Spatial Distribution and Range Expansion of an Exotic Butterfly Acraea terpsicore (Linnaeus, 1758) (Nymphalidae: Heliconiinae) in Borneo

Sabina Noor, Nuha Loling Othman, Fatimah Abang, Hammady Dieng


Evidences provided by empirical studies indicated that species respond towards globally changing climate and most significantly butterflies attain range expansion towards climatically suitable range boundaries. The range expansion of an Indian native butterfly Acraea terpsicore has been documented in Borneo and can be considered as a potential case of range expansion resulting from anthropogenic induced climate change. Since its rapid southward range expansion to the Southeast Asian region during the past 30 years, this species has expanded approximately over 7000 km2. The rate of colonisation in this region was estimated approximately 200 km/ year and as for Borneo it was calculated as 100 Km/year.  The spatial distribution of A. terpsicore in Borneo was calculated by EOO (extent of occurrence) and the range margins of its occurrence was measured to over an area of about 322766 km2. With the help of bioclimatic niche models, current habitable climatic range and potential future range margins until 2050 were projected by consensus forecasts. The projections  for potentially promising climatic regions (until 2050) suggested that the exponential range expansion of A. terpsicore will likely to occur further towards the South-Eastern areas of Taiwan, Philippines and Sulawesi Island.

In Borneo, this non-native species has also been keeping the track of its native land host plant and founded to feed on Passiflora foetida. Though for invasive species the distribution modelling does not provide a perfect picture of range expansion prediction in a novel range, due to landscape-climate differentiation, species biotic interactions, evolutionary adaptations and dispersal ability. So far, it is still considered a significant contributor in sketching of the climatically promising ranges for species with invasion potential.  


Spatial distribution; climate change; range expansion; invasive species; range size; dispersal.

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