Yurii Petrovich Korshunov

black-and-white photo of Yu.P.Korshunov with a horse

Yu.P.Korshunov n the experimental farm of Siberian Branch of Russian academy of sciences, 1964
(where Lampides boeticus was caught).


Yurii  Petrovich Korshunov was born on September 22, 1933 in Siberia (village Chernorechka near Novosibirsk).

The first Korshunov's long-term scientific expedition was to the Altai region, in the environs of village Elikmonar, in 1947. In 1948, he took part in organizing expeditions of the young people's geographical society "Siberia", of which he was the president. His tutors in the methods of field work were the director of "Siberia" S.A.Strom and B.S.Semenov, who was in charge of the natural history section of the Novosibirsk Regional History Museum, and an amateur lepidopterologist A. E .Standel.

Yu.P.Korshunov in Kislovka, Tomsk province, at student practice, 1953During the years 1948-1950 Korshunov explored some areas of the Salair Range, the valleys of the Ob' and Chumysh rivers, and the Lake Karakol in the Altai Mountains. In 1952, while still a student at Tomsk University, Korshunov took part in a "Siberia" society expedition which followed the route Biisk- Gorno-Altaisk - Choya - Ynyrga - Kebesen' - Artybash - the Iolgo range near Lake Teletskoe.

In 1953 Korshunov transferred to Kharkov University to the Department of Entomology, headed by S.I.Medvedev.

In the winter of 1954 he met several times in Moscow with A. A. Yakhontov, the famous early 2O-th entomologist, whose advice proved beneficial to Korshunov's research. That same winter he acquainted himself for the first time with the collections of the Zoological Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences as well as with the famous butterfly collection of A.V.Tsvetaev.

The summer sessions of 1954-1955 were partially devoted to the study of butterflies and other insects in the Kharkov and Sumy regions, but were mainly spent in the Crimea Wildlife Reserve, thanks to the good faith and assistance of S.S.Tchetverikov.

Yu.P.Korshunov in the Crimea, Mt.Eklizi-Burun, 1954In 1954, Korshunov's research took him from the Crimea to the Transcaucasia, together with G.A.Mazokhin-Porshnyakov. Together they collected insects along the Black Sea coast near Batum, around Tbilisi, on Lake Sevan and near Etchmiadzin (village Akhamsalu).

In 1956 Yu.P.Korshunov began to work in the Biology Institute of the West Siberian branch of the Academy of Scienses (now Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences). His first achievement in his new position was the entomological description of the basin of the future Novosibirsk reservoir.

As did other entomologists, Korshunov derived much benefit from contact with A.S.Danilevskii; B.N.Shwanvich, A.A.Stakelberg, O.L.Kryzhanovskii. A source of constant support was S.I.Medvedev. In 1959 he visited the Jubilee congress of the Entomological Society of the USSR.

Since the 1960-th Korshunov has studied butterflies in all the environmental zones of Siberia, in particular the mountains, as is reflected in his publiched works. In addition, the materials collected by Korshunov shed much light on the study of spiders, dragonflies, aphides, foresy bugs, moths, beetles and diptera.

Korshunov's catalog of Diurna fauna of the Soviet Union (1972) placed the study of this group of insects on a new foundation , thus attracting fresh scientific interest to this field. Korshunov's advice and assistance to specialists in various fields furthered the publication of new studies of butterflies, including M.M.Sirotkin's catalogues of the Moscow and Kaluga regions, A.P.Kumakov's descriptions of the Saratov region, and others.

A new edition of Korshunov's catalogue is being prepared in the light of the contributions of specialists and amateurs alike.

In October 1987, at the initiative Korshunov's research group, the first entomological conference on Diurna in the history of Russian and Soiviet entomology took place in Novosibirsk. Papers were read by 35 naturalists from 30 cities in the USSR.

In the 1995, 1996, and 1998 Korshunov has published books of butterflies Ural, Siberia and the Far East. In 2000 - "The buttrerflies of Ural, Siberia and Far East" (keys and details).

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