Berkane S., Rahmani A., Arifi B., Moulaï R.

Diversity and ecology of diurnal Lepidoptera in Belezma National Park (Aurès, Algeria)

Abstract To establish a list of existing diurnal Lepidoptera in the Belezma National Park (Aurès, Algeria) and produce a first report on the health of its forest environments using these species as bio-indicators, 192 surveys were carried out between March 2010 and February 2011. This sampling comprised four stations among different habitats; three forests (cedar, oak, pine) and a wasteland. This allowed us to identify 896 individuals, representing 30 species: 29 Rhopalocera (Nymphalidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae) and only 1 species of diurnal Heterocera belonging to the family Arctiidae. The wasteland proved to be the richest station with 18 species and also the most diversified and balanced station (H′ = 3.49 bits; E = 0.84). It is followed by cedar forest (17 species; H′ = 3.16 bits; E = 0.77) and oak forest (12 species; H′ = 2.58 bits; E = 0.72). Finally, the pine forest (9 species; H′ = 2.56 bits; E = 0.81) was the least diversified station. Correspondence Analysis of the most characteristic butterflies at each station revealed that despite continual efforts of park services to safeguard forest formations, especially cedar forests, butterflies still suffer from population depletion.


Keywords Algeria; diurnal Lepidoptera; diversity; ecology; Belezma National Park

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