Butterfly biodiversity in a threatened coastal ecosystem of northwestern Mexico, near Guaymas, Sonora, is documented based on presence data obtained weekly or biweekly from November 2013 to July 2015 combined with periodic observations and collection records dating back to 1978. The survey region and adjacent coastal areas on the Gulf of California are currently undergoing major environmental degradation owing to rapid urbanization, tourism development and construction of aquaculture facilities. A total of 105 species was recorded in the study region, representing about 30% of the total number of butterfly species currently recorded for the state of Sonora. Based on specific larval host plant requirements and known geographic distributions, several species dependent upon vegetation growing in a narrow coastal strip of sand dunes, mangrove estuaries and coastal plains are suggested to be the most threatened. The ecology, systematics and conservation biology of these potentially threatened species, in addition to several other species of special interest, are discussed.
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