Individual study: The scarce large blue butterfly Maculinea teleius moves shorter distances than the dusky large blue butterfly M. nausithous, following reintroduction at the Moerputten Nature Reserve, Noord Brabant, the Netherlands
van Langevelde F. & Wynhoff I. (2009) What limits the spread of two congeneric butterfly species after their reintroduction: quality or spatial arrangement of habitat? Animal Conservation, 12, 540-548
The scarce large blue butterfly Maculinea teleius and the dusky large blue M. nausithous were reintroduced at the Moerputten Nature Reserve, Noord Brabant, the Netherlands in 1990. Both species rely on the great burnet Sanguisorba minor and ants of the genus Myrmica as larval hosts. This study measured the spatial distributions of the new butterfly populations for ten years following reintroduction.
Eighty-six scarce large blues and 70 dusky large blues were released on meadows in the nature reserve in July 1990. The reserve and surrounding road verges were surveyed for these butterflies at least once a week during their flight period each year from 1990 until 2000. The presence or absence of butterflies was recorded in 587 randomly chosen 1 m2 plots, each containing at least one great burnet plant.
The scarce large blue increased in numbers to an estimated population size between 100 and 300 from 1995 to 1997. From 1993 onwards, the species was restricted to a single meadow where it was released.