Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New species of large blue butterfly discovered

Date:
June 13, 2010
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Scientists have found a new butterfly species in the south of China. It is the first known species of the family of large blue butterflies that lives in mountain forests.

Phengaris xiushani "Xiushan's Large Blue", the newly discovered species (3: male upper side, 4: under side; 5: female upper side, 6: under side)
Credit: Prof. Min Wang/South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou

Chinese and German scientists have found a new butterfly species in the south of China. It is the first known species of the family of large blue butterflies found to live in mountain forests. The new species from northwestern Yunnan was discovered by Prof. Min Wang of the South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China and Dr. Josef Settele of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research -- UFZ, Halle, Germany.

The species was described in the open access journal ZooKeys and was named Phengaris xiushani.

The large blues belong to the most intensively studied group of butterflies in Eurasia, which is probably due to their "obscure" biology and ecology: They depend on specific plants for food, which in itself is not that surprising. But many of the known species also require a particular ant species to feed on during most of their lives as caterpillars. These specialized food requirements demand specific habitat requirements which have made them vulnerable to climate change and habitat alteration.

The discovery of the new species at this time is quite surprising. Unlike the European species (which are well-known under their scientific name Maculinea) the Chinese species, which include both the Maculinea and the Phengaris blues, are not so well studied and monitored due to lack of financial and personnel resources. Consequently, nothing is known on the ecology of this new species, with the exception that it lives in undisturbed forested mountains, where it was discovered -- which makes it different from the other large blues which over the entire range of distribution live in grasslands.

The discovery was made in the course of a Chinese-German workshop on butterfly conservation held in Guangzhou in December 2009, funded within the German-Chinese year of Science by BMBF (German Ministry for Science and Education; through the project LepiPub . This study was partly supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (30570211, 40971037) and the FP 6 BiodivERsA project CLIMIT (Climate change impacts on insects and their mitigation; . Reference specimens (the so-called types) are kept in the Insect Collection of the South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China, and the "Senckenberg Museum für Tierkunde" in Dresden, Germany.

The name given to the new species refers: (a) to the beautiful mountain on the slopes of which it was found (Xiu-Shan in Chinese means "beautiful mountain"), and (b) the species name was dedicated to Dr. Xiushan Li who worked at UFZ for some years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Li et al. On the conservation biology of a Chinese population of the birdwing Troides aeacus (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Journal of Insect Conservation, 2010; 14 (3): 257 DOI: 10.1007/s10841-009-9254-x
  2. Settele et al. Notes on and key to the genus Phengaris (s. str.) (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae) from mainland China with description of a new species. ZooKeys, 2010; 48 (0): DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.48.415

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New species of large blue butterfly discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609102022.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2010, June 13). New species of large blue butterfly discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609102022.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "New species of large blue butterfly discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100609102022.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) — Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
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