Characterizing the Physical Differences between Urban and Non-urban Orange Sulphur Butterflies (Colias eurytheme)

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Michael Giannuzzi
Patrick Guerra


Record ID: 157

Mentorship Award:  Excellence in Research Mentoring

Type: Poster Presentation (in-person)

Advisor: Patrick Guerra

Abstract: We tested the hypothesis that butterflies will differ between urban and non-urban environments. Specifically, we predicted that butterflies in urban environments will be smaller than butterflies in non-urban environments, given the potential lack of resources for growth and development in urban environments relative to non-urban environments because of urbanization. To test our prediction, we examined the body size of orange sulphur butterflies (Colias eurytheme) caught in an urban environment (Burnet Woods, Cincinnati, OH) versus those caught in a rural environment (University of Cincinnati Center for Field Studies, Harrison, OH). We used the thorax of butterflies (length, width, and height) as our metric for butterfly body size. We found that butterflies (both males and females) collected from the urban habitat were smaller than the butterflies from the rural habitat. Although we are unsure of the provenance of the monarchs examined in our study, our results do suggest that butterflies in urban environments are smaller than those from non-urban areas.

Article Details

Category: Ecosystems & Biodiversity
Author Biography

Michael Giannuzzi, University of Cincinnati

Major(s): Biology and Environmental Studies