Cedars of Lebanon St.Pk., Wilson Co., Tenn.
9-15 June 1997
by Joe MacGown
This year's Cross trip was to the Cedars
of Lebanon State Park in Wilson Co., Tenn. The decision to go here was
based on the fact that there are some very interesting cedar glade habitats
found in the central part of Tenn. in what is known as the Central Basin.
These cedar glades were highly recommended because of their high plant diversity
and endemism. And, as you know, where there are interesting and diverse plants
to be found, the cool bugs will follow. The Tenn. Nature Conservancy was very
helpful, both from the standpoint of giving us some funding, and by recommending
good cedar glades to visit.
We had a pretty good bunch of insect loving folks on this year's trip. Our trip leader was the ever popular Al Wheeler. Al is retired now, but still is very active in the insect world. He is especially interested in Miridae, but seems to find the habits of all insects appealing. This guy really likes his ice cream and coffee. Al is very good with a beating stick as well (he has a nice ax handle), so it is advisable to stay on his good side. Al seemed just a little too young to be retired, but apparently his investments have done well, and so he gave up the day to day grind for serious insect work. Other things one could say about Al was that he had a nice hat and a nice looking Jeep Cherokee. Al must have really enjoyed our company, as the collecting of mirids was not the best, and he still stayed most of the week arriving on Monday and finally leaving on Saturday.
Another retired fellow going by the name of Milt Campbell joined us for the Cross trip. Milt is a beetle man who specializes in certain Staphylinidae and Alleculidae. He worked in Canada for a number of years, as well as spending some time in the tropics. Milt now resides in Kentucky where he and his wife live on a farm. Milt is a very pleasant sort who seemed to know a lot about everything including carpentry, farming, snakes, music, day lilies, etc. Milt also stayed most of the week being there from Monday, 9 June, through Saturday, 14 June.
The mild mannered and red-haired Vicky
Moseley was present for the entire week of this year's trip from Monday
to Sunday (9-15 June 1997). Vicky is the illustrious curator of the LSU collection.
Vicky has joined our Cross trip gang for each of the past several years, and,
indeed, is a regular fixture of the trip. Vicky is mostly a generalist when
it comes to insects, although lately she has taken a liking to certain tiny
tropical Nitidulidae. Vicky brings a knowledge of insects, which seems to
grow by leaps and bounds each year, along with a nice blacklight/mercury vapor
lamp set-up, which really pulls in the bugs. Vicky also is a very competent
and knowledgeable bird watcher.
Our dept. head here at MSU, Clarence
H. Collison, also made a brief appearance on this year's trip. He was
on his way back from visiting some kids or something and couldn't resist the
lure of the elusive Nitidulidae. He was on the trip only one night, Tuesday,
but did manage to get some collecting done at the blacklights that night.
Dr. Collison is very interested in the nitidulids at this time and currently
has two works in progress dealing with them, including the Nitidulidae of
Miss., which will be a wonderful thing in itself. He also is very knowledgeable
of bees and long-horned beetles.
Don Wright, of Ohio, a tortricid specialist, joined us for a couple of days toward the end of the week. He arrived on Thursday and after a fairly successful blacklighting night that evening, he left the following day. Don is apparently an engineer of some sort or another, and this was quite obvious once his elaborate blacklight/mercury vapor lamp collecting set-up was seen first hand. Don is also a very talented wood worker and he had the coolest collecting box to be found on this trip or any other. Don also had some fairly interesting goggles which he wore while collecting. These goggles are supposed to protect one from the potentially (remotely) dangerous ultra-violet rays of the blacklight. I'm not sure if this is indeed a real and present danger, but the goggles were certainly hip looking. Don is a quiet man with a real knack for fastidious detail and this was illustrated clearly by his beautifully spread micro-Lepidoptera.
Gerry Baker, the
famed acarologist here at MSU, joined us again for the Cross Trip. Dr. Baker
joined us for the entire week from Monday through Sunday (9 June-15 June).
Gerry generally does some selective general collecting and also gathers soil
and litter samples which he later puts in his magic berlese funnels. Gerry
is undoubtedly everyones favorite participant on these trips as he is a culinary
genius who truly enjoys the art of cooking. He cooks all the meals on the
trip when he comes and usually cooks dishes of several nationalities.
Richard Brown, the director
of the Museum at MSU, was also present for the entire week (Monday-Sunday).
Richard is a harp specialist who also dabbles in micro-Lepidoptera, especially
the Tortricidae. During these trips Richard generally indulges in extensive
blacklighting in hopes of collecting many great moths. During the day, Dr.
Brown spends 98% of his time spreading moths and telling crazy stories about
his times in foreign ports (such as Arkansas). Occasionally, Richard dashes
outside and partakes in spastic sweeping of vegetation. During these daylight
forays, Richard usually manages to capture a very rare cerambycid beetle or
two, as well (much to the chagrin of Terry).
Terry Schiefer, our
beetle-loving curator here at MSU, was, of course, along for the entire trip
(Monday-Sunday). Terry is quite fond of those long-horned beetles and does
all he can to collect as many species as possible. Terry does a lot of beating
during the day and blacklighting at night. Typically, Terry catches 17.5 times
the number of insects than anyone else in his careful and methodical approach
to collecting and is a valuable component of any trip in this regard. Terry
is also an exceptional birder and when heated arguments arise concerning a
particular bird call, Terry can easily bring peace with his expertise.
Joe MacGown (that would
be myself), the resident art person and technician for the MSU Ent. Museum,
was present from Monday to Friday (9 June-13 June). I am a general collector,
and catch everything I see. I usually take an active part in collecting moths
with Richard and also spread many of those. This year marked the first year
that I had a beating sheet and I tried to put it to good use. I also usually
take care of keeping any field notes and the writing of any info concerning
our fellow collectors.
A graduate student of ours by the name of Glynn Hankins joined us this year as well. Glynn stayed Monday through Friday and rode up and back with me. Glynn is working on a masters degree at the present time and did a lot of general collecting on the trip. Glynn, from Louisiana, is a good sort to have along on a trip as he is very sociable and has lead a very interesting life which he enjoys talking about. Glynn has done just about everything in life and apparently got bored with the excitement and decided to go into Entomology. Go figure.
Monday, 9 June 1997
After a several hour trip we finally arrived at the State Park at about mid afternoon on Monday, 9 June 1997. Within an hour, we were unloaded and ready to go scout out some potential collecting spots. After settling in a bit, we were visited by the Park Ranger, Buddy Ingram. Buddy was a very low key fellow who seemed to have a good handle on many things, including a decent knowledge of Entomology. Buddy is also a musician who is primarily interested in the banjo. Buddy was very helpful and interested in our work and he came by to watch and talk on a daily basis.
After meeting the Park Ranger, we decided to go explore and collect in the Cedars of Lebanon State Forest which is located very near the State Park we were staying in. The S.F. is pocketed with several nice cedar glade habitats which were of special interest to us. These cedar glades were very similar to our Black Belt Prairie habitat except in the cedar glades one could find many out croppings and large areas of bare rock. The flora is of a similar nature as is the overall look. These glades are bordered and interspersed with cedar trees (Juniperous virginiana). One could find Dalia spp., Verbena spp., Melilotus spp., Phlox spp., Rudbeckia hirta, Helianthus spp., Solidago spp., Ratibida pinnata, Liatris spp., Echinacea spp., Blephia cialiata, Scutellaria spp., and many more plants similar to those in the Black Belt. One very distinct difference between the cedar glades and the black belt was the wondrous odor of the cedar glades. There are several aromatic plants found here which smell very nice. Rhus aromatic, and Satureja glabella (called glade mint) were a couple of the more aromatic plants to be found here.
With the exception of Gerry Baker, everybody else went out to explore and collect at some of these sites. We explored several areas down the main road of the S.F. and found several places to our liking. One spot was a couple of miles down the road and had been burned at some recent point in history. We called this site "the burned cedar glade" and we did some general collecting there. Terry, Glynn, and I found a nice place to put out some pitfall traps and a malaise trap. We put this in an area down the road from a place we referred to as "the burned cedar glade" and we simply called this spot the "pitfall/malaise spot". It was a generally overcast day with rain looking possible, but it did hold off and we did some general collecting in this area and were able to catch some insects. Vicky, Al, Milt, and Richard all did some collecting in this general vicinity, as well, but for the most part this afternoon was used for reconnaissance work with not that much collecting taking place.
After eating a delightful meal, we were headed out to put up sheets in the S.F. I helped Vicky set her sheet up and plugged the lights to the batteries of the others which Richard had already put up. The other members of the group were detained and as we found out later, Richard's friend Olle Pellmyr had dropped by with his students. Olle is doing research with yucca moths in the cedar glades area. Eventually, everyone made it out (except Gerry).
We had decided to put the blacklight traps in the burned cedar glade as it was a nice looking habitat and was nearby. Vicky put up one sheet with a blacklight and a mercury vapor lamp in the cedar glade. Richard put up four sheets with blacklights. Two of the sheets Richard set up were in the open cedar glades, while one was in the woods just at the edge of the glade, and the other one was up the road a little ways in an oak-hickory type habitat. Richard also put out a box trap with a blacklight nearer the entrance of the S.F. near the pitfall/malaise spot. We also set up a sheet with a blacklight and a mercury vapor lamp at the rear of the cabin. The sheet was left up for the entire duration of the trip. The collecting that night was excellent for moths, but very subpar for other insects, especially beetles. The temperature was low for this time of year and it was a damp evening (the whole week was). Richard was very excited about the large quantity of nice moths and said that it was one of the best collecting nights he had experienced in the U.S.A. Richard and I both collected many moths this night. I also collected other insects when I saw them. Collecting for the other folks was not as exciting, but there were a few scarabs, and little green cicadellids to be found. I did catch a nice spider. Eventually, everybody except Richard got tired and bored and went back to the cabin. I later came back and collected some more and finally talked Richard into taking down the sheets. It was around 2:30 AM when we left and the sheet at the cabin had not even been checked yet. We finally got through, and went back to the cabin and took care of our specimens.
Tuesday, 10 June 1997
Tuesday morning came around quicker than I had hoped and Richard was already putting moths in relaxers. He had already picked up the box trap and a newspaper. This guy doesn't sleep. After eating some cereal, I decided to investigate the camp trail which is about five miles long. The skies were again overcast and it was intermittently misting and drizzling all day. Despite the foliage being wet, I did some beating which yielded some insects such as Chrysomelidae, Tingidae, a nice Lagriidae, Carabidae, Curculionidae, and others. I later put out four pitfall traps around the cabin. I also put out four jars with brown-sugar yeast bait in them in hopes of catching some Nitidulidae. I went collecting with Vicky for a while at the burned cedar glade area. I did some beating on live tree limbs and got some decent stuff. I picked up a couple of nice buprestids, some clerids, and other things. I also collected some bees and a languriid on some thistles (Carduus nutans, nodding thistle) at the edge of the road. Milt Campbell decided to do some collecting down the nature trail near the cabin. He got some nice series of insects from beating vegetation, treading some wet areas, and sifting soil and leaf litter. Some members of our group went to a site called Couchville in the morning. This area was owned by the Nature Conservancy. General collecting was done here. Glynn caught a good bit of stuff here.
After lunch Al, Terry, Glynn, and I went looking for a cedar glade habitat known as the Lane Farm. This was actually private land, but the owners were quite responsive to scientific research done there. We found a place which we thought was the Lane Farm, but actually was a little ways down the road from the Lane farm. However, we thought this was the right spot and we put up a malaise trap here. This area was very interesting and gave us our first view of the explosively beautiful flower called the Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera missouriensis). This is a low growing plant with large bright yellow flowers which was growing anywhere it could get a food hold and seeming to grow right out of the rock. We did some general collecting here as well as collecting on certain plants including the primrose. Al did a lot of shaking of herbaceous plants under which he had placed a large flat pan to collect the falling insects. He was primarily looking for mirids, but was keeping anything else of interest. He is interested in insect and plant associations, ecology, and insect behavior in general. We later backtracked a bit and found that we had indeed, missed the Lane Farm on our first attempt. We found a nice lady of whom we asked directions. As it happened she (and her husband), were the Lanes, and we just followed her to the farm. The Lane Farm looked very promising and we stayed there for the rest of the afternoon collecting and exploring. The beautiful purple Tennessee coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis) was present here as was Gattinger's prairie clover, Dalea gattingeri. I collected on various plants here including Rosa sp. on which I caught some nice red weevils, some chrysomelids, and a cerambycid. I collected some membracids, mirids, bees, and flies on the prairie clover, a bee on evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa), and also did some sweeping. Al Wheeler again did a lot of plant shaking, and Terry and Glynn did some collecting as well.
Gerry Baker and Vicky went out to the State Forest and did some collecting at a site they called the "Rocky Outcrop".
Dr. Collison showed up at the cabin sometime that afternoon. He and his wife were on their way back from somewhere or another and he decided to stop in and collect with us that night.
That night Richard decided to blacklight at the Couchville site in Davidson Co. Vicky again set up her sheet with blacklight and mercury vapor lamps. We set up four sheet with blacklights and scattered them about the area. The collecting was not as good for moths as it was the previous night, but there were still plenty of moths to go around. The other insects were a bit more plentiful than the previous night, however.
Wednesday, 11 June 1997
Another wet, miserable looking day. It wasn't ever raining really hard or anything, but the air was wet and thick, like we were in a cloud or something. Consequently, everybody had wet shoes, sweep nets, and beating sheets. I went outside to check my brown-sugar yeast bait traps in the morning and found that an animal had overturned them all. That was a waste of time, I guess. I put up another brown-sugar yeast bait trap. This time I put the solution in an old milk jug and hung it from a tree. Terry put out 2 lindgren funnels near the cabin area that morning.
Tom Hemmerly, the author of the "Wildflowers of the Central South", came by the cabin with a graduate student. He took some of us out to some cedar glades and showed us some plants. This was, of course, very helpful. Before lunch he showed us plants in the cedar glades in the S.F. at two localities, which we called the "foliosa site" and the "Phlox site". We all collected some at these sites. We saw a snake under a rock and caught a few nice carabids under some rocks. After lunch Tom again went out with us and showed us an amazingly diverse area in Rutherford Co. on Factory Rd. This site, which we called "Factory road site 1", was private land owned by a Mr. Bell. Everyone was really impressed by this site and we did a lot of collecting here. I collected insects on several different plants here myself, including the Missouri primrose, the pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), and the ox-eye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum). Glynn, Terry, Milt, Al, and Vicky all were present and they also did a good bit of collecting. There were some very interesting plants here including the American Columbo (Swertia caroliniensis), which was over six feet tall and in bloom. Tom needed to leave after showing us around this site, but we went on down the same road to an area owned by the Nature Conservacy. For a brief time the sun actually came out which pleased everybody, especially the butterflies. We called this site "Factory Road site 2". There were Baltimores and fritillaries flying about. Al Wheeler liked all the Verbena and Phlox. and he collected on everyone of these plants he could find. I caught a few scorpions here under the rocks as well as a good number of insects.
After returning to the cabin, we took care of our insects, and then ate supper. That evening we decided to blacklight at the "foliosa site" (also called Davis glade) in the S.F. This was a nice little spot where the rare Dalea foliosa was found, although it was not blooming at the time we were there. Vicky again had her blacklight/mercury vapor and sheet set up. We had four additional sheets with blacklights up. The collecting tonight was not as good for moths as the previous nights, but the other insects were starting to pick up. The temperatures were gradually increasing throughout the week, and this probably had something to do with it. I found a rough leafed dogwood tree (Cornus drummondii) in bloom and did some beating on it getting a few things including some cerambycids. I also beat some other trees.
Later in the evening the Park Ranger, Buddy Ingram, came by with his two kids. They were very nice and actually quite knowledgeable of insects. Eventually, we picked up and headed out.
Thursday, 12 June 1997
I got up early and went and took some lat-long readings at Couchville and some of the sites in the S.F. I also went back to the foliosa site and did some more beating on the Cornus drummondii. Terry put up the malaise trap at Lane Farm Thursday morning.
That afternoon we (Al, Milt, Terry, Vicky, Glynn and I) went looking for two Nature Conservancy sites called Sunny Bell Glade, in Rutherford Co. and Mountainview glade, in Davidson Co. The Sunny Bell Glade was very elusive and we never actually found it, however we did quite a job of searching. We had to first walk through a large culvert under a major highway, then we scaled a large hill, then we crossed a barbed wire fence, then we fought our way through dense, overgrown, jungle-like second growth vegetation, and then we were thoroughly lost. We did manage to catch some insects here, however.
The next site was in the middle of some neighborhood and left much to be desired in my humble opinion, but never-the-less, we collected here for a while. We headed back to the cabin after this as hunger was taking over. After dinner Richard, Terry, Gerry, Vicky, Glynn and I headed out to the Lane Farm to blacklight. Don Wright also joined us this evening. Don set up a sheet with blacklights and a very powerful M.V. lamp. He was primarily interested in little moths. I found his sheet to be a good sheet for little beetles and other insects. Vicky also put her sheet with B.L. and M.V. lamp up. We had four additional sheets with blacklights up. The moth collecting was slow, but steady, and Richard seemed happy. This was by far the best night for collecting beetles also, and Terry was elated, to be sure. I concentrated on non-moths this evening, however, I did catch a few moths. Glynn and I headed back earlier than usual because we were going to head out in the morning back to Starkville. Gerry Baker and Vicky left right after we did. Don Wright beat all of us, however. Richard and Terry stayed out late collecting until after 2:00 AM. Richard also put out a box trap with a blacklight at the Couchville glade.
Friday, 13 June 1997
Richard got up and picked up box trap from the Couchville glade. I checked my brown-sugar yeast bait, but the results were not there. No Nitidulidae present. Oh well.
A little later than we hoped, Glynn and I left and made the journey home. At some point in the day Don Wright headed on his lonesome way. The rest of the crew (except Gerry) blacklighted that evening at the first Factory Rd. site in Rutherford Co. Apparently, no sooner had the sheets been set up than they had a torrential downpour with the associated fireworks. The sheets were hurriedly taken down, and everybody drove back wet and dejected, but actually somewhat happy. They could now view the rest of the Bulls game.
Saturday, 14 June 1997
Both Al Wheeler and Milt Campbell headed their respective ways on Saturday. Terry took down all the malaise traps today, as well as the pitfall traps and lindgren funnels. Gerry Baker didn't feel like cooking Saturday, so he took the remaining group out to eat. After eating, they blacklighted near the cabin at, I assume, a leisurely pace.
Sunday, 15 1997
After loading the vehicles up, everybody headed back home where the real work would begin.
A List of Some Flowering Plants Found in the Cedar Glades (insects were collected on some of these)
Carduus nutans-nodding thistle, tall
Chrysathemum leucanthemum-ox-eye daisy
Echinacea pallida-pale coneflower
Echinacea tennesseensis-Tenn. coneflower
Rudbeckia hirta-black eyed susan
Ratibida pinnata-prairie coneflower
Senecio aureus-golden ragwort
Lithospermum canescens-golden orange flowers
Onosmodium molle-tall pale green wth heads bent over
Arenaria patula-white glade sandwort growing on rock outcrops
Astragalus tennesseensis-Tenn. milkvetch
Dalea gattingeri-Gattinger's Prairie clover
Swertia caroliniensis-American Columbo
Satureja glabella-glade mint or glade savory
Scutellaria parvula-small skullcap
Oenothera missouriensis-large yellow flowers, Missouri primrose
Oxalis violacea-yellow, large flowered
Polemonium reptans-Jacob's ladder
Aquilegia canadensis-wild columbine
Delphinium carolinianum-white glade larkspur
Potentilla recta-yellow flower, called sulphus cinquefoil
Rosa sagitaria and R. carolinineum
Verbena canadensis-a large flowered species
A Few Common Trees and Shrubs
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus-coral berry
Cornus drummondii-rough leaved dogwood
Juniperous virginiana-eastern red cedar
Forestiera ligustrina-glade privot
Rhamnus caroliniana-Carolina buckthorn
Cedar Glade Localities
(9-15 June 1997)
Oak Hickory spot in State Forest,
Cedars of Lebanon S.F.
burned glade in State Forest,
Cedars of Lebanon S.F.
Davis glade in State Forest,
(also called Foliosa site, or plant 1 site)
Cedars of Lebanon S.F.
Phlox site in State Forest,
(or plant 2 site)
Cedars of Lebanon S.F.
Pitfall, malaise site in State Forest, also box trap here
Cedars of Lebanon S.F.
rocky outcrop in State Forest,
Vicky & Gerry went there
Cedars of Lebanon S.F.
Cabin area in State Park, blacklight and M-V lamp for entire week
Cedars of Lebanon S.P.
Lane Farm Cedar Glade
Lane Farm Glade
Primrose area near Lane Farm (malaise here 10-14 June 1997)
1 mi W of Vine
Couchville Glade, blacklighted here
Couchville Glade, Richard Brown
put a box trap here
Mountain Rd. Glade
Mt.View Road Glade
Factory Rd. site,privately owned (Factory Rd. site 1)
Factory Rd. site,Nature Conservancy owned (Factory Rd. site 2)
Flat Rock Glade
The habitats here were: "Cedar Glades" and "Oak-Hickory Forest nr. Cedar Glades". The cabin area was of a very mixed variety and will require no special habitat label.