Interpopulation variation and selective predation in the meadow brown butterfly, Maniola jurtina (L.) (Lepidoptera: Satyridae) in the Canary Islands

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1990
Authors:Owen, DF, SMITH, DAVIDAS
Journal:Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Date Published:1990
ISBN Number:1095-8312
Keywords:beak marks, Canary islands, Fringillidae, immigration, interpopulation variation, islands, Maniola jurlina, predation, Serinus, Serinus canaria, spotting
Abstract:Samples of the meadow brown butterfly, Maniola jurtina, were collected from all five of the Canary Islands where it occurs. The butterflies were scored for several spotting characters on both fore- and hindwings and assessed for damage from predators. The analysis reveals considerable interisland heterogeneity for spotting characters and suggests that the populations fall into two relatively distinct, homogeneous groups, which inhabit the islands of Gran Canaria and La Gomera, on the one hand, and Tenerife, El Hierro and La Palma, on the other. The main predators are lizards and insectivorous birds. Predator damage is non-random in the following respects: males are more damaged than females; high spot male phenotypes are more damaged than low ones early in the flight period (April-May); symmetrical damage, probably acquired while resting, is commoner in females, while asymmetrical damage is more characteristic of males. Damage generally increases in both sexes through the flight period. Comparison of the bulked Canary Island samples with museum material from North Africa and Iberia suggests that the former area is the more likely source of the island populations. However, samples from two islands more resemble Iberian stock and it is suggested that the butterfly may have colonized the islands, either by introduction or immigration, on two occasions.
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