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Keywords:

  • butterfly;
  • life history trait;
  • niche breadth hypothesis;
  • Oriental;
  • Palearctic;
  • peninsula

Abstract

The butterfly fauna on the Korean peninsula are comprised of both the Palearctic and Oriental species. We hypothesized that the Oriental species (immigrated across the sea) tend to have a wider niche breadth compared with the Palearctic species (immigrated from the continent) since the former migrates long distances across the sea and has to adapt to new environments. We tested this hypothesis using Korean butterfly data on distribution, habitat, food and life history traits. The distribution and ecological traits such as habitat breadth, overwintering stage, and voltinism of the Oriental species were found to be significantly different from the Palearctic species. However, the diet breadth and food plant type were not different. These results partly confirm the peninsula niche breadth hypothesis, which predicted that Oriental species have a broader niche breadth than Palearctic species.