Diario del proyecto The Preserve at Bull Run Mountains

Archivos de diario de enero 2024

14 de enero de 2024

Insects of the Bull Run Mountains

Special Edition #1: Entomological Society of America Conference 2023
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve


Last Fall, BRMNAP Manager Joseph Villari (@jvillari) and Entomological Research Associate Michael Carr (@mjwcarr) presented a poster on the insect species of the Bull Run Mountains at the 2023 Entomological Society of America Conference. A total of 1,142 species were identified from reviewing the BRMNAP entomological collection and synoptic moth collection, published literature regarding work conducted on the entomofauna of the Preserve, geographically associated specimen records listed on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and iNatualist observation data identified in the Biodiversity of the Bull Run Mountains iNaturalist Collection Project. This comprehensive review of available entomological records identified 18 orders and 199 families of Insecta that can now be reliably associated with our incredible local natural resource, the Bull Run Mountains. This would not have been possible without the remarkable engagement of our community and the work of researchers, interns, staff, and visitors. Thank you all for your continued involvement in discovering the endless natural wonders of the Bull Run Mountains!

If you are interested in viewing our compiled species list, it can be viewed on the Google Sheet here. The Google sheet is undergoing edits to provide additional information on the recorded species.

Featured Poster: The Insects of the Bull Run Mountains

Right-click and select "open image in new tab" to view full-sized image


This project identified that 1,142 insect species have been recorded within the Bull Run Mountains. This includes 18 insect orders and 199 families. The most common insect orders included Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, and Coleoptera, which comprise 70.5% of recorded species. These results are not surprising given the diversity within each order and the body of literature reviewed for this checklist. These are also orders commonly encountered with entomological survey techniques such as malaise traps, blacklight traps/sheets, and pitfall.

The order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) is represented by 412 species in 39 families. The majority of the species recorded are moths, however, several butterfly species are also recorded.

The Division of Natural Heritage (DNH) within the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VA-DCR) is currently working to compile a checklist of Lepidoptera (butterflies, Skippers, and moths) for Virginia. A butterfly checklist has been completed and includes approximately 183 species across the state. This list includes the families Hesperiidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lcaenidae, Riodinidae, and Nymphalidae. Below is a breakdown of the percentage of state-recorded butterflies that have been observed in the Preserve:

• Hesperiidae (Skippers): 5/71; 7%
• Papilionidae (Swallowtails): 5/7; 71%
• Pieridae (Whites, Sulphurs, Yellows): 7/17; 6%
• Lycaenidae (Gossamer-winged Butterflies): 5/33; 15%
• Riodinidae (Metalmarks):0/2; 0%
• Nymphalidae(Brush-footed Butterflies): 13/53; 25%

The order Coleoptera (Beetles) is represented by 155 species in 37 families. Nearly half of all documented species belong to the Scarabaeidae (scarabs), Carabidae (ground beetles), and Cerabycidae (longhorn beetles).

The Division of Natural Heritage (DNH) within the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VA-DCR) is currently working to compile a checklist of Coleoptera for Virginia. As of the end of 2023, so sections of this checklist have been completed. However, various checklists for selected families for the state, regions, and specific localities are available. These include thorough checklists for a variety of families from the George Washington Memorial Parkways and a state-wide checklist of Eucenmidae (false click beetles).

We patiently await a comprehensive review of Coleoptera species across the state to compare our results.

The order Hymenoptera (Bees, Wasps, and Ants) is represented by 266 species in 22 families. Almost 40% of the recorded species are of the family Ichneumonidae (Ichneumon wasps).

A comprehensive checklist of Hymenoptera species for Virginia does not currently exist to reference regional biodiversity. However, Virginia DCR-DNH has compiled a provisional list of bees (Apoidae) documented in the State and includes 477 species.

Apoidae (Superfamily): 67 species recorded/observed of 477 species known to occur in Virginia. 14% of all bee species known to occur in Virginia have been documented in the Bull Run Mountains.

• Andrenidae (Miner, Fairy, Allied Panurgine, and Oxaeine Bees): 15/114; 13%
• Apidae (Cuckoo, Carpenter, Digger, Bumble, and Honey Bees): 17/123; 13%
• Colletidae (Cellophane, Plasterer, Masked, and Allied Bees): 0/33; 0%
• Halicitidae (Sweat, Furrow, Nomiine, and Short-faced Bees): 23/115; 20%
• Megachilidae (Leafcutter, Mason, and Resin Bees, and allies): 12/84; 14%
• Melittidae (Melittid Bees): 0/5; 0%

Interested in Participating in Research?

The results from this project will hopefully encourage further investigations into the invertebrate fauna throughout the unique ecological spaces along the Bull Run Mountains. Furthermore, additional efforts should be taken to expand on the vouchered collections of insect species. There are still several unidentified alcohol-preserved invertebrate specimens that will likely build on the species compiled for this project. If you are a university student or researcher interested in expanding the collective insights into the insects of Virginia, please reach out to the Preserve Manager.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this year's annual review please leave a comment below to help us gauge community impact for our annual summary. Additionally, if you have any questions, comments, or corrections leave them below. While niche, this platform provides a unique opportunity for naturalists, professionals, and enthusiasts to share their insights and stories regarding the amazing biodiversity that surrounds all of us. If you are interested in visiting the Bull Run Mountains Natural Area preserve or attending public events, please check the links below for more information. Please consider joining the project for more biodiversity content!

Please note that the VOF owned and operated Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is protected by the Commonwealth of Virginia under the Virginia Department of Conservation Recourses. Except for certain specific situations, camping, fires, unleashed pets, hunting, off-road vehicles and removal or destruction of plants, animals, minerals or historic artifacts are prohibited. Please respect our community natural and cultural resources.

ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

Follow us on Social Media!
Instagram: @bullrunmountains
Facebook: Virginia Outdoors Foundation (Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve)
Our website: VOF RESERVES: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
Meetup: Public events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group
Meetup: Volunteer opportunities: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Volunteers

Publicado el enero 14, 2024 07:59 TARDE por mjwcarr mjwcarr | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario