Presentation Title

Insect Diversity Associated with Italian Thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus) in Urban Southern California

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-#53

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Insects provide numerous ecological services such as pollination that is responsible for human agriculture. Insects within the order Hymenoptera are expected to be most abundant in the field. Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) and other hymenopterans are often seen foraging for pollen and nectar. In order to test this hypothesis, a field sampling was conducted to determine the insect diversity in an Italian Thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus) community. 25 blue vane traps filled with unscented soapy water were placed on a field west of the water tower in John T. Lyle Center to observe insect diversity and identify the dominant insect order. The traps were left on the field for two days from 21 April, 2016 to 23 April, 2016, 12 May, 2016 to 14 May, 2016, and 30 May, 2016 to 1 June, 2016. The insects collected were preserved with 70% isopropyl alcohol at the end of the sampling period. Hymenoptera had the highest abundance with a total of 217 members consisting of Honey Bees, Sweat Bees (Halictus spp.), Squash Bees (Peponapis pruinosa) and Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile). Lepidoptera had the lowest abundance, only a Skipper (Hesperia spp.) was collected. Members from other orders such as Coleoptera (105 beetles), Dermaptera (44 Earwigs), Diptera (9 Flies), and non-insect orders such as Chelicerata (26 Spiders) were also collected. The results were consistent with the hypothesis and met the prior expectations in which Hymenoptera showed the highest diversity in a field. They suggested that a more thorough investigation could be conducted to sample solely on Hymenoptera and determine their diversity within the experimental site.

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Insect Diversity Associated with Italian Thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus) in Urban Southern California

HUB 302-#53

Insects provide numerous ecological services such as pollination that is responsible for human agriculture. Insects within the order Hymenoptera are expected to be most abundant in the field. Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) and other hymenopterans are often seen foraging for pollen and nectar. In order to test this hypothesis, a field sampling was conducted to determine the insect diversity in an Italian Thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus) community. 25 blue vane traps filled with unscented soapy water were placed on a field west of the water tower in John T. Lyle Center to observe insect diversity and identify the dominant insect order. The traps were left on the field for two days from 21 April, 2016 to 23 April, 2016, 12 May, 2016 to 14 May, 2016, and 30 May, 2016 to 1 June, 2016. The insects collected were preserved with 70% isopropyl alcohol at the end of the sampling period. Hymenoptera had the highest abundance with a total of 217 members consisting of Honey Bees, Sweat Bees (Halictus spp.), Squash Bees (Peponapis pruinosa) and Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile). Lepidoptera had the lowest abundance, only a Skipper (Hesperia spp.) was collected. Members from other orders such as Coleoptera (105 beetles), Dermaptera (44 Earwigs), Diptera (9 Flies), and non-insect orders such as Chelicerata (26 Spiders) were also collected. The results were consistent with the hypothesis and met the prior expectations in which Hymenoptera showed the highest diversity in a field. They suggested that a more thorough investigation could be conducted to sample solely on Hymenoptera and determine their diversity within the experimental site.