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Gainesville, FL, United States

Atwater M.M.,ire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2013

The purpose of this study was to document and identify flower-settling moths within a Florida sandhill ecosystem and investigate their potential pollination capabilities. A combination of methods incorporating observation, morphology, pollen analysis and behaviour were applied. Fifty-two species of moths were documented taking nectar on flowers. A novel nectar-feeding behaviour categorized as fluttering resulted in increased pollen collection. Significant morphological match of moth proboscis length with flower corolla length was found. A preliminary list of sandhill moths is presented, and a pollen library of flowers found throughout the study area was created. This study was the first to conduct observations of settling moths in upland pine communities, and offers a rare glimpse into the interactions of moths with flowers within a unique ecosystem. © 2013 © Taylor & Francis.

Covell C.V.,ire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity
Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society | Year: 2015

Three new species of Idaea Treitschke, 1825 (Geometridae: Sterrhinae) are described and illustrated: Idaea knudsonaria n. sp., type locality Sierra Diablo Wildlife Management Area, Culberson County, Texas; Idaea kendallaria n. sp., type locality Santa Ana Refuge, Hidalgo County, Texas; and Idaea elizabetharia n. sp., type locality Madera Canyon, Santa Cruz County, Arizona. I. kendallaria has been reared on southern live oak, Quercus virginiana Miller.

Salcedo C.,ire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2011

Many unpalatable species use conspicuous colours to give a clear signal (aposematism) to predators of their noxiousness, and in many cases the message can be strengthened through aggregations. Several species of neotropical aposematic Heliconius butterflies present an interesting case because, although they form nocturnal aggregations, the colours on their wings are not detectable at night and there are no known nocturnal predators. Müllerian mimicry is probably the most important phenomenon that makes Heliconius butterflies one of the most successful neotropical groups but many other ecological adaptations have contributed to their success. These adaptations include availability of different models, wing colour adaptation to background light, and specific diurnal flying ranges as well as exclusive nocturnal roosting height ranges for each mimicry ring. By providing nocturnal habitat segregation, but most importantly protection from nocturnal predators, Heliconius nocturnal aggregations could have evolved to contribute to the success of coexistentMüllerian mimicry rings. The present work reports for the first time evidence of nocturnal predation attempts by bats and disturbance events at Heliconius roosting sites. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Hernndez-Baz F.,Texas A&M University | Gonzlez J.M.,Texas A&M University | Gonzlez J.M.,ire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity | Vinson S.B.,Texas A&M University
Southwestern Entomologist | Year: 2012

Specimens of Coreura albicosta (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae: Ctenuchina) deposited in national collections and reported in literature published from 1916 to 2010 were studied. The gathered information suggested that the species is endemic to Mexico, because it has been found only in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz in the Eastern Sierra Madre. The species lives in cloud forest ecosystems. Based on our findings, we propose that this Coreura species should be included in the Official Mexican Norm 059 (Norma Oficial Mexicana 059), which encompasses the environmental protection of wild flora and fauna species native to Mexico and their risk categories, as well as specifications for their inclusion or exclusion, and a list of all species at risk.

Lewis D.S.,ire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity | Cuda J.P.,University of Florida
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2011

The Southeast Asian citrus-feeding butterfly Princeps (Papilio) demoleus (L.) was recently introduced into the Americas, causing an imminent threat to citrus production and ornamental flora. The human nutrient amino acid methionine has been shown by us to disrupt aminoacid-modulated ion transport systems in caterpillars and other insect larvae that possess an alkaline midgut. Heraclides (Papilio) cresphontes was bioassayed as a United States Department of Agriculture permitted surrogate of the Florida quarantined P. demoleus to test the potential efficacy of methionine. Larvae were allowed to feed ad libitum on wild lime plants with leaves treated with methionine or proline. Methionine caused 100% mortality in first through fourth instars in a time- and dose-dependent manner, as determined by probit analysis whereas proline was not toxic. Wild lime host plants did not exhibit phytotoxicity with methionine treatments during a 14 d test period. It is concluded that methionine is an effective larvicide against H. cresphontes, and therefore may be a candidate environmentally safe biorational pesticide for use against invasive P. demoleus in the Americas. © 2011 Entomological Society of America.

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