Is there seasonal variation in size and mass of Red Admirals Vanessa atalanta on Capri, Italy?
Keywords:butterfly, Lepidoptera, biometrics, migration, winter ecology
I present data on seasonal variation in wing length and mass of Red Admirals Vanessa atalanta captured on Capri, Italy, during spring and autumn. The Red Admiral is a migratory butterfly that migrates north throughout Europe each year and then heads back south in the autumn. During the winter they are mostly found in the northern Mediterranean area where they previously were thought to hibernate, but recent data suggest that a new generation is produced before spring migration. The Red Admirals captured on Capri showed no difference in dry mass between the two seasons, when taking size in account, but had significantly longer wings in autumn. This suggests that a new generation is produced during winter.
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