The Valdieri area (Italian Maritime Alps) has long been known for harbouring a large variety of Mediterranean and Alpine elements, often occurring together in an intricate pattern of co-habitations that is practically without equal elsewhere in the Alps. The area has been designated as a Site of Communitarian Interest (SCI: “Argentera” IT1110053), has been listed among the 32 “Prime Butterfly Areas” occurring in Italy and is now considered a priority site for conservation. A large number of amateur and professional entomologists alike have visited the area over the years, generating a mass of information on the Valdierian butterflies. We carefully searched the “grey” literature for data on the butterflies and the burnet moths occurring in this area. Since the second half of the 19th Century, almost 100 papers and books have been dedicated, in whole or in part, to the description of this fauna, which currently includes many as 161 species. We sampled butterflies in 2008-2009 and found one previously unreported species. Here we provide an annotated checklist of the butterfly and burnet moth species occurring in the area, including comments on their ecology and distribution, as well as a complete list of the publications dealing with them.
Butterfly fauna, checklist, biodiversity, conservation, Maritime Alps, new record.