Monday, December 10, 2007 - 9:41 AM

Butterfly (Lepidoptera) survey and habitat use at Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, Colorado

Joy Newton,, West Texas A&M University, WTAMU Box 60808, Canyon, TX and G. J. Michels Jr,, Texas A&M University System, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, 2301 Experiment Station Road, Bushland, TX.

Butterflies are the most conspicuous, easily identified and indicative insects in an ecosystem. Habitat quality, disturbance and land management impact these species dramatically, making butterflies ideal indicator species. A base-line survey of butterflies as indicators of habitat quality was conducted in 2007 at the U. S. Army’s Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, a 235,896 acre military training site near Trinidad, CO. The resulting analysis compared presence, abundance, and species diversity of butterflies and skippers across 9 habitats from June to August 2007. More than 25 species of butterfly were collected from 7 families over the course of the summer. Preliminary results show the highest species diversity in cottonwood and four-wing saltbush habitats with the least diversity in the poderosa pine habitat.

Species 1: Lepidoptera various (butterfly, skipper)