Seasonality of Fruit-Feeding Butterflies (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) in a Brazilian Semiarid Area
Nobre, Carlos Eduardo Beserra
- Publisher: International Scholarly Research Network
A survey of 6,000 trap/hours using fruit-bait traps was conducted, in order to characterize the community of fruit-feeding butterflies and their seasonal variation in a semiarid area of NE Brazil, which exhibits a highly seasonal rainfall regime. The community was composed of 15 species, the four most abundant comprising more than 80% of the total individuals. In the first sampling month, 80% of the species had already been recorded. A strong positive correlation was found between butterfly abundance and precipitation of the sampled year. The highly seasonal pattern of the studied community may be related to the availability of both larvae and adult food resources. The endemic Fountainea halice moretta presented the highest positive correlations with other butterfly species and with total butterfly abundance and illustrates well the seasonal variation of the whole community. Hamadryas februa was the only species trapped in all sampling months, probably due to the ability of adults to aestivate during the dryer months. The open and more disturbed sample area showed higher abundance of butterflies in the rainy season and lower abundance in the dry season. Both abundance and richness were affected by season in a manner that the rainy period had significantly more individuals and species.