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Overwintering States of the Pale Grass Blue Butterfly Zizeeria maha (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) at the Time of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident in March 2011

1
The BCPH Unit of Molecular Physiology, Department of Chemistry, Biology and Marine Science, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
2
Center for Research Advancement and Collaboration, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(11), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10110389
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
The Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011 caused the massive release of anthropogenic radioactive materials from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant to its surrounding environment. Its biological effects have been studied using the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), but the overwintering states of this butterfly remain elusive. Here, we conducted a series of field surveys in March 2018, March 2019, and April 2019 in Fukushima and its vicinity to clarify the overwintering states of this butterfly at the time of the Fukushima nuclear accident. We discovered overwintering individuals in situ associated with the host plant Oxalis corniculata under natural straw mulch as first-instar to fourth-instar larvae in March 2018 and 2019. No other developmental stages were found. The body length and width were reasonably correlated with the accumulated temperature. On the basis of a linear regression equation between body size and accumulated temperature, together with other data, we deduced that the pale grass blue butterfly occurred as fourth-instar larvae in Fukushima and its vicinity at the time of the accident. This study paves the way for subsequent dosimetric analyses that determine the radiation doses absorbed by the butterfly after the accident. View Full-Text
Keywords: developmental stage; field survey; Fukushima nuclear accident; larval instar; life history; lycaenid butterfly; overwintering; Oxalis corniculata; pale grass blue butterfly; Zizeeria maha developmental stage; field survey; Fukushima nuclear accident; larval instar; life history; lycaenid butterfly; overwintering; Oxalis corniculata; pale grass blue butterfly; Zizeeria maha
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Sakauchi, K.; Taira, W.; Toki, M.; Iraha, Y.; Otaki, J.M. Overwintering States of the Pale Grass Blue Butterfly Zizeeria maha (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) at the Time of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident in March 2011. Insects 2019, 10, 389.

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