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Study on Butterfly Visitation Patterns of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis as a Beneficial Plant for Butterfly Conservation

Authors: P. U. S. Peiris

Abstract:

The butterflies are ecologically very important insects. The adults generally feed on nectar and are important as pollinators of flowering plants. However, these pollinators are under threat with their habitat loss. One reason for habitat loss is spread of invasive plants. However, there are even beneficial exotic plants which can directly support for Butterfly Conservation Action Plan of Sri Lanka by attracting butterflies for nectar. Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) is an important nectar plant which attracts a diverse set of butterflies in higher number. It comprises a violet color inflorescence which last for about 37 hours where it attracted a peak of butterflies around 9.00am having around average of 15 butterflies. There were no butterflies in early and late hours where the number goes to very low values as 2 at 1.00pm. it was found that a diverse group of butterflies were attracted from around 15 species including 01 endemic species, 02 endemic subspecies and 02 vulnerable species. Therefore, this is a beneficial exotic plant that could be used in butterfly attraction and conservation however with adequate monitoring of the plant population.

Keywords: Pollinators, butterflies, exotic plants, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.), butterfly conservation

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1111931

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