Radomír Blažek: Hviezdoslavova 1070, SK-015 01 Rajec; e-mail: radom.blazek@gmail.com
David Stella: Přírodovědecká fakulta, Univerzita Karlova, Katedra filozofie a dějin přírodních věd, Viničná 7, CZ-120 00 Praha; e-mail: david.stella@natur.cuni.cz

Abstract: This study presents a brief summary of knowledge of ultraviolet (UV) reflectance in butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), focusing mainly on the distribution of this phenomenon in various forms of the European Map Butterfly – Araschnia levana (Linnaeus, 1758). Furthermore, we provide available information regarding the reproduction and heredity of some forms of butterflies. The genus Araschnia was not studied for UV reflectance phenomenon, therefore representative patterns were selected from 45 forms of A. levana and photographed under UV light with peak emission at 365 nm. Comparison of UV and visible light photographs revealed that white colour has wing pattern the highest level of UV reflectance. Mid grey colours were found to relate to rusty red and orange colours. The lowest reflectance was recorded in various shades of brown. Iridescent bright purple patches possess a high level of UV reflectance. The configuration of UV patterns in the studied species forms was not consistent. For that reason, we conclude that the importance  of UV reflectance in A. levana in its inter- and/or intraspecific traits remains unclear.

Keywords: Araschnia levana, UV reflectance, reproductive process, Lepidoptera, phenotypic plasticity

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