Effects of habitat reduction on the persistence of Ichneumon eumerus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), the specialist parasitoid of Maculinea rebeli (Lepidoptera:Lycaenidae)

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


The lycaenid butterfly, Maculinea rebeli, and its specialist parasitoid, Ichneumon eumerus, live in small, closed populations. Given the threatened status of the butterfly, it is reasonable to assume that its specialist parasitoid is even more vulnerable to local extinction than the butterfly host. Based on a mechanistic model recently developed for the tightly-woven community surrounding M. rebeli at a site in the Spanish Pyrenees, we investigate how the removal of habitat, and more particularly, specific habitat promoting the persistence of the butterfly, affects the population persistence of the parasitoid. Because of the relatively small impact of the parasitoid on the butterfly population in the Spanish Pyrenees, guidelines for conserving the parasitoid are only slightly more restrictive than those for its host. It is argued that at sites of more marginal quality for the butterfly than the reference site, achieving the dual aims of conserving both species will be more problematic.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles