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Survival, movement, and resource use of the butterfly Parnassius clodius


*Dr Diane Debinski, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, 353 Bessey Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1020, U.S.A. E-mail:


Abstract.  1. A mark–recapture study was conducted on the American Apollo butterfly Parnassius clodius Menetries during three field seasons (1998–2000) to examine its movement patterns over the course of a season within a sagebrush meadow in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A. The study examined how resources affected butterfly distribution patterns and used mark–recapture data to gain insight into movement differences between sexes and over time.

2. The average straight-line movement of P. clodius was 202 m day−1, adjusted for sampling effort at different distances. Movement estimates in all 3 years were highly correlated with the average distance between plots sampled.

3. Butterfly abundance was correlated positively with per cent cover of its host plant Dicentra uniflora, but this relationship decreased in importance during the peak of the flight period when individuals may be more interested in finding mates. There was a weak, positive correlation between butterfly abundance and the abundance of its primary nectar source, Eriogonum umbellatum in 1999, but no relationship in 2000.

4. Survival, recapture, and transition probabilities were estimated using open population, capture–recapture models. Survival and recapture probability decreased over the course of each season, while the probability of moving between plots increased. Recapture probability was significantly lower for females than for males among all 3 years, but there was no difference between the sexes in survival rate.