Noctuid Moths

Noctuid moths are a cosmopolitan family globally distributed, with ~2,500 species occurring in North  America. 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 studying the phylogeny and distribution of stem borers of the genus Papaipema.