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Article

Origins of Six Species of Butterflies Migrating through Northeastern Mexico: New Insights from Stable Isotope (δ2H) Analyses and a Call for Documenting Butterfly Migrations

1
Environment and Climate Change Canada, 11 Innovation Blvd., Saskatoon, SK S7N 0H3, Canada
2
Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, ON N6A 5B7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luc Legal
Diversity 2021, 13(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13030102
Received: 7 February 2021 / Revised: 20 February 2021 / Accepted: 21 February 2021 / Published: 25 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Stable Isotope Ecology)
Determining migratory connectivity within and among diverse taxa is crucial to their conservation. Insect migrations involve millions of individuals and are often spectacular. However, in general, virtually nothing is known about their structure. With anthropogenically induced global change, we risk losing most of these migrations before they are even described. We used stable hydrogen isotope (δ2H) measurements of wings of seven species of butterflies (Libytheana carinenta, Danaus gilippus, Phoebis sennae, Asterocampa leilia, Euptoieta claudia, Euptoieta hegesia, and Zerene cesonia) salvaged as roadkill when migrating in fall through a narrow bottleneck in northeast Mexico. These data were used to depict the probabilistic origins in North America of six species, excluding the largely local E. hegesia. We determined evidence for long-distance migration in four species (L. carinenta, E. claudia, D. glippus, Z. cesonia) and present evidence for panmixia (Z. cesonia), chain (Libytheana carinenta), and leapfrog (Danaus gilippus) migrations in three species. Our investigation underlines the utility of the stable isotope approach to quickly establish migratory origins and connectivity in butterflies and other insect taxa, especially if they can be sampled at migratory bottlenecks. We make the case for a concerted effort to atlas butterfly migrations using the stable isotope approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: migratory connectivity; stable isotopes; deuterium; butterfly migration migratory connectivity; stable isotopes; deuterium; butterfly migration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hobson, K.A.; Kusack, J.W.; Mora-Alvarez, B.X. Origins of Six Species of Butterflies Migrating through Northeastern Mexico: New Insights from Stable Isotope (δ2H) Analyses and a Call for Documenting Butterfly Migrations. Diversity 2021, 13, 102. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13030102

AMA Style

Hobson KA, Kusack JW, Mora-Alvarez BX. Origins of Six Species of Butterflies Migrating through Northeastern Mexico: New Insights from Stable Isotope (δ2H) Analyses and a Call for Documenting Butterfly Migrations. Diversity. 2021; 13(3):102. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13030102

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hobson, Keith A., Jackson W. Kusack, and Blanca X. Mora-Alvarez. 2021. "Origins of Six Species of Butterflies Migrating through Northeastern Mexico: New Insights from Stable Isotope (δ2H) Analyses and a Call for Documenting Butterfly Migrations" Diversity 13, no. 3: 102. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13030102

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