Summer Research

* Student(s): Charlotte Hodde
Advisor: Ernest Williams

Title: Female Frosted Elfin Behavior in the Rome Sand Plains


Frosted Elfins (Incisalia irus) are a threatened species in New York State because of their declining population numbers. Little has been published about the behavior and life history of this species, so during the summer of 2003 we spent 20 days in the Rome Sand Plains of Central New York observing adults in beds of wild blue lupine (Lupinus perennis). This field study of Frosted Elfins was a continuation of observations made over the past three years but concentrated specifically on female behavior. Oviposition occurred predominantly on unopened buds of large lupine plants. Females exhibit more flights than do males but they are of shorter duration. We also documented the different life stages of Frosted Elfins.

Student stipend support for CH provided by the Ralph E. Hansmann Science Student Support Fund.