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Title (Primary) Host ant specificity of large blue butterflies Phengaris (Maculinea) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) inhabiting humid grasslands in East-central Europe
Author Witek, M.; Śliwińska, E.B.; Skórka, P.; Nowicki, P.; Wantuch, M.; Vrabec, V.; Settele, J.; Woyciechowski, M.;
Journal European Journal of Entomology
Year 2008
Department BZF;
Volume 105
Issue 5
Language englisch;
Keywords Lycaenidae; host ant specificity; Phengaris; Maculinea; Myrmica; social parasitism
Abstract Butterflies of the genus Phengaris have a highly specialised life cycle involving an obligatory relationship with Myrmica ants. A knowledge of the host ant specificity is essential for understanding the relationship between a particular Phengaris species and its hosts and also important for the conservation of these butterflies. Data on host ant specificity were collected in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. Five different Myrmica species were used by P. teleius as hosts (M. scabrinodis, M. rubra, M. ruginodis, M. rugulosa and M.gallienii) and at most localities it was not possible to distinguish a primary host - i.e. several Myrmica species were parasitized to similar extents. Three populations of P.nausithous were found in Poland and Ukraine. In every case, M. rubra was its primary host, although in the Kraków region (Poland) two nests of M. scabrinodis and two of M. ruginodis were infested by this butterfly species. P. alcon in the four populations investigated in Poland and Ukraine invariably only used M. scabrinodis as a host despite the presence of other Myrmica species. These results obtained suggest lack of host specificity in P.teleius and high host specificity in P.nausithous, which mainly uses M.rubra as its host across Europe. Moreover, the three populations of P.alcon investigated seem to be highly specific and use M. scabrinodis as a host, which confirms the high local specialisation of these populations.
ID 1579
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=1579
Witek, M., Śliwińska, E.B., Skórka, P., Nowicki, P., Wantuch, M., Vrabec, V., Settele, J., Woyciechowski, M. (2008):
Host ant specificity of large blue butterflies Phengaris (Maculinea) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) inhabiting humid grasslands in East-central Europe
Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (5), 871 - 877