Biogeography and ecology of southern Portuguese butterflies and burnets (Lepidoptera) During several visits to the western part of the Algarve (southern Portugal), the author mapped the butterflies and burnets of this region. In total, I observed 58 butterfly species (51 Papilionoidea, 7 Hesperiidae) and 6 Zygaenidae during my observations in spring and summer. More than 80% of the species are Palaearctic faunal elements, three species are considered Holarctic, three are Nearctic and four are Palaeotropic. Around 75% of the Palaearctic species are Mediterranean faunal elements. Within the Palaearctic group, the 23 species belonging uniquely to the Atlanto- Mediterranean faunal type are by far the largest group. Siberian elements are lacking. Thus, the observed species composition is characteristic for the Atlanto-Mediterranean region. Some of the observed species can be found all over the study area, often in a variety of habitats. Other species are more or less geographically restricted. Their regional distribution patterns depend on geomorphological and ecological constraints. Several species are restricted to the limestone areas, others are limited to the acid schist and granite areas. Several species were only observed in the western coastal dunes. Some species occur exclusively in the mountain areas. Some species were not recorded along the windy western and south-western coastal areas. Several species become rare or even disappear in suitable habitats that show little diversity of the vegetation. The occurrence of many species is directly linked to one or few distinct types of vegetation like cork oak forests, deciduous forests and natural hedges along water courses, Cistus macchias, garigues on limestone, dry grasslands or hot rocky places with little vegetation.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Algarve, Lepidoptera, Hesperiidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae, Zygaenidae, Atlanto-Mediterranean region, Faunal elements, Glacial refugia, Climatic compensation
Publisher European Invertebrate Survey - the Netherlands, Leiden
Editor M. Reemer , P.J. Helsdingen , R.M.J.C. Kleukers
Schmitt, T. (2003). Biogeography and ecology of southern Portuguese butterflies and burnets (Lepidoptera). In M Reemer, P.J Helsdingen, & R.M.J.C Kleukers (Eds.), Changes in ranges: invertebrates on the move. Proceedings of the 13th International Colloquium of the European Invertebrate Survey, Leiden, 2-5 September 2001 (pp. 69–78). European Invertebrate Survey - the Netherlands, Leiden.