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Document Type

Peer-Review Article

Abstract

Schinia indiana (Smith) and Schinia lucens (Morrison) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) are diurnal moths and are well camouflaged when perched on flowers of their larval food plants: Phlox pilosa L. (Polemoniaceae) and Amorpha(Fabaceae), respectively. We recorded 264 S. indiana in diurnal surveys of 28 units of 15 sites in Jackson County, WI, and 25 units of 5 sites in Burnett County, WI, from 23 May (2006) to 15 June (1994). The longest flight periods in single years were 21 days in 1994 and 17 days in 2006. Abundance of individuals was significantly greater when phlox flowering was prepeak and peak, compared to earlier and later in phlox flowering phenology. We recorded 46 S. lucens in diurnal surveys of nine sites in six counties in southern Wisconsin and two sites in two counties in northwestern Wisconsin, from 30 June (1998) to 29 July (2002). The longest flight periods in single years statewide were 23 days (2002) and 15 days (2000). One S. indiana flushed at 16oC, but all other flushes occurred when it was > 20oC, and after 7:41 hr CST. Nonetheless, we detected many S. indiana after these flushing thresholds had been reached. S. indiana was significantly more likely to move and to flush when it was warmer, sunnier, or later in the day. By contrast, S. lucens was not significantly more likely to be active when it was warmer, sunnier or later in the day. Both species showed considerable fluctuation in abundance among years. For detecting S. indiana, sunny conditions at any time of day when it is < 16oC appear ideal, followed by sunny and < 20oC. When S. indiana individuals are active, it is still possible to find them if great caution is taken in approaching phlox flowers, especially by using binoculars to search phlox flowers. Effective diurnal surveys for S. lucens may occur in a broad range of weather and time of day.

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Entomology Commons

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