Study on nectar plants of few butterfly species at agriculture ecosystems of Chamarajanagar District, Karnataka, India
Santhosh S, Basavarajappa S
Butterflies are opportunistic foragers feed on various plants. To record nectar plants of few butterfly species, systematic field survey was conducted by employing visual count method (VCM) and an all out search method (AOSM) at agriculture ecosystems of Chamarajanagar District during 2013 and 2014. Total 86 flowering plant species which belong to 27 plant families were visited by four butterfly species namely: P. polytes, G. agamemnon, A. merione and J. hierta for nectar collection. Interestingly, weeds have contributed more (49%) nectar to these butterfly species and it was followed by shrubs (14%), herbs (13%), trees (8%) and climbers (2%). Compositae (10 plant species) and Acanthaceae (8 plant species) families were visited more often for nectar collection compared to other families by these butterflies. Number of plant species visited by these butterfly species for nectar collection is recorded in detail. However there was a significant difference (F=11.048; P>0.05) existed between nectar plants visited by butterfly species. Further, color of the flower matters a lot while collecting nectar. Yellow, white, pink and blue coloured flowers were visited more often and there exited a significant difference (F= 30.117; P> 0.05) between colored flowers visited by butterfly species. Furthermore, floral calendar was prepared by using 86 flowering plants blooming period. It could help understand the locally available flora with different flower colours as source of food for few butterfly species and emphasized the need of herbaceous flora conservation to restore native butterfly species amidst agriculture ecosystems.