Irene Christianus

The effect of urbanisation on butterfly
(Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) communities



  • Malaysian Government Scholarship (SLAI)

Start date:

  • September 2015


Butterflies are one of the best studied entomofauna by far, providing vital insights into the changing state of biodiversity and the ecosystem services that is often interrelated. To date, many butterflies are far less abundant or widely distributed and one of the major explanations for biodiversity loss could be associated with urbanisation which causes detrimental impacts to insect habitats both in their extent and quality. In some cases, the complex nature of urban areas can also increase biodiversity by creating high spatial heterogeneity which offer a diversity of habitat types often supporting high species richness. Therefore, the aim of my study is to explore the patterns of species richness and abundance of butterfly fauna and also to examine the butterfly host-plant and nectar resource availability in urban areas including inner-urban, sub-urban, peri-urban and natural areas. The paucity of knowledge about how butterfly communities respond to urbanisation and anthropogenic disturbance impedes the conservation effort of this group in more urban sites. Therefore, this research is timely, and aims to reduce these gaps by providing data on butterfly assemblages occurring within the four different habitat types.