Species composition and status of butterflies in two selected waterfalls of caraga, davao oriental, Philippines
By: Cherie Cano-Mangaoang, Charissa Joy A. Gumban, Vince R. Abarquez, Dave Mohagan, Alma B. Mohagan
Key Words: Butterflies waterfalls, Davao Oriental, Philippines.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 8(5), 45-51, May 2016.
The municipality of Caraga is gifted by nature with waterfalls and caves situated in different barangays of the town. These waterfalls together with the type of vegetation around could be a conducive habitat for various faunal species such as butterflies, but studies had never been conducted in the municipality despite the fact that butterflies play a vital role in our ecosystem as pollinators, biomass converter, habitat quality indicator etc. The study was conducted to determine the species composition, ecological status of butterflies in selected waterfalls of Caraga, Davao Oriental. Time constrained sampling at 4 hours exposure period in the morning daily within two weeks, the collected specimens were sorted, identified, counted and photographed, marked and released after proper documentation. But few samples were preserved in 95% ethanol for barcoding and mothballs for museum display. Result revealed 28 species of butterflies of which 5 species have an endemic status: 3 Philippine endemic, 1 island endemic and 1 site endemic. 7 species are rare: Potanthus hetaerus hetaerus, Potanthus mingo mingo, Eurema alitha alitha, Euploea tobleri snelleni, Mycalesis felderi felderi, Mycalesis frederici, Ypthima sempera chaboras and 1 very rare – Idea electra harmonia. Zizula hilax pygmaea was collected during sampling and this is a new record of distribution. Moreover, 70% of the species are disconcordant which implies for conservation efforts to be implemented in the said area. Result further reveals that the two areas sampled are good habitat for butterflies and there’s an importance of maintaining biodiversity to ensure continued existence of butterflies and other insects and animals not only in the two sampling areas but for Caraga as a whole.