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Warm Weather Wanderers

Minnesota Biological Survey entomologist, Kyle Johnson, reports on some rare findings he made on his recent trek throughout southeastern Minnesota's Blufflands.

"April 7-9, I toured the Blufflands of southeastern Minnesota (Winona, Olmsted, Fillmore, and Houston counties). Spectacular scenery and an excellent abundance and diversity of moths brought on by warm weather, including a handful of species I'd never seen before in Minnesota. A sprinkling of early spring wildflowers and macro-wildlife were an added bonus. Most of the moth pictures are at rotten banana-brown sugar bait.
A particularly noteworthy finding was the moth,
Lithophane franclemonti. This moth was first discovered in Minnesota in 2015 and is currently known from three sites (two of these added with this most recent expedition) in the Blufflands ecological subsection. Many more sites await discovery as potential habitat (hilly deciduous woodland near prairie/old field openings) is extensive in the Blufflands. Globally this species has a limited range centered on the unglaciated region of western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and northwestern Illinois, with a few isolated records farther east."