Iowa, Lepidoptera, moths, prairie restoration, remnant-dependent species, tallgrass prairie, species accumulation
North American prairie systems are believed to have supported substantial insect biodiversity. Loss of prairie and oak savanna habitats, however, has been severe in many Midwestern states, including Iowa. An unanswered question facing land managers interested in restoring tallgrass prairies to the Iowan landscape is the degree to which restored habitats contain native insect species that are dependent upon prairie habitat. This study reports data from a preliminary survey of the moths of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, a 2,292-ha prairie and oak savanna restoration site in central Iowa. We identified and cataloged a total of 426 species of moths from woodlands and savanna sites throughout the refuge but few species appeared to be remnant-dependent. Of the 31 moth families observed from Neal Smith, the Noctuidae, Geometridae, Tortricidae, Crambidae, and Pyralidae contributed 75% of the species in our checklist. Slightly over half of the species we were able to identify were previously recorded from Iowa by a larger scale inventory of the states Lepidoptera by A. W. Lindsey. We estimated that < 150 species remained to be sampled from our study sites, but a far greater number of species likely reside on the unsampled prairie reconstructions of the Refuge.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 2005 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Lewis, Michelle N.; Steichen, Renae M.; and Summerville, Keith S.
"The Moths of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge: A Preliminary Assessment,"
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS: Vol. 112:
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol112/iss1/3