Invertebrate Zoology


Projects outside Pennsylvania 

Survey of Non-Target Insects in Gypsy-Moth Susceptible Forests, Salt Lake Ranger District, Wasatch National Forest, Utah 

Funded by Forest Health Protection, USDA Forest Service, Ogden, Utah. This study seeks to characterize dominant insect lineages and associated vegetation in habitats experiencing much-feared outbreaks of the serious defoliator, Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth) in oak-dominated habitats of the western United States. Specimen preparation, identification, and databasing are continuing. The Forest Service has requested another year of study to further increase the habitats sampled (from high fir forests to xeric grasslands) and to address directly an eradication attempt for the gypsy moth using a biological pesticide this season in the Salt Lake City region. The study anticipates publication of an illustrated treatment of the nocturnal macrolepidoptera for the region based on survey information, and perhaps publications on other lineages (Carabidae, Cerambycidae, etc.). (Collaboration with Botany).

Systematic and Biological Studies on Lepidoptera of Special Interest in West Virginia 

Funded by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Nongame Wildlife and Natural Heritage Program. This study has resolved systematic problems surrounding several species of special interest in both West Virginia and adjacent Pennsylvania habitats, including questions of species status, relationships, nomenclature, and biology (hostplants and habitat associations).

Biological studies on Brachionycha borealis, the boreal sprawler moth: A species of special concern in forests treated with pesticides to control the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar

Funded by USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, Technology Enterprise Team, Washington, DC. This study is gathering information needed to develop management guidelines to improve resource decisions (especially pesticide applications) that might affect disjunct populations of the boreal sprawler moth, Brachionycha borealis, in Grant and Pendleton counties, West Virginia. The study is investigating habitat occurrence, host plants, larval phenology, and other factors essential for protection of this rare species of early spring moth.