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Re: [beemonitoring] Lithurgus chrysurus - Expansion in New Jersey

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  • PDA Bee Program
    Hi all: I visited Lehigh Gap Nature Center (PA) on Thursday and found about a half dozen males and a couple of female Lithurgus chrysurus on site (same
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 12, 2008
      Hi all:
      I visited Lehigh Gap Nature Center (PA) on Thursday and found about a half dozen males and a couple of female Lithurgus chrysurus on site (same location as last year).  The site, if you're interested, is along the Lehigh River at the Lehigh Gap in northern Lehigh County.  Lots of old buildings and a large woodlot following the ridge (nest sites?).  Knapweed was found all along the edge of the old RR bed (now the entrance to the Nature Center and bike path, but the Lithurgus seemed to be restricted to large patches of Centaurea.
      I also visited State Game Lands 205 - no Lithurgus.
      The interstates and state highways are lined with Centaurea throughout the state, so there is a lot of potential to find many more!  I am scheduling to go back on Thursday to expand the search area.  Let me know if you would like to help.
      Rick Donovall (buggist@...)
      PA Native Bee Survey
      PA Department of Ag. - Apiary Section

      On Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 3:51 PM, Sam Droege <sdroege@...> wrote:


      Yesterday I went to look for L. chrysurus populations in NJ.  Went to where it was first discovered in Phillipsburg and found a good patch of knapweed along the Railroad tracks in downtown.  In 5 minutes I collected 113 males and females despite a large tear in my net.  You can see the individual stop information.  Despite the difficulty of finding knapweed patches.  I managed to find L. chrysurus as far away as Somerville, NJ which is 51km as the bee flies from Phillipsburg.

      Interestingly, the host plant of this species Centraurea, while common on 78 in PA prior Easton become very scarce in NJ except along RR tracks and disturbed poor soil sites.  In  most rural areas it appears to be absent away from RR tracks and perhaps industrial sites.

      It will be interesting to see how far this species has spread in PA where the host plant is more common.

      I think this would make a nice project for someone....specialist bee, specialist plant, should be readily detectable, could manipulate the plant, look at rates of spread, look at nesting habitat limitations, clumping, resource use....and likely to be funded since it is a bee, and invasive bee, and an invasive bee that uses invasive plants, and destroys houses.

      Here is the stop information.....

      Sunny 80's

      1. 9:00 3min. 40.6690 -75.1840 Easton, PA. One plant in gravel pile in park. 0 Lithurgus
      The park this was located in has an old canal that is filled with one of the yellow loosestrifes in full bloom.  I didn't have time to check in the afternoon for Macropis but it would be great if someone could.

      2. 9:35 5min. 40.6914 -75.2024 Phillipsburg, NJ, RR Crossing in downtown. Large patch.  113 males and females
      Note:  6 inch tear in seam of net

      3. 10:30 2.5min. 40.6876 -75.1946 Phillipsburg, NJ, Weedy lot near RR tracks.  Large patch. 94 males and females
      Note:  6 inch tear in seam still present, but had tailor repair in town afterwards

      5. 11:20 2.8min. 40.6530 -75.0852 Boomsburg, NJ, Scattered patches along RR track. 0

      6. 11:50 8.75min. 40.6648 -75.0465 Rural NJ, Scattered patches along RR track. 0

      7.        12:15 12.0min.  40.6377 -74.9548 Outside of Clinton, NJ in large field maintained by NJ Wildlife Department. 0 Lithurgus.  1 Female Epeolus bifasciatus.

      8.        12:40  1min. 40.6379 -74.9038 One plant in Clinton, NJ weedy spot downtown. 0

      9.        1:00 7.75min. 40.6364 -74.8859 Outside of Clinton, NJ Pullout on 31N near route 78, large patch. 15 males and females

      10.        2:00 7.75min. 40.5363 -74.6163 Somerville area, NJ Gravel lot near RR tracks, large patch. 8 males

      11.        3:20 6.6min.  40.2440 -74.7494 Weedy lot, Route 1 Downtown Trenton, NJ small number of plants. 0 Lithurgus.  Triepeolus lunatus present

      12.        4:15 9min. 40.1882 -74.7924 RR PA, Tracks in industrial area just south of Route 1 and near the Delaware River.  Big Patch 0

      13.        4:50 8.5min. 40.1422 -74.8151 Bristol, PA, Along Amtrak RR line, fairly large patch. 0


      P.S.  I will be away from Email the next 3 weeks, but Rick Donvall  will be monitoring the listserv for Lithurgus information.

      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705

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      Full of tumultuous life and great repose,
      Where, twice a day,
      The purposeless, glad ocean comes and goes,
      Under high cliffs, and far from the huge town,
      I sit me down.

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