Eur. J. Entomol. 114: 113-122, 2017 | 10.14411/eje.2017.016

Movement, demography and behaviour of a highly mobile species: A case study of the black-veined white, Aporia crataegi (Lepidoptera: Pieridae)

Jure JUGOVIC1, Mitja ČRNE2, Martina LUŽNIK1,*
1 University of Primorska, Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies, Glagoljaška 8, 6000 Koper, Slovenia; e-mails: martina.luznik@upr.si, jure.jugovic@upr.si, jure.jugovic@gmail.com
2 Biodiva - Conservation Biologists Society, Kettejeva 1, 6000 Koper, Slovenia; e-mail: crne.mitja1@gmail.com

We studied the demography, movement, behaviour and choice of nectar plants by adults of Aporia crataegi. This study was done in a dense network of different types of habitats (total size of study area 16.26 ha) from open landscape to shrubland, the latter being a result of abandonment of traditional agricultural practices such as extensive mowing and grazing. Total population size was estimated to be approximately 1700 and 2700 for females and males, respectively. Median and maximum distances moved by males were 134 and 3493 m, and by females 138 and 3165 m, respectively. The average lifespan was ca. 7.1 and 7.5 days, with maximum recorded lifespans of 21 and 17 days for males and females, respectively. The greater capture probability recorded for males indicates their high activity, as they spend most of their time in flight patrolling and searching for mates. A parabolic recruitment curve and protandry were also recorded. Both sexes are highly mobile. The spatial distribution of both sexes was roughly similar. The adult behaviour differed in different habitats, with more time spent feeding and resting when nectar plants were plentiful and more time spent flying when they were rare. Although adults utilized nine nectar sources, only two were recorded in over 80% of all the feeding occasions. In order to re-establish open grassland with some shrubland, traditional and mosaic management of the landscape should be revived at least to some extent.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Pieridae, Aporia crataegi, mark-release-recapture, demography, movement, nectar plants

Received: June 17, 2016; Accepted: December 15, 2016; Published online: February 23, 2017

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