Where are the Northeast USA canopy dwellers?

General discussion on entomology
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Chuck
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Where are the Northeast USA canopy dwellers?

Post by Chuck »

It strikes me as odd that I see really no canopy activity in NE USA.

In the tropics, it's very typical to look up at the canopy and see all manner of Leps, many unreachable. I watched one mango tree for years and always saw some sort of Lycaenid flying around 20m up, but it took ten years to catch one of the buggers. Further, I'd see O victoriae, and graphium, flying up high, very rarely coming to ground level.

But not in NE USA. I sit on my deck and can see the edge of the forest canopy, and there's nothing up there. Odd, since the whole region was, in pre-Colombian times, covered with tall forest. OK, I'm sure someone will cite some species that prefers canopy, but when I look at it, it's void of leps.

Thoughts?
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kevinkk
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Re: Where are the Northeast USA canopy dwellers?

Post by kevinkk »

Maybe it's the flora and differences between the way animals evolved in the tropics, I've never thought about it before, but the same thing
exists here in the western USA, of course some species like Admirals will perch just out of reach, but really nothing you couldn't swing at with a long net handle.
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Trehopr1
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Re: Where are the Northeast USA canopy dwellers?

Post by Trehopr1 »

So far as I know (here in the eastern half of the US) a few species of Lycaenidae are primarily canopy dwellers. Aside from that I've never really read or heard of much else.

To a degree I would say that Papilio glaucus is probably our most arboreal swallowtail species as I have many times sighted them flying way out of reach coming in or out of forest margins.
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KKarns
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Re: Where are the Northeast USA canopy dwellers?

Post by KKarns »

Hey Trehopr1, I have run a hanging flight intercept trap in the canopy at my property in SE Ohio for beetles. I haven't found anything that I haven't encountered otherwise. Although I have collected a few interesting species in series in the canopy that I had only collected individuals here and there of. The trap was fun to service and was positioned about 75 feet up in some upland hardwoods.
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Trehopr1
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Re: Where are the Northeast USA canopy dwellers?

Post by Trehopr1 »

Hey KKarns, that's pretty cool that you have sampled the upper echelons of our native forest. I think it is a largely unsampled environment (here) and very few people have likely ever tried it.

I'd love to see some of your more interesting findings sometime if you can take some photos !

I had the pleasure of getting to know and talk with a retired emeritus curator (coleopterist) at the museum where I once worked. He was an authority on the beetle family Histeridae.

He told me that when he was younger he would pull off the side of the road when he saw a dead animal as he always carried a collecting bag / jars with him. He would flip the critter over in the hopes of finding his precious hister beetles amongst the swarming hoard underneath the dead critter. He said he had his best luck on critters that hadn't sat for too many days.

He also remarked that he would walk into forests and keep a sharp eye out for trees or large branches that had come down. It was here that he would investigate for signs of insect life amongst the detritus within the hole or crevice.

He would scoop out as much of the detritus within the hole as he could (putting it in a bucket); which he would then bring home and place into a berlese funnel.

Anything that was in it would be funneled down into an alcohol bottle. He found some histerid species in these unique environs and said he would likely have never run across them had he not looked at such unlikely places.
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