Associations of co‐mimetic ithomiine butterflies on small spatial and temporal scales in a neotropical rainforest
Source: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 67, Number 1, 1 May 1999 , pp. 73-85(13)
Abstract:To test whether ithomiine butterfly species within Miillerian mimetic classes are associated in space and time, we sampled a community of ithomiine butterflies at monthly intervals with traps in the canopy and the understory of four forest habitats: primary, higrade, secondary and edge. A species accumulation curve reached an asymptote at 22 species, suggesting that these species have a greater preference for feeding on fruit juices than other ithomiines known to occur at the study site. Species richness and individual abundance showed marked temporal variation, and there were slight differences in the distribution of species richness and individual abundance among the four habitats. The 22 species sampled in this study were not stratified vertically. The five mimetic colour classes of these butterflies were unequally distributed among the four habitats and over the course of the twelve months. There is suggestive evidence that co‐mimic species occurred in the same habitats, and strong evidence that they occurred at the same times. Habitat and temporal effects each contributed approximately 10% to the total mimetic class diversity, with the temporal effect being slightly larger than that of habitat. This study demonstrates that Müllerian co‐mimic associations can be measured on a much smaller scale than has been done previously.
Document Type: Original Article
Publication date: May 1, 1999