Regal Fritillary and its Host Plant Studied at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge (Iowa)
Traditional tallgrass prairie restoration efforts have focused primarily on planting and managing the dominant species of prairie vegetation. Meanwhile, little is known about techniques for restoring prairie insect species, many of which play important roles in pollination and seed dispersal. The regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia) is a prairie endemic butterfly that was once abundant in the Midwest, but now occurs in small, widely-separated populations. The regal and its host plants~bird’s-foot violet (Viola pedata) and prairie violet (V. pedatifida) in Iowa--are found almost exclusively in unplowed native prairie. We have initiated an experiment to restore the regal fritillary at the 5,000-acre Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), which is located just east of Des Moines. Here we report on previous research as well as our progress to date in restoring the regal fritillary
This article is from Ecological Restoration 18 (2000): 254.