Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Entomology (PhD)

Degree Level





Ashley P. Dowling

Committee Member

Tim Kring

Second Committee Member

Don Steinkraus

Third Committee Member

Allen Szalanski

Fourth Committee Member

Jeff Silbermann


Biological sciences, Interior highlands, Ozarks, Sampling, Survey, Trapping


The Interior Highlands is a biodiversity hotspot, with at least 200 known endemic species, but is understudied compared to hotspots, such as the Southern Appalachians. In order to begin to rectify this issue, a nine month study was conducted from mid-March through early December at a 4 ha site at Steel Creek, Buffalo National River, in Newton County, Arkansas. Thirteen collecting methods were employed, including three colors of Lindgren funnel trap, five colors of pan trap, Malaise traps, canopy traps with upper and lower collectors, pitfall traps, and Berlese-Tullgren extraction of leaf litter, which resulted in the collection of 1311 samples during 17 collection events. Target groups, including Formicidae, Carabidae, Cerambycidae, Curculionoidea, Araneae, Isopoda, Mecoptera, Phasmida, Vespidae, Ixodidae, Phalangodidae, and select Diplopoda and Orthoptera were identified. This resulted in 47,481 specimens representing 706 species that were curated and identified, including 18 putatively undescribed species, 56 species that represented new state records, 15 non-native species, and three species of Carabidae endemic to the Interior Highlands, two of which (Rhadine ozarkensis and Scaphinotus infletus) were previously known only from the original type series. Collection data for four beetle taxa – Buprestidae, Carabidae, Cerambycidae, and Curculionoidea excluding Scolytinae – as well as all taxa combined were analyzed. Pitfall and Malaise traps were the most effective (define here as collecting the most species with fewest samples) combination of collection methods for Carabidae, Curculionoidea, and the combined taxa, while Malaise traps alone and Malaise or canopy traps and green Lindgren funnel traps were the most effective collection methods for Cerambycidae and Buprestidae, respectively. Color of Lindgren funnel traps was important when targeting Buprestidae and some Curculionoidea, but not Carabidae or Cerambycidae. Extrapolated rarefaction curves indicated that 300–600 samples were required per trap type (1000+ for pitfall traps) before species accumulation is saturated. Finally, four rarely collected specimens or species – a Temnothorax curvispinosus gynandromorph, Orussus minutus, Eudociminus mannerheimii, and Merope tuber – are treated individually in detail.