Suitability of Florida Red Bay and Silk Bay for Papilio palamedes Butterfly Larvae (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae).

J. M. Scriber, N. Margraf

Abstract


A year-long survey was conducted in the Florida pine rocklands of Everglades National Park and the National Key Deer Refuge to determine the status of two potentially threatened butterfly subspecies; the Florida Leafwing, Anaea troglodyta floridalis F. Johnson & Comstock, and Bartram's Hairstreak, Strymon acis bartrami (Comstock & Huntington). These butterfly species appear so specialized on their sole host, Croton linearis Jacq.(Euphorbiaceae), that fluctuations in this plant's density and life-cycle (i.e. in response to climatic conditions and fire influence) appear to dictate the population behavior and status of the butterflies. This study encountered stable populations of all three taxa in the remaining pinelands of Big Pine Key, Florida. Strymon a. bartrami was particularly common on Big Pine Key during periods of active C. linearis flower bloom in the open pineland survey areas. Strymon a. bartrami was not observed in the Everglades during this survey. The status of this butterfly on the mainland should be viewed with concern. Anaea t. floridalis was frequent in the transitional pineland/hardwood hammock ecosystems, during drier parts of the survey, both on Big Pine and on the mainland.

Keywords


Big Pine Key; bionomics; ecology; forestry; Long Pine Key; Nearctic; Neotropical; West Indies

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