Submitted to: Journal of Research on Lepidoptera
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: In the 1998 document "Teaming with Life: Investing in Science to Understand and Use America's Living Capital," the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology identified the discovery and documentation of the biotic resources of the United States as a goal of highest national priority. The inventory of important and diverse groups of insects such as sLepidoptera (butterflies and moths) is highly consistent with the goals identified in the document - these animals play an important role in pollination, many are herbivores of economic importance, and adults and larvae represent food for countless larger animals and other invertebrates. This paper presents the results of a thorough survey of the Lepidoptera of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar situated in southern California. It documents about 635 species from the Station, including several species previously unknown to science, numerous species of economic importance as pests of crops, and one species formerly recognized as a candidate for listing as endangered or threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This information will be of use to insect identifiers, taxonomists, IPM managers, and conservationists.
Technical Abstract: An intensive 3-year survey of the Lepidoptera of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in southwestern San Diego County, California, was conducted from October 1995 through September 1998. Sampling methodology included blacklight trapping (364 nights), diurnal collecting (148 days), and pheromone "baiting." About 635 species of Lepidoptera were documented from mthe Station, including 12 (or more) undescribed moth species and one "sensitive" butterfly species - Hermes copper, Lycaena hermes (Edwards). Two species were newly recorded for the United States - Dryadaula terpsichorella (Busck)(Tineidae) and Metapluera potosi Busck (Gelechiidae). While the species accumulation curve reached a convincing asymptote, it is highly unlikely that all species of Lepidoptera present on the Station were sampled. Four methods extrapolated or estimated the fauna to be between 689 and 922 species. Based on the family Geometridae, faunal similarity among a subset of 10 permanent blacklight sites ranged from 0.29 to 0.69. We briefly discuss how Lepidoptera inventories may provide insight into identification of high conservation value.