The Manitoba Museum – Endangered Prairie Moths and Butterflies
Chris Friesen, Biodiversity Information Manager, Manitoba Conservation Data Centre, and Melissa Pearn, Curatorial Assistant, The Manitoba Museum.
Today I’m visiting one of Manitoba’s most unique environments: the Carberry Sand Hills. I’m here talking to Chris Friesen, a biologist with Manitoba Conservation, about some of the endangered species that live in the mixed grass prairie sand dunes. So Chris, what kinds of endangered insects live in this barren environment?
Well Melissa, there’s a number of rare insects that live here including a number of moth and butterfly species that call this home.
Why do so many rare insects live here?
Well, there’s not many sand dune complexes like this left in Canada so any species that rely on open sand like this don’t have many places to live.
What do these insects eat?
Well, the babies, the larvae, eat plants. The Gold-edged Gem Moth, for example, only eats the leaves of the prairie sunflower. The adult moths and butterflies will eat nectar from the flowers.
Thanks for talking to us today about some of Canada’s rarest and least well-known endangered species.