tien Shan, Alai and Eastern Pamirs. It also includes an acknowledgements, a reference list, the alphabetical index for butterfly taxa (genera, species and subspecies), errata and some corrections for the Volume 1, as well presentations of the authors. Each essay consists of the Latin name of a species and identical text in Russian and English, which contains brief information about general area of distribution, typical habitats (biotopes), altitudinal diapason of spreading, flying period, number of generations, host-plants, as well data on pre-imaginal phases and ecological peculiarities. Some facts represent results of the original study and recent observations. A description of each species includes illustrations for the essay and takes at least one whole book opening.
Information about distribution of a species is presented on colour relief-shaded map with point marking (colour circled) of the known loci where subspecies were found. The primary colour of the circles is red, it was used to mark the sites of species discovery if this species is not divided into subspecies, or sites where only one subspecies was discovered in territory considered. Distribution of the other subspecies found in this territory is marked by circles of the other colours, and the loci where there were found individuals of uncertain systematic position, which taxonomic denomination needs to be additionally studied and defined more precisely – by rings. Some doubtful sites mentioned in the literature sources are mapped with the question mark.
In addition to colour photographs of collection specimens (one pair and underside-view; all in natural scale) visual characteristics for species are presented with colour photographs of butterflies in natural setting, caterpillars (all of them were bred by S. Toropov), their host-plants, pupas, typical biotopes in their habitats. Each photograph is supplied with an explanation note in English including the name of a photographer.
S. Toropov, A. Zhdanko