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Field studies on Fiji’s endemic swallowtail butterfly, Papilio schmeltzi: habitat, activity patterns, phenology and distribution

Chandra, Visheshni and Inoue, T.A. and Khurma, Uma R. (2013) Field studies on Fiji’s endemic swallowtail butterfly, Papilio schmeltzi: habitat, activity patterns, phenology and distribution. The South Pacific Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, 31 (1). pp. 51-60. ISSN 1838-837X

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    Abstract

    Fiji’s swallowtail butterfly, Papilio schmeltzi, is a Rutaceae feeding, tropical Papilionid butterfly that is endemic to the Fiji islands and generally occurs in low density. Field observations on habitat and the seasonal activity patterns of P. schmeltzi were carried out in the Vatukarasa area in Korolevu, Sigatoka over the course of one year. P. schmeltzi adults were found throughout the year but with dry and wet seasonal variation in abundance. High abundance was recorded for all the P. schmeltzi stages during the dry season (May to September). Adults and larvae were the most abundant when compared to eggs and pupae, and showed the greatest variation with respect to distribution of life stages throughout the year. P. schmeltzi currently occurs at four localities on the mainland and ten localities in the outer islands, with high abundance in Sigatoka and Koro Island. Adults of the species mainly occupy isolated forest edge habitat and gardens near forested areas and display a strong affinity for running water. At least two larval host plants, Micromelum minutum and Citrus reticulata, were found to sustain populations of P. schmeltzi, in its natural environment.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
    Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
    Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2014 15:00
    Last Modified: 14 Jun 2016 15:17
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/7626
    UNSPECIFIED

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