Zoological Studies

Vol. 53, 2014

Model of potential distribution of Platymeris rhadamanthus Gerstaecker, 1873 with redescription of species

Dominik Chłond* and Agnieszka Bugaj-Nawrocka

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Silesia, Bankowa 9, 40-007 Katowice, Poland

Background: The redescription of Platymeris rhadamanthus Gerstaecker, 1873 as well as the designation of lectotype and paralectotype, plus the prediction of the potentially suitable habitat was the main goal of this study. Our research were based on 262 specimens of museum collections of P. rhadamanthus species and a set of 23 environmental predictor variables, all recorded in a 1x1 km grid covering Africa. Ecological niche modelling was performed using the MAXENT analyses to produce predictive potential distribution maps for this species and its colour forms separately.
The results suggested the most suitable areas of distribution of P. rhadamanthus, both for species as a whole and also for the colour forms. A jackknife test showed that the precipitation of coldest quarter and herbaceous vegetation were the most important environmental variables affecting the distribution of P. rhadamanthus. After analyzing the climatic preferences, this species seems to be related mainly to the tropical savanna climate, subtropical highland variety of the oceanic climate and humid subtropical climate. An analysis of environmental variables also showed that this species prefers areas with herbaceous vegetation, with a small participation of trees, which is probably caused by food preferences of its victims.
Conclusions: P. rhadamanthus so far was only known that it occurs in widely understood tropical Africa. On the base of the museum data on the occurrence of the species and ecological niche modelling methods we provided new and valuable information of the potentially suitable habitat, the possible range of distribution of the species and its climatic preferences.

Key words: Africa; Ecological niche modelling; Habitat suitability; Maximum entropy; Species distribution.

*Correspondence: E-mail: dominik.chlond@us.edu.pl