Follow by Email

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brushfoot Butterflies (Nymphalidae) in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua

Chlosyne hippodrome
Simple checkerspot, Chlosyne hippodrome, dorsal view. Photo by Aura Cruz.
Chlosyne hippodrome Nicaragua
Simple checkerspot, Chlosyne hippodrome, ventral view. Photo by Aura Cruz. 
The brushfoots, as the butterflies of the family Nymphalidae are called, are easily studied, because many of them are attracted to traps with rotten bait as fruit. We have been studying this group in several locations in the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, in Nicaragua with several objectives:

1. To determine which butterflies in this group are present in the area.
2. To determine the seasonal characteristics of each member of the group present.
3. To compare the communities in different parts of the reserve according to the forest structure and land use patterns.

We are using the brushfoot butterflies as a model system to evaluate the environmental impact of constructions and of deforestation on the local fauna diversity. We have a simple, quantitative method for field work which involves traps with rotten fruit bait. We count and classify butterflies which enter the traps, and then release them without harm. Would you like to help us monitor butterfly populations? Please contact us for more information. We are seeking volunteers and interns to perform the field work and analyze the data.

Pictured are some of the species which commonly enter our traps in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

Caligo memnon Nicaragua
Giant owl butterfly, Caligo memnon, dorsal view. . Photo by Aura Cruz. 
Caligo memnon
Giant owl butterfly, Caligo memnon, ventral view. Photo by Aura Cruz. 

Hamadryas guatemalena Nicaragua
Guatemalan cracker, Hamadryas guatemalena, dorsal view. Photo by Aura Cruz.

Guatemalan cracker
Guatemalan cracker, Hamadryas guatemalena, ventral view. Photo by Aura Cruz. 

Juniona evarete
Mangrove buckeye, Junonia evarete, dorsal view. Photo by Aura Cruz. 

Juniona evarete Nicaragua
Mangrove buckeye, Junonia evarete, ventral view. Photo by Aura Cruz. 
Nymphalidae
Click on the "escudo" to contact us. 
Post a Comment