Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 169–176 | Cite as

Thermoregulation and flight activity in territorial male graylings, Hipparchia semele (Satyridae), and large skippers, Ochlodes venata (Hesperiidae)

  • H. Dreisig
Original Paper

Abstract

Some male butterflies defend specific mating sites, e.g. sandy patches (Hipparchia semele) or plants (Ochlodes venata). When perching within its territory, a male orients the body axis and tilts its wings and body in order to control the body area exposed to the sun, and thereby keeps its body temperature (Tb) as close to a preferred level as possible. In accordance with a model presented here, these behaviours can be separated into three successive phases. At low temperatures, the males maximized the heat load by exposing the maximum body area (sun-basking). This raised Tb above the temperature of a non-regulating animal by c. 3° C. At an intermediate range of temperatures, Tb was kept constant at the preferred level by means of a gradual change of body orientation and posture (graded phase). At high temperatures, the heat load was minimized by exposing the minimum body area. This lowered Tb below that of a non-regulating animal by c. 2.5° C. H. semele went through all three phases, but O. venata only reached the basking phase due to a more moderate microclimate. Three types of thermoregulation in ectothermic animals and their functions are discussed. Thermoregulation in territorial male butterflies serves to prepare the animal for efficient flight performance if another male should try to take over the territory, or a predator attacks. The males also made frequent short flights, spontaneously or elicited by other insects. Their duration was independent of temperature, and they may function as a sexual signal.

Key words

Behavioural thermoregulation Time budgets Butterflies Territoriality Sexual selection 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baker RR (1972) Territorial behaviour of the nymphalid butterflies, Aglais urticae and Inachis io. J Anim Ecol 41: 453–469Google Scholar
  2. Bakken GS (1992) Measurement and application of operative and standard operative temperatures in ecology. Am Zool 32: 194–216Google Scholar
  3. Clench HK (1966) Behavioral thermoregulation in butterflies. Ecology 47: 1021–1034Google Scholar
  4. Davis NB (1978) Territorial defence in the speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria): the resident always wins. Anim Behav 26: 138–147Google Scholar
  5. Dreisig H (1984) Control of body temperature in shuttling ectotherms. J Therm Biol 9: 229–233Google Scholar
  6. Dreisig H (1985) A time budget model of thermoregulation in shuttling ectotherms. J Arid Environ 8: 191–205Google Scholar
  7. Dreisig H (1990) Thermoregulatory stilting in tiger beetles, Cicindela hybrida L. J Arid Environ 19: 297–302Google Scholar
  8. Findlay R, Young MR, Findlay JA (1983) Orientation behaviour in the Grayling butterfly: thermoregulation or crypsis. Ecol Entomol 8: 145–153Google Scholar
  9. Heinrich B (1986) Comparative thermoregulation of four montane butterflies of different mass. Physiol Zool 59: 616–626Google Scholar
  10. Heinrich B (1993) The hot-blooded insects, Strategies and mechanisms of thermoregulation. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Herz PE, Huey RB, Stevenson RD (1993) Evaluating temperature regulation by field-active ectotherms: the fallacy of the inappropriate question. Am Nat 142: 796–818Google Scholar
  12. Kingsolver JG (1985) Butterfly thermoregulation: organismic mechanisms and population consequences. J Res Lepid 24: 1–20Google Scholar
  13. Kingsolver JG (1987) Predation, thermoregulation, and wing color in pierid butterflies. Oecologia 73: 301–306Google Scholar
  14. Lederhouse RC, Codella SG, Grossmueller DW, Maccarone AD (1992) Host plant-based territoriality in the white peacock butterfly, Anartia jatrophae (Nymphalidae). J Insect Behav 5: 721–728Google Scholar
  15. Ravenscroft NOM (1994) Environmental influences on mate location in male chequered skipper butterflies, Carterocephalus palaemon (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). Anim Behav 47: 1179–1187Google Scholar
  16. Rawlins E (1980) Thermoregulation by the black swallowtail butterfly, Papilio polyxenes (Lepidoptera; Papilionidae). Ecology 61: 345–357Google Scholar
  17. Rutowski RL (1991) The evolution of male mate-locating behavior in butterflies. Am Nat 138: 1121–1139Google Scholar
  18. Srygley RB (1994) Shivering and its cost during reproductive behaviour in Neotropical owl butterflies, Caligo and Opsiphanes (Nymphalidae: Brassolinae). Anim Behav 47: 23–32Google Scholar
  19. Srygley RB, Chai P (1990) Predation and the elevation of thoracic temperature in brightly colored neotropical butterflies. Am Nat 135: 766–787Google Scholar
  20. Thornhill R, Alcock J (1983) The evolution of insect mating systems. Harvard University press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  21. Tinbergen N, Meeuse BJD, Boerema LK, Varossieau WW (1942) Die Balz des Samtfalters, Eumenis (Satyrus) semele (L). Z. Tierpsych 5: 182–226Google Scholar
  22. Vielmetter W (1958) Physiologie des Verhaltens zur Sonnenstrahlung bei dem Tagfalter Argynnis paphia. I. Untersuchungen im Freiland. J Insect Physiol 2: 13–37Google Scholar
  23. Watt WB, Carter PA, Donohue K (1986) Females' choice of “good genotypes” as mates is promoted by an insect mating system. Science 233: 1187–1190Google Scholar
  24. Wickman P-O (1986) Courtship solicitation by females of the small health butterfly, Coenonympha pamphilus (Satyridae) and their behaviour in relation to male territories before and after copulation. Anim Behav 34: 153–157Google Scholar
  25. Wickman P-O (1992) Sexual selection and butterfly design—A comparative study. Evolution 46: 1525–1536Google Scholar
  26. Wickman P-O, Wiklund C (1983) Territorial defence and its seasonal decline in the speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria). Anim Behav 31: 1206–1216Google Scholar
  27. Willmer PG (1991) Thermal biology and mate acquisition in ectotherms. Trends Ecol Evol 6: 396–399Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Dreisig
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Population BiologyCopenhagen ØDenmlark

Personalised recommendations