Hilltopping Insects

monarchsforever monarchsforever at email.msn.com
Tue Dec 21 21:15:05 EST 1999

Your idea of hilltopping was done by Dean Hanson Ph.D..last year in a survey
by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. His conclusion was that a
much greater number of species inhabited the areas because of undisturbed
prairie remnants on top of the hills. It was a fantastic discovery and has
led to plans to purchase the areas for ecological stability. Good luck, good
hunting. David Bohlken
----- Original Message -----
From: enewsguy <mothman at newsguy.com>
To: <leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 1999 12:33 PM
Subject: Re: Hilltopping Insects

> I think your theory is bunk but you may be on the right path.  Since
> can not see far I doubt that the hill means much to them.  However hills
> generate air currents and offer gradients of habitats as the get higher
> higher.  This may be a more interesting  path to follow.
> David Wagner <dwagner at uconnvm.uconn.edu> wrote in message
> news:01BF4B99.651F68E0.dwagner at uconnvm.uconn.edu...
> > I am preparing a report for the Massachusetts Chapter of The Nature
> > Conservancy on the significance of a summit in southwestern
> > that is the highest point in the entire region.  I figured it made sense
> to
> > include a paragraph about the importance of hilltops as mating stations
> for
> > insects, especially for those that might otherwise rarely encounter one
> > another.  I reproduce my account below.  There is an ample literature
> > butterflies (?but not moths), but would love to have citations for other
> > orders.  Can anyone help with references for non-pompilid Hymenoptera?
> Are
> > there some benchmark papers on the subject?
> >
> > Draft Text:  "The Importance of Hilltops
> >
> > By virtue of the fact that Mount Everett is the tallest peak, as well as
> > the most defined summit in the region, it may have special significance
> > a mating station for many insects. The highest point on the
> > the most reliable topographic features in virtually any habitat--is used
> by
> > many insects as a rendezvous site for courtship and mating (Shields
> > Scott 1968, 1974, Thornhill and Alcock 1983, Britton 1995).  Scott noted
> > (1968) that many rare butterflies, which otherwise might have difficulty
> > locating one another, use summits of hills and mountains to initiate
> mating
> > behaviors.  Invertebrates known to hilltop include butterflies
> > papilionids, pierids, nymphalids, lycaenids, and hesperiids),
> > (e.g., pompilids), and flies (e.g., cuterebridae, gastrophilids,
> > and sarcophagids)(Scott, 1968, 1974, Thornhill and Alcock 1983, Tarrier
> > 1996, and Povolny and Znojil 1998).
> >
> > Because adults use vision to locate the highest point on the horizon, it
> > makes sense that hilltopping behaviors would be poorly represented (if
> > present at all) in the moths--the subjects of this study.  Future
> > should emphasize diurnal collections.  And because the most interesting
> > organisms are apt to be rare, flight interception or malaise traps
> > be deployed at or very close to the summit."
> >
> > Any help would be appreciated.
> >
> >
> > *************************
> > David L. Wagner
> > Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
> > v. 860-486-2139; f. 860-486-6364
> > dwagner at uconnvm.uconn.edu
> >

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