What to do about Saturniidae declines

Jane Dillonaire jdillonaire at rcn.com
Mon May 21 17:13:27 EDT 2001

    A friend recently asked me an interesting question that perhaps some of
you would be generous enough to offer an opinion on.  We were discussing the
decline of saturniids in the Northeast related to the tachinid fly
Compsilura concinnata (I was telling her about the article in The Lep Soc
News).  Her question was: "So what can we do about it?" . . . I was at a
loss.  I have been raising several local species of these beauties for
several years now, using them for public educational programs (all ages).
What efforts can I suggest to the general public (in addition to habitat
protection & enhancement) to help conserve the silkmoth populations?
    It also puzzles me that these species are so strictly controlled when
they are not potentially pestiferous (to my limited knowledge) in this area,
especially considering the "fly factor."  APHIS currently requires me to
contain the livestock I've brought into PA and their progeny even though
they are all indigenous species.   Wouldn't it make more sense to encourage
    What other conservation measures can/should be undertaken to slow the

Thanks in advance.

Jane Dillonaire
Entomology Student - East Stroudsburg University


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