Basis for Listing
An insect survey of several state parks in the southeastern part of Minnesota in 2005 reported the Hill Prairie Shovelhead Leafhopper (Attenuipyga vanduzeei) from the state for the first time (Bess 2006). What was described as a “robust” population was observed in a dry prairie remnant on a bedrock-cored bluff near the Mississippi River. Subsequent observations were reported in 2007 from this same bluff prairie remnant and a second, smaller one in the same park (Bess 2007). Given its restricted habitat and likely very limited distribution within the state, it was listed in 2013 as a species of special concern in Minnesota, pending additional survey effort. The only adult specimen from the 2005 survey was deposited in the University of Minnesota Insect Collection (UMSP), and two immature specimens from this same survey were later submitted to the Division of Parks and Trails, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) as additional documentation. However, subsequent to the listing of this as a species of special concern, a leafhopper specialist (Dr. K. G. A. Hamilton, personal communication) examined the specimen in the UMSP collection and determined that it is not Attenuipyga vanduzeei but rather a newly described species, Attenuipyga joyceae (Hamilton, 2000). The other two specimens have not been examined by an expert, but they do not appear to be A. vanduzeei either. They are in poor condition and appear to be immatures, lacking the definitive adult features for confident determination. It is likely that they are the same species as the one adult specimen, Attenuipyga joyceae. As of this writing, there has been no verifiable occurrence of Attenuipyga vanduzeei in Minnesota.
Robert P. Dana, Ph.D. (MNDNR), 2018
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