· Evaluation of research to date on my topic · In comparison to understanding of butterflydiversity and richness, a disproportionate amount of knowledge surroundsevenness of Neotropical butterflies relative abundances (Robbins 1997). · Such extensive research of Lepidoptera likely stems fromthe evident variability in species richness between temperate and tropicalregions (Scriber 1973; Owen 1971). For examples, butterfly diversity in Europeis 482 species (European red list of butterflies), with diversity on theBritish Isles not surpassing 66 species. Comparatively, Bates (1875) wrote thatover 700 species of Butterfly could be found within an hour’s walk from thetown of Belém, which lies adjacent to the lower amazon region. Studiesconducted by Owen (1971) and Scriber (1973) confirm the legitimateness of thecomparison between temperate and tropical butterfly species richness.· A rapid Lepidoptera inventory was carried outin 2006 to assess diversity and Lepidoptera wing colour variability. Albeit,diversity was studied at 3 different habitats, none of which were observedduring the expedition. However, this survey did not document diversity inrelation to light density and temperature and did not determine the speciesevenness across habitats.
· In a study conducted by (Pardonnet 2010)whereby Nymphalidae assemblages were comparatively assessed between openunderstorey and tree fall habitats. Results indicated that out of the 83species captured, 13.4% were restricted to the understorey. Similar resultshave been observed in Ecuador (DeVries and Walla 2001) and in Bornean forests(Hamer et al. 2003).
· Thereis a band of high butterfly diversity from the Peru-Bolivia border up tosouthern Columbia (Robbins 1997). · Variation of species richness within tropical regionsrather than between tropical and temperate regions is disproportionately understudied,thus less understood (Robbins 1997). · According to Robbins 1997, Madre de Dios, Peru, has aninventory of 1,234 species recorded since 1979 at the Tambota Reserve (5,500ha), Pakitza has 1,300 species recorded (<4,000 ha)· Butterflies in the genus Melinae (Nymphalidae: Ithomiini)are extensively involved in neotropical mimicry rings, including with'tiger-patterned' Heliconius butterflies, the species is also considered to bethe model in which other species of Lepidoptera mimic (Beccaloni 1997).However, due to the close colour similarities between species and its mimics,coupled with a lack of morphological distinctiveness means there aretaxonomical challenges in describing this species, in that the genus has yet tobe determined (Brown 1977).