Noctuid Moths

Dingy Cutworm Moth
See more pictures of noctuids here.

Noctuid moths are a cosmopolitan family globally distributed, with ~2,500 species occurring in North  America. They are part of the largest moth superfamily, the Noctuoidea

While caterpillars of some of these species are agricultural pests, noctuid moths perform essential ecosystem functions such as pollination.

An ecosystem’s health can be directly linked to the  species diversity it contains, so we sought to determine the diversity of noctuid moths in several restored sand prairies. Using multiple capture techniques, we identified all species captured to estimate species richness and diversity related to a habitat restoration history. Our results will aid in determining the ecosystem health of newly restored and existing sand prairies. We are also inventorying species along the Illinois Tollway corridors.

We are also studying the endangered Papaipema eryngii and the phylogeny and distribution of stem borers of the genus Papaipema.

See more of our insect research