Canadian Forest Service Publications
Moths and butterflies of the prairies ecozone in Canada. 2014. Pohl, G.R.; Schmidt, B.C.; Lafontaine, J.D.; Landry, J.-F.; Anweiler, G.G.; Bird, C.D. Pages 169-238 (Chapter 5) in D.J. Giberson and Héctor A. Cárcamo, editors. Arthropods of Canadian Grasslands. Volume 4: Biodiversity and Systematics, Part 2. Biological Survey of Canada.
Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 35856
CFS Availability: PDF (download)
Abstract. The Prairies Ecozone of southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta supports a diverse fauna, with 2,232 species of butterflies and moths (order Lepidoptera) recorded to date in 61 families. By far the best known Lepidoptera are the butterflies, with 177 species known to occur in the ecozone. The species known to occur in the Prairies Ecozone are listed by province. The Lepidoptera fauna of this ecozone is reviewed in terms of diversity, state of knowledge of the major groups, postglacial and relict patterns, recent changes in distribution, and endangered and threatened species.
Plain Language Summary
Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) are one of the most diverse and economically important groups of insects, with approximately 157,000 species worldwide. This work establishes a definitive list of the 2232 species that occur in the Prairies Ecozone of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and it clarifies erroneous records in past works. It represents a major advance in our understanding of the Lepidoptera fauna of the prairie provinces. Records were extracted from over 100 years of scientific literature, and from insect collections across Canada. The Lepidoptera fauna of this ecozone is reviewed in terms of diversity, state of knowledge of the major groups, distribution patterns, and endangered and threatened species. This work provides a knowledge baseline that will be useful to resource and conservation managers, biodiversity researchers, taxonomists, amateur collectors, and naturalists.