Rattlesnake Master Borer Moth

The USFWS is considering listing Papaipema eryngii, the rattlesnake master borer moth. Anna Huckabee Smith and the SCDNR are trying to help the researcher, Jim Bess, locate host plants and larvae in SC this season. Anyone who encounters Eryngium sp. in the field should look for signs of larvae. Anna reports that the larvae are easy to raise on carrots and can be grown out for positive identification.

Early to mid-Summer is the best time (mid-June to early August). Prairies, open woodlands, and rights-of-way with 50+ rattlesnake master plants are suitable sites to survey. Sites that are burned annually are less likely to be occupied.

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