Studies to estimate cost-effectiveness and increase longevity of butterflies in live exhibits
Butterfly lifespan and behaviour were quantified using mark-recapture methods and were used to estimate cost-effectiveness of twenty-nine species commonly used in exhibits. Cost-effectiveness varied greatly, from ' Heliconius hecale' (33.4 days of suitable performance, USD $0.05/day) to 'Doleschallia bisaltide' (0.1 days of suitable performance, USD $13.15/day). By selectively incorporating more cost-effective species, exhibitors can save money on imports and improve the density and visual appeal of their exhibits. Chemical allatectomy was explored as a method to increase butterfly longevity and reduce costs. Various doses of the anitallatal agent, precocene II were dissolved in acetone and topically applied to five butterfly species: ' Hypolimnas bolina; Danaus plexippus; Morpho peleides; Papilio thoas'; and, 'Phoebis philea'. Precocene treatment did not increase the lifespan of species tested, and 500 and 1000 [mu]g doses were toxic. It remains to be investigated if butterflies are insensitive to the anitallatal effects of precocenes.