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A unique Lepidopteran assemblage in primary forest understory of central Sri Lanka
- Slater, Caitlin, Tolley, Carl, Fernando, Chandima, Weston, Michael A.
- Journal of Asia-Pacific biodiversity(Online) 2019 v.12 no.2 pp. 324-327
- Lepidoptera, anthropogenic activities, biodiversity, butterflies, home gardens, microclimate, microhabitats, primary forests, secondary forests, shrublands, understory, wetlands, Sri Lanka
- Sri Lankan Lepidopterans are diverse and increasingly inhabit areas undergoing rapid anthropogenic change. We examined butterfly assemblages in five habitat types in central Sri Lanka, an area with a mosaic of habitat types (primary and secondary forest, wetland margins, shrubland, and home gardens). Sixteen quadrats in each habitat type were repeat-sampled. Quadrats differed in proportional cover of different microhabitats and in microclimate. Butterfly abundance and richness were lowest in primary forests (PFs). Assemblages of butterflies were generally similar across all habitat types with the exception of PFs, which featured a unique assemblage. This study reinforces the importance of PFs in butterfly conservation as it harbors a unique and relatively low-abundance assemblage of species.