Movement of two grassland butterflies in the same habitat network: the role of adult resources and size of the study area


Christine Schneider, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Landscape Planning Alnarp, PO Box 58, S-23053 Alnarp, Sweden. E-mail: christine.schneider@


Abstract. 1.  Movement patterns of two butterfly species (meadow brown Maniola jurtina L. and scarce copper Lycaenae virgaureae L.) were studied in a 172 ha area within a landscape with a high percentage of suitable habitats for mark–release–recapture experiments.

2.  Adult resource density, but not patch size or larval food plant abundance, influenced the numbers and the fractions of residents, emigrants, and immigrants.

3.  Differences between species were observed in movement frequency and maximum distances moved but not in mean distances moved.

4.  The scarce copper showed much greater movement ability than expected from the results of published studies. This is believed to be a result of the comparatively large size of the study area and the high cover of suitable habitat (>50%).

5.  The mean and maximum distances travelled by butterflies reflected differences in the size of the study area.