Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Using spatial data to examine associations between environmental parameters and species distributions in tiger moths and fireflies from Cuba

Jennifer M. Zaspel, and Marc A. Branham, University of Florida, Entomology & Nematology, Natural Area Drive, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL

Specimen acquisition is an integral component to studies in systematics, taxonomy, and evolutionary biology. Individual specimen records obtained from label data are also of great importance, and have broad applications to areas of ecology, biodiversity assessment, and conservation. The goal of this study is compare the spatial distribution with associated habitat features for the species in the tiger moth genus Virbia, and the firefly genus Alecton. The species examined in both genera are endemic to Cuba. We will discuss how GIS technology and predictive modeling can address similarities and differences in the ecology and distribution of these taxa. Information of this type has obvious applications to the conservation of Caribbean biodiversity.

Species 1: Lepidoptera Arctiidae Virbia latus (tiger Moth)
Species 2: Coleoptera Lampyridae Alecton (firefly)