Zoological Studies

Vol. 53, 2014

Distribution patterns of riodinid butterflies (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae) from southern Brazil

Ricardo R Siewert1*, Cristiano A Iserhard2, Helena P Romanowski1, Curtis J Callaghan3 and Alfred Moser4

1aDepartamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Avenida Bento Gonçalves 9500, Prédio 43435, Sala 229, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
2Departamento de Ecologia, Zoologia e Genética, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Caixa Postal 354, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
3Casa Picapau, Floresta de la Sabana, Carrera 7, 237-04 Bogotá, Colombia
4Avenida Rotermund 1045, São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Background: The aim of this study was to synthesize the knowledge of Riodinidae butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) in Rio Grande do Sul state (RS), southern Brazil, evaluating the role of climatic, topographic, and vegetational variables on the observed patterns of occurrence and distribution of these butterflies in the Pampa and Atlantic Forest biomes. The records of riodinid butterflies in RS were collected from published studies and the examination of museum collections in Brazil.
A total of 97 taxa of Riodinidae were recorded, distributed in 92 municipalities. The NMDS analysis and the Constrained Analysis of Principal Coordinates grouped the municipalities according to the phytogeographic regions and biomes - Pampa and Atlantic Forest domains - in which the species records were made. Distance from the ocean, precipitation and temperature were the environmental variables which most contributed to explain the distribution patterns of these butterflies. The multivariate Mantel correlogram suggests that over short distances, the composition of species shows significant levels of spatial autocorrelation, and as geographic distance increases, these levels tend to present negative values.
Conclusions: The results suggest that the observed distribution pattern of Riodinidae in the different biomes and phytogeographic regions in the extreme southern Brazil could be explained by climatic, environmental variables and geographic distance.

Key words: Atlantic forest; Occurrence; Pampa; Spatial autocorrelation.

*Correspondence: E-mail: ricardo.siewert@gmail.com