2021 Update: Liatris arthropods on heads

For Wesley’s individual project, we made pollinator visitation observations and noted the presence or absence of other arthropods on Liatris aspera heads. Using the focal plants from the Liatris fire and flowering study, we were able to perform 95 5-minute observation periods on 84 individual plants. Most visitor identifications were made by eye in the field; however, we captured one bumblebee (released upon identification) and one fly (captured and frozen for future identification). We also recorded presence/absence data for Pennsylvania leatherwings, ants, ambush bugs, spiders, and other beetles.

All focal plants from the Liatris fire and flowering study were brought back to the lab, where the arthropod experiment is continuing via the quantification of seed predation. We have also encountered living larvae throughout the Liatris cleaning process which we hope to identify, possibly through rearing.

  • Start year: 2021
  • Location: 22 prairie remnant sites in and around Solem Township, MN
  • Overlaps with: Liatris fire and flowering
  • Data collected: Scanned datasheets and their typed versions can be found in ~Dropbox/remLiatris/liatrisObservations
  • Samples or specimens collected: 1 fly was captured for identification. Additionally, 234 focal plants were harvested. These plants are currently being cleaned and processed in the lab.
  • Products: Wesley’s REU was based on this project, which may at some point result in a paper or poster. Stay tuned!

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