A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF DIVERSITY OF SPECIES OF BUTTERFLIES IN PROTECTED AND UNPROTECTED HABITATS OF OKWU OGBAKU FOREST RESERVE IN MBAITOLI L.G.A., IMO STATE, NIGERIA
Nwosu Luke Chinaru and Iwu Charles Joseph
Journal Title:Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries
Butterfly diversity at the Okwu Ogbaku forest reserve, Mbaitoli local government area of Imo State, Nigeria was investigated by the use of sweep nets along transects in two types of habitats (unprotected and protected). A total of 201 butterflies belonging to 28 genera and 5 families were identified in this study. Members of the families Lycaenidae, Pieridae and Satyridae were more dominant than Nymphalidae and Papilionidae which were scarce in the study area. Abundant species of butterfly recorded in this study include Ypthima (Satyridae), Hypokopelates (Lycaenidae) and Eurema (Pieridae). The number of butterflies in the protected habitat were more than those in the unprotected habitat, though not statistically significant. The distribution of butterfly genera in the two habitats showed a significant difference. This suggested the effect of grazing and agriculture activities on the ecosystem. The species recorded in this study currently amount to 3.0% of all butterflies recorded in West Africa.