Eur. J. Entomol. 109 (3): 403-410, 2012 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2012.052

Is colour an important factor influencing the behaviour of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Hesperioidea, Papilionoidea)?

Lenka KOČÍKOVÁ1, Dana MIKLISOVÁ2, Alexander ČANÁDY1, Ľubomír PANIGAJ1
1 Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P.J. Šafárik University, SK-04001, Košice, Slovakia, e-mail: lenka.kocikova@student.upjs.sk
2 Institute of Parasitology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Hlinkova 3, SK-04001, Košice, Slovakia

Coloured Moericke water pan traps were used to determine the effect of colour on the preference behaviour of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Hesperioidea, Papilionoidea) over the period 2001 to 2003 in grassland habitats in Eastern Slovakia (Košická kotlina basin). A total of 912 individuals belonging to 53 species and 7 families of butterflies were trapped. The colour of the traps that caught the most butterflies was white, followed by blue, violet, yellow and finally the least were caught by red coloured traps. Ordination analysis showed that some butterfly families and species were more likely to be caught by traps of a specific colour. Measurements of the wavelengths of the colours used revealed that butterflies preferred short-wavelengths light. The effect of colour on the catches did not differ significantly among the sites. The butterflies were more likely to be caught by traps of a certain colour even though the other features of the traps were the same.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, colour preference, water pan traps, Western Carpathians

Received: May 13, 2011; Accepted: February 15, 2012; Published: July 2, 2012

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