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Left Behind: A Lake Missoula Island Insect Resident
September 28, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
Date: September 28
Time: 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Location: Montana Natural History Center
Cost: Free and open to the public!
Description: A previously unidentified shield-backed katydid (Tettigoniidae: Steiroxys sp.) has been found on what used to be Lake Missoula islands in the Mission Valley and Mission Mountains. Investigations have indicated that this diurnal large-bodied insect herbivore (1–1.5-gram adult females) can attain relatively high densities (0.35/m 2) in meadow habitats.
Experiments indicate that this insect can attain even higher densities in drier prairie habitats, but do not occur there, because these more open habitats lead to high bird predation. Therefore, the more open, lower-elevation grasslands act as a barrier to the dispersal of these insects between former islands and the surrounding mountains. Another interesting characteristic of this species is the absence of males.
About the speaker: Gary E. Belovsky is a professor emeritus in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. He earned a B.B.A. from University of Notre Dame, an M.F.S from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. His post-doctoral appointments include the Harvard Society of Fellows and University of Washington. He has held faculty positions in the School of Natural Resources & Department of Biology at University of Michigan, the Department of Zoology at University of New South Wales (Australia), the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife at Utah State University, and Gillen Director of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center. Dr. Belovsky has conducted research at the Bison Range in Montana since 1978 where he studied grassland, herbivore and predator ecology, especially for grasshoppers and birds. In addition, Dr. Belovsky has conducted research on Great Salt Lake since 1995 with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resource’s Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Project.