Abstract We provide the first inventory of butterfly species (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) in Serra de São José, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Serra de São José has elevations ranging from 800 m to 1,400 m above sea level; the butterflies were sampled using traps and entomological nets in seven plots along the altitudinal gradient. We recorded 647 butterflies belonging to 112 species and six families. We also recorded one threatened species and three endemic species for the Cerrado domain, which suggests that Serra de São José is an important refuge for butterfly conservation.
Resumo Fornecemos o primeiro levantamento de espécies de borboletas (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) da Serra de São José, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A Serra de São José possui elevações variando de 800 a 1.400 m de altitude, onde as borboletas foram amostradas utilizando armadilhas e redes entomológicas em sete áreas ao longo do gradiente altitudinal. Nós registramos 647 borboletas pertencentes a 112 espécies e seis famílias. Também registramos uma espécie ameaçada e três espécies endêmicas do Cerrado, o que sugere que a Serra de São José seja um importante refúgio para a conservação de borboletas.
ABSTRACT Sessile and host-specific herbivores, such as gall-inducing insects, are usually patchily distributed within the populations of their host plants, and it has been suggested that both inter- and intra-plant variation affect gall abundance, distribution and survivorship. Variation in plant traits, such as size and architecture, has been previously demonstrated as a determinant of gall distribution. We examined the influence of architectural complexity of the tropical plant Galianthe brasiliensis (Rubiaceae) on the abundance of the stem-galler Lopesia sp. (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) along an elevation gradient where both insect and plant were distributed. A total of 120 plants were sampled along the gradient and more than 580 galls were counted, while plant architectural complexity was determined by a combination of height and branch ramification. Increased elevation did not influence plant complexity nor gall abundance (both P>0.05), but plant architectural complexity explained more than 60% of the variation in gall abundance along the gradient (R2=0.62, P<0.001). We suggest that the greater availability of meristematic tissues in more architecturally complex plants explains the results found, as this is a key resource for gall occurrence and establishment.