Southward expansion in beetle and butterfly ranges in South Africa

Perissinotto R. ; Pringle E.L. ; Giliomee J.H. (2011)


Comparisons of the historical distribution range of two fruit chafers (Mausoleopsis amabilis and Leucocelis rubra), one longhorn beetle (Phryneta spinator) and five butterflies (Charaxes brutus natalensis, Junonia orithya madagascariensis, Appias sabina phoebe, Mylothris agathina and Coeliades libeon), with their current ranges show that during the last two decades these species have extended southwards by 0.54-5.64° latitude, along distances of some 90-830 km. Although direct anthropogenic activities (e.g. land-use change, soil and plant transport) are partly responsible for these extensions, it is possible that they are also linked to the 0.5° temperature rise experienced by the region during the same period, as a direct consequence of global warming.

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