Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brown Argus Butterfly Sees Positive Effects Of Climate Change

Date:
June 9, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Global warming is generally thought to have a negative affect on the habitats of many animals and plants. Not for the Brown Argus butterfly, however. This insect seems to be bucking the trend and expanding its numbers quicker and more effectively, according to new research.

The Brown Argus butterfly Aricia agestis has expanded northwards in Britain during the last 30 years. It is thought that the recent expansion of the species is due to the increasing summer temperatures caused by global warming.
Credit: iStockphoto/Pauline Mills

Global warming is generally thought to have a negative affect on the habitats of many animals and plants. Not for the Brown Argus butterfly, however. This insect seems to be bucking the trend and expanding its numbers quicker and more effectively, according to new research.

The Brown Argus butterfly Aricia agestis has expanded northwards in Britain during the last 30 years. It is thought that the recent expansion of the species is due to the increasing summer temperatures caused by global warming.

Research carried out by scientists in the UK and Spain reveals that by moving into new areas, the Brown Argus may be escaping from some of its 'natural enemies' (parasitoids).

This is not because natural enemies are absent from the new areas, but that the parasitoids are not able to locate the Brown Argus. Instead, the parasitoids rely on the common blue butterfly Polyommatus icarus in these northern habitats. This species has a long-established range throughout Britain and suffers a larger amount of parasitism than the Brown Argus in these northern habitats.

Although the researchers cannot yet say for certain why the Brown Argus has fewer parasites in its new range, they suggest it could be due to the differences between the plants that the caterpillars eat. The common blue and brown argus feed on different plants and therefore the parasitoids are used to looking for caterpillars on the common blue's favourite plants.

Dr Rosa Menendez said: "Climate change can have unpredicted consequences by altering the interaction between species and their enemies, whilst in this case the butterfly may be a welcome addition in other cases the release from enemies might favour pests or other unwanted species".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Menιndez et al. Escape from natural enemies during climate-driven range expansion: a case study. Ecological Entomology, 2008; 33 (3): 413 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.2008.00985.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Brown Argus Butterfly Sees Positive Effects Of Climate Change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602092537.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, June 9). Brown Argus Butterfly Sees Positive Effects Of Climate Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602092537.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Brown Argus Butterfly Sees Positive Effects Of Climate Change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602092537.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) — Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins