Symposium: Insect Behavioral Ecology - '93: Behavior in Butterflies as a Means of Conservation: Comparison of Insular and Continental Fauna

  • Jacqueline Y. Miller


Behavior is one of the major components affecting the survival of butterfly species. Certain physiological requirements, such as regulation of body temperature, search for nutrients and partitioning of other resources must be met, but the ability to meet them can be enhanced through behavior. Insular and continental butterfly species may display similar perching and flight behavior based on familial relationships. Reduction in species diversity and population numbers can most often be attributed to variation in climate and weather patterns and changes in land use, especially those changes that result in habitat fragmentation or loss. Chemical pesticides and possible extirpation of species through predation and over-collection are secondary causes of reductions in most cases. Through the critical examination of butterfly behavior in both insular and continental species, we can derive a more complete picture of the requirements necessary to sustain populations and can further enhance conservation and management efforts.
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