Roles of riparian and secondary forests in maintaining the near-threatened butterfly, Sasakia charonda (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae), populations in Japan

Takato Kobayashi, Tohru Nakashizuka, Masahiko Kitahara, Masako Kubo, Shoko Ito

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    To clarify the habitat requirements of the near-threatened butterfly, Sasakia charonda (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae), we studied the distribution pattern of its host trees, Celtis sinensis and Celtis jessoensis, and the utilization patterns of various vegetation types by this butterfly in the Oofukasawa River basin in Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, central Japan. Two species of host trees, C. sinensis and C. jessoensis (height = 2 m or more) were found in riparian forests on sandbanks (hereinafter, riparian forest), in forest regenerated after landslides on valley walls (landslide tracks), in secondary deciduous forests consisting mainly of Quercus acutissima or Quercus serrata and in forests established at abandoned paddy fields and their periphery, where weeds and shrubs used to be mown frequently to avoid shade on the paddies before their abandonment. This suggests that they are pioneer species, and their distribution and regeneration depend on natural and/or human disturbances. Host trees above 2 m were preferred by larvae, and there were very few such trees in secondary forests. More overwintering larvae occurred in riparian forests than at other sites. The number of S. charonda adults was highest at the edge of riparian forests, and we observed a variety of behaviors such as puddling, chasing and mating there. Although the number of adult butterflies was smaller inside and at the edge of secondary forests than in riparian forests, puddling by males and roosting on the trunk of Q. acutissima or Q. serrata by females were observed more frequently there than in riparian forests. Thus, we conclude that landscapes including both riparian forests with natural disturbance and secondary forests with Quercus trees are necessary to maintain host Celtis trees and S. charonda populations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)493-502
    Number of pages10
    JournalEcological Research
    Volume23
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008 May 20

    Keywords

    • Disturbance
    • Host tree
    • Riparian forest
    • Sasakia charonda
    • Secondary forest

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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