Vu Van Lien. 2012. Diversity of butterflies in a tropical rain forest of Van Ban Nature Reserve, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) // Russian Entomol. J. Vol.20 (for 2011). No.4: 411–418 [in English].

Vietnam National Museum of Nature, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam. Email:

Key words. Butterfly, abundance, species, diversity, altitude, forest, stream side, grassy area.

ABSTRACT. Diversity of butterfly communities of a tropical rain forest of Van Ban Nature Reserve in North Vietnam was studied in different habitat types (natural forests, stream sides in the forest, and grassy areas) at low (400–500 m a.s.l.) and high altitudes (800–900 m a.s.l.) in March and April 2005. A total of 1,115 individuals from 170 butterfly species were recorded. The stream sides have the greatest, while the grassy areas the lowest, species and individual numbers. Low elevations yield more species and individuals than higher ones. Similarity of the species composition of butterfly communities is greater between similar habitats (natural forests at low and high altitudes, stream sides at low and high altitudes, and grassy areas at low and high altitudes). The habitat appears to be the main factor to affect the similarity of species composition between areas. Stream sides in forests play an important role in conserving the high species richness and the abundance of butterfly communities.

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