Alexander A. Prokin, Leading Researcher of the Laboratory of Water Invertebrates Ecology in the Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland Waters Russian Academy of Sciences; Researcher of the ecological-analytical laboratory of the Department of Biology in the Cherepovets State University (Borok, 135, 9. 152742, Yaroslavl Oblast', Nekouz district, Russia); e-mail:
Alexey S. Sazhnev, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory of Water Invertebrates Ecology in the Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland Waters Russian Academy of Sciences (Borok, 135, 15. 152742, Yaroslavl Oblast', Nekouz district, Russia); e-mail:
Dmitriy A. Philippov, Leading Researcher of the Laboratory of Higher Aquatic Plants in the Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland Waters Russian Academy of Sciences (Borok, 152742, Yaroslavl Oblast', Nekouz district, Russia); e-mail:

Reference to article

Prokin A.A., Sazhnev A.S., Philippov D.A. 2019. Water beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera) of some peatlands in the North Caucasus. Nature Conservation Research 4(2): 57–66.

Section Research articles

Montane peatlands occupy only 0.1% of the Caucasus territory and are present at altitudes of 600–3400 m a.s.l. Unlike vegetation and stratigraphy, insects of the peatlands have been studied poorly. The aim of our study is to describe for the first time the fauna of water beetles of Sphagnum and Carex-Sphagnum peatlands in the North Caucasus, its zoogeographical and regional specifics, and factors determining species richness and species composition of water beetles in several peatlands. The fieldwork was performed in May, June, and September, 2018, in eight peatlands in North Ossetia (Tarskoe, Chifandzar, and two peatlands on the Kubus Mount and Kabardino-Balkaria (three small peatlands near Verkhnyaya Balkaria village and the «narzan» (with emissions of mineral groundwater) Ushtulu peatland). The material was collected in the in-mire water bodies and watercourses by sweeping with a Balfour-Brown aquatic net, collecting individuals with aquarium nets in shallow water bodies, and trampling of Sphagnum. We recorded 25 species of water beetles of six families: Gyrinidae (1), Haliplidae (1), Dytiscidae (13), Helophoridae (2), Hydrophilidae (7), and Hydraenidae (1). Among them, there are endemics, and subendemics of the Caucasus boreal montane species which are glacial relicts of the region. Development of the local fauna of water beetles in the North Caucasus peatlands has regional specifics and depends on altitudes, typological diversity of the peatland water bodies, and physical and chemical properties of water. We recommend establishing new Protected Areas in Russia: Sphagnum peatlands in Kabardino-Balkaria near the village Verkhnyaya Balkaria. For protection of montane Sphagnum peatlands as unique habitats, we recommend to include the boreal-montane species Hydroporus incognitus and Hydroporus nigellus in the Red Data Book of Kabardino-Balkaria and Hydroporus nigellus in the Red Data Book of North Ossetia.


Carex-Sphagnum peatlands, conservation, fauna, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, regional specifics, species richness, Sphagnum peatlands, zoogeography

Artice information

Received: 23.12.2018. Revised: 02.03.2019. Accepted: 05.03.2019.

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