Abstract 45
Kravchenko, V., Pavlíček, T., Chikatunov, V. and Nevo, E. 2002: Seasonal and spatial distribution of butterflies (Lepidoptera-Rhopalocera) in "Evolution Canyon", Lower Nahal Oren, Mt. Carmel, Israel. Ecologia Mediterranea 28: 98-112.
Twenty five species recorded from the microsite "Evolution Canyon" ("EC"), Lower Nahal Oren, Mt. Carmel, Israel represent 18% of the 138 butterfly species known in Israel. The majority of the species from "EC" are widely distributed in the Palearctic region, or even beyond its border. Only the distribution of Pseudotergumia pisidice and Thymelicus hyrax and six subspecies (Anthocharis cardamines phoenissa, Gonepteryx cleopatra taurica, Lasiommata maera orientalis, Polyommatus icarus zelleri, Melitaea trivia syriaca, and Neohipparchia fatua sichaea) is limited to the East Mediterranean sub-region. Our results indicate that species distributed over larger geographic areas might have larger local occurrences in comparison with species geographically less distributed. At "EC", a significantly higher number of species was recorded on the "savanna-like" south-facing slope which is warmer, drier and microclimatically more fluctuating than the north-facing slope covered by a typical Mediterranean dense maquis. Apart of a general tendency for higher butterflies occurrence at the tops of both slopes, changing the biotope preferences was recorded during the year in Artogeia rapae, Colias croceus, Pieris brassicae and Pontia daplidice. The distribution of butterflies was significantly negatively correlated with the tree and bush cover. Differences in the possibility for butterflies of sun basking or in their host plant accessibility and quality seem to be interesting factors that might influence butterfly distribution and which are waiting for future evaluation.