Observing Territorial Behavior
of the Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui

Portal, Arizona--September 30-December 14, 1995

These photos show the site of a study of the territorial activity of V. cardui occupants and the flight paths of conspecific intruders on a southeastern Arizona hillside. Portal is located on the east side of the Chiricahua Mountains, one of the "sky island" ranges of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. This region is one of the most biologically diverse in the United States. This research was supported by the nearby Southwestern Research Station of the American Museum of Natural History.

Vanessa cardui: Territorial Occupant Perching
Portal, Arizona, December 10, 1995

Hilltop Study Site
Portal, Arizona, December 14, 1995
Hilltop elevation 5060 feet

Territorial Site on Hillside
Portal, Arizona, October 5, 1995
View toward east-northeast. Peloncillo Mountains in background.
Pole at right supports thermocouples within the white radiation shields.
Vegetation type is juniper grassland.

Two Territorial Sites on Hillside
Portal, Arizona, October 5, 1995
The same territory as in the previous picture, seen from farther away. Another territory in front of the juniper bush in the lower right-hand corner was occupied less frequently than the first.

View of Hilltop from the Hillside Territory
Portal, Arizona, October 5, 1995
View toward south-southwest. Many V. cardui flew up toward the hilltop along this path.
Upper foothills of Portal Peak are in the background.

 

Mapping the Study Site
Portal, Arizona, December 10, 1995
Barbara M. Roth, Co-Investigator

This rock is at the very top of the hill, and the area in front of it is perhaps the prime territory on the entire hill. The pole in the foreground carries thermocouples at three levels (13, 75, and 160 cm) shaded within the white tubes.