Working Paper Article Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

High Survivorship of First-generation Monarch Butterfly Eggs to Third Instar Associated with a Diverse Arthropod Community

Version 1 : Received: 25 May 2021 / Approved: 27 May 2021 / Online: 27 May 2021 (07:58:52 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 21 June 2021 / Approved: 23 June 2021 / Online: 23 June 2021 (11:48:42 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Stevenson, M.; Hudman, K.L.; Scott, A.; Contreras, K.; Kopachena, J.G. High Survivorship of First-Generation Monarch Butterfly Eggs to Third Instar Associated with a Diverse Arthropod Community. Insects 2021, 12, 567. Stevenson, M.; Hudman, K.L.; Scott, A.; Contreras, K.; Kopachena, J.G. High Survivorship of First-Generation Monarch Butterfly Eggs to Third Instar Associated with a Diverse Arthropod Community. Insects 2021, 12, 567.

Journal reference: Insects 2021, 12, 567
DOI: 10.3390/insects12060567

Abstract

Based on surveys of winter roost sites, the eastern migratory population of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) in North America appears to have declined in the last 20 years and this has prompted the implementation of numerous conservation strategies. However, there is little information on the survivorship of first-generation monarchs in the core area of occupancy in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana where overwinter population recovery begins. The purpose of this study was to determine the survivorship of first-generation eggs to third instars at a site in north Texas and to evaluate host plant arthropods for their effect on survivorship. Survivorship to third instar averaged 13.4% and varied from 11.7% to 15.6% over three years. The host plants harbored 77 arthropod taxa, including 27 predatory taxa. Despite their abundance, neither predator abundance nor predator richness predicted monarch survival. However, host plants upon which monarchs survived often harbored higher numbers of non-predatory arthropod taxa and more individuals of non-predatory taxa. These results suggest that ecological processes may have buffered the effects of predators and improved monarch survival in our study. The creation of diverse functional arthropod communities should be considered for effective monarch conservation, particularly in southern latitudes.

Supplementary and Associated Material

Subject Areas

monarch butterfly; Danaus plexippus; arthropods; community structure; survivorship

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 23 June 2021
Commenter: Jeff Kopachena
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Modified introduction to re-focus paper on conservation efforts rather than population declines.  Modified discussion to broaden coverage of factors that cause covariation between monarch survival and abundance and diversity of non-predatory arthropods.  Changed sample sizes in arthropod analyses.  Modified abstract and summary accordingly.  Changed title.  Article is now published. 
+ Respond to this comment

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 1
Metrics 0


×
Alerts
Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
Read more about our cookies here.