Dispersal of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) over southern Spain from its breeding grounds

Obregón, R.  Jordano, D.  Cuadrado, M.  Moreno–Benítez, J. M.  Fernández Haeger, J. 

Abstract

From 2000–2016, monarch butterflies were detected at 127 locations away from their usual coastal breeding areas in the south of the Iberian peninsula. These findings were recorded in the summer–autumn period, coinciding with the highest abundance of individuals and the highest proportion of patches occupied in their reproduction areas near the Strait of Gibraltar. These dispersing individuals have no chance of successfully establishing new colonies at these sites because the food plants for egg laying do not grow in the localities where they were detected. However, these dispersive movements could be the source of their successful colonisation on food plants growing in other areas of the Iberian peninsula and in other Mediterranean countries.

Key words

Danaus plexippus, Monarchs, Dispersal, Southern Spain

Reception date: 22 II 17 | Acceptation date: 21 V 17 | Publication date: 18 X 17

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