The possible zone of contact between Pyrgus (malvae) malvae Linnaeus, 1758, and P. (malvae) melotis Duponchel, 1832, is re-examined. The two taxa apparently meet (in the subspecies malvae and ponticus Reverdin, 1914, respectively) in N. and W. Turkey and possibly in S. Russia north of the Caucasus. There are, however, only few localities or areas from where both are known: Amasya and north of Ankara in N. Turkey and Izmir in W. Turkey. In these areas the two taxa do not seem to recognize each other as belonging to the same species. A population with an intermediate character is known to occur in the Boz Dagh area east of Izmir. The population seems remarkably constant in this character. Its origin is obscure. The available data do not prompt us to change our view on the superspecies status of Pyrgus (malvae). Notes are added on the apparent incongruence of phylogenetic and biological relationships in this case. P. (malvae) melotis is widely distributed in Turkey, extending east to N. Iran, north to north of the Caucasus and south to Israel. Old records of melotis from Greece or the Aegean islands are highly improbable and should be omitted from further literature records. On the basis of external characters two subspecies are distinguished: melotis and ponticus.

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Zoologische Mededelingen

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Naturalis journals & series

de Jong, R. (1987). Superspecies Pyrgus Malvae (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) in the East Mediterranean, with notes on Phylogenetic and Biological relationships. Zoologische Mededelingen, 61(34), 483–500.