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Survey of the Lepidoptera in the North-Central Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

The Olympic National Park (ONP) consists of 3,735 km2 of wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula in northwestern Washington. The park covers most of the Olympic Mountains range with its numerous glacier-covered peaks reaching more than 2,000m above sea level and alpine parkland and meadows, as well as forested valleys, rivers and lakes, rain forest, and coastal habitats. We conducted a one-year field survey of the Lepidoptera fauna of the ONP using a combination of day collecting, blacklight traps, and collecting at lights in early morning. A total of 369 species were encountered, which combined with a voucher collection at the Park headquarters, yields a checklist of 413 species records for the Park. While most species are common and widespread in the West or Pacific Northwest, the list also contains a few subspecies of butterflies that are endemic to the Olympic Mountains as well as several species that represent isolated disjunct relicts of arctic/alpine species found in the Cascades, Rockies, and/or far north. Another set appear to constitute the northernmost populations of species known from coastal California and Oregon. While our study begins to outline a rich diversity of Lepidoptera, it is clear that future studies, particularly in more remote areas of the ONP, will be necessary for a more complete view of this fauna.

Notes on the Field Identification of the Intricate Satyr, <i>Hermeuptychia intricata</i> (Nymphalidae), and Its Ecology in South Carolina

Due to strong morphological similarities, the Intricate Satyr Hermeuptychia intricata has been difficult for lepidopterists to visually differentiate from the Carolina Satyr Hermeuptychia sosybius since the former's discovery in 2014. The historical confusion between the two species has resulted in a dearth of information on the ecology and life history of the less abundant and more narrowly distributed H. intricata. I observed adults and larvae of both species in the field at five sites across three counties in the coastal plain of South Carolina, USA. Hermeuptychia intricata exhibited subtle but notable differences in both preferred habitat and behavior that are useful in field identification. Both species utilize various species of Rosette Grasses, Dichanthelium spp., as larval food sources. Larvae of the two species are extremely similar in appearance with only a slight difference in overall hue. Pupae appear identical save for the absence of an abdominal spot in H. intricata. The ghost band phenomenon and the sinuous band gap feature appear to be unreliable diagnostics but, with further research, may prove useful characteristics for identifying female H. intricata and H. sosybius, respectively. A better understanding of the ecology and life history of the cryptic H. intricata, as well as enhanced methods for its field identification, can facilitate the future study and conservation of the species.

Molecular Tools for Understanding Landscape Genetics and the Population Genetic Effects of Habitat Restoration on Butterflies

Habitat corridor construction is an important technique for re-establishing connections between fragmented habitats. Yet, the effectiveness of habitat corridors to increase gene flow among fragmented populations is not well studied. In 2008 and 2009, a prairie habitat corridor was created in the Green River watershed of south central Kentucky, USA to protect water quality and encourage movement of native wildlife as part of the US Environmental Protection Agency Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). In 2008, prior to the establishment of the habitat corridor, we documented the population genetic structure of 6 butterfly species (Chlosyne nycteis, Cupido comyntas, Phoebis sennae, Phyciodes tharos, Pterourus glaucus, and Pterourus troilus) with different habitat requirements and different expected responses to corridor construction using Randomly Amplified DNA Fingerprint (RAF) markers. STRUCTURE analysis of these markers subdivided each butterfly species into 2 to 8 subpopulations in the Green River watershed. By collecting data in the early stages of habitat restoration, we have established a baseline to compare with data obtained after the corridor has matured to determine the population genetic effects on previously isolated butterfly populations and to provide information about the conservation value of habitat corridors in general.