2013 Forest Health Conditions Report

The text below was taken verbatim from the Forest Service’s Region 10 (Alaska Region) website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r10/forest-grasslandhealth/.  The report is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3797075.pdf.

Forest Health Conditions in Alaska - 2013, cover imageThe 2013 Forest Health Conditions Report is available! This report reviews our current knowledge of forest health in Alaska. Its purpose is to help resource professionals, land managers, and other decision makers identify and monitor existing and potential forest health risks and hazards. The report is based on data collected in annual aerial detection surveys, ground surveys, permanent plot monitoring efforts, follow-ups to public requests, and input, and early detection work. Emphasis is given to damaging agents observed in 2013. Readers need to be mindful that this is not a complete survey of the 127 million forested acres in Alaska.   The report is organized around the status of four categories of damaging agents: insect pests, diseases, noninfectious disorders, and invasive plants.

In Memorial: Kenelm W. Philip

Ken Philip, 29.Aug.2006.

Ken Philip, 29.Aug.2006.

Kenelm W. Philip, 82, Fairbanks Alaska, passed away in his home on March 13, 2014.
Ken moved to Fairbanks in 1965 and established the Alaska Lepidoptera Survey. Over the years, Ken managed over 600 volunteer collectors and amassed roughly 80,000 specimens, the second largest arctic/boreal collection of butterflies in the world (second only to the Canadian National Collection).

Ken was an avid photographer, reader, and loved classical music. He was always helpful and happy to invite visitors into his home to see the butterfly collection.

He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Defining Clepsis penetralis Razowski (Tortricidae) using morphology and molecules: a widespread but overlooked North American species

In this article appearing in the current issue of the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society, the authors used morphology and molecular data to investigate the relationship of two morphologically similar species (Clepsis penetralis and C. peritana), finding strong support for recognizing these as two distinct species.

Kruse, J. K. and J. A. Powell. 2014. Defining Clepsis penetralis Razowski (Tortricidae) using morphology and molecules: a widespread but overlooked North American species J. Lepid. Soc. 68:25-30.

Materials Request: Genus Phlaeopterus and related taxa (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae)

A Phlaeopterus specimen.

A Phlaeopterus specimen.

Logan Mullen is undertaking a taxonomic revision of the rove beetle genus Phlaeopterus for his M.S. thesis at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is in need of specimens of this genus and of closely related taxa. He is especially seeking freshly collected material to use for DNA extraction, but specimen loans or donations of any kind are greatly appreciated. You may contact him with any questions at: ljmullen2@alaska.edu or (507) 475-0732.
Distribution: northwestern U.S. and Canada, rocky mountain and pacific coast states and provinces, into southeast and central Alaska.
Identification: reddish-brown, brown, or black. Pair of ocelli (with some exceptions), 3-9mm in length, truncated elytra longer than that of a typical rove beetle.
Collection: by hand or pitfall traps at edges of snowfields, streams, and lakes. Often alpine. Under rocks, in moist moss and other detritus. Can be found foraging for windblown insects on snowfield surface.
Preservation: vials of 95-100% ethyl-alcohol, stored in freezer soon after collecting if possible.

Logan’s original materials request flyer is available as a pdf here.

Notes on the biology of the cixiid planthopper Cixius meridionalis (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea)

Published yesterday in the journal Psyche, this note details observations of a cixiid hopper that feeds on roots of several vascular plants in a black spruce muskeg.

Fifth instar C. meridionalis nymph feeding on a root of Empetrum nigrum in a terrarium.

Fifth instar C. meridionalis nymph feeding on a root of Empetrum nigrum in a terrarium.

Bowser, M. L. 2014. Notes on the biology of the cixiid planthopper Cixius meridionalis (Hemiptera: Fulgoroidea). Psyche. 2014:769021. doi:10.1155/2014/769021

Presentations from the 7th annual meeting

Presentations and corresponding audio from the 7th annual meeting are now available via the links below.

How to know the Odonata of Alaska (plus where they live and other fun facts) John Hudson, Alaska Odonata Survey (audio)

Building a DNA barcode library of Alaska’s non-marine arthropods Derek S. Sikes, Casey Bickford, UAF, UAM (audio)

Proposed research: A taxonomic revision of the rove beetle genus Phlaeopterus (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Omaliinae) Logan Mullen, Derek S. Sikes, UAF, UAM (audio)

Insect pollination networks of central Alaskan native plants in the presence of invasive white sweetclover Laura Schneller, Matthew L. Carlson, UAA (audio)

Beetles and spiders as indicators of forest recovery on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska Jill Stockbridge, UAF, UAM (audio)

Factors influencing northern spruce engraver colonization of white spruce slash in interior Alaska James Kruse, Chris Fettig, Roger Burnside, Nick Lisuzzo, Mark Schultz, and Steve Nickel, USDAFS FHP, PSW, ADNR DOF (audio)

2014 Lepidoptera review: New lepidoptera records from SE Alaska, and major defoliation events statewide Kenelm Philip, James Kruse, AK Lep Survey, USDAFS, UAF, UAM (audio)

Notes on two Fulgoroidea (Hemiptera) species associated with black spruce Matt Bowser, USFWS (audio)

Molecular phylogeny of the burying beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae: Nicrophorinae) Derek S. Sikes, UAF, UAM and Chandra Venables, Univ. Calgary, AB, Canada (audio)