Insect surveys along I-355

Two federally endangered insects are found along I-355, Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly (HED) and Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (RPBB). In addition to surveys for these, we are conducting surveys of the butterflies, bees, and moths of the corridor.

We conducted surveys for HED at Keepetaw Forest Preserve, Black Partridge Nature Preserve, and Hidden Lake Forest Preserve during June and July 2022. We did not observe HED flying, but did observe 12 other species. Learn more about our HED surveys.

Here are some of the pollinators that we’ve seen this summer. While these surveys tell us what species are present at tollway sites, the pollen on each of these bees provides additional information. Our pollinator ecologist is collecting pollen from each of the bees to create a plant pollinator network. KC is looking at the phenology of floral resource use along tollway corridors. Knowing what plants bees are foraging on and when can inform future plantings in restoration projects, preserves, and even in concerned citizens’ yards. As with other rare organisms, an important question is how much effort is needed to detect a rare species, which KC is working to answer.

Moth surveys are conducted in late fall, at the tail end of breeding season to minimize impacts on populations. Light traps were set out at 4 areas along the Tollway to inventory the species present. Learn more about our moth surveys.

Learn more about bees, dragonflies, and butterflies and moths in our environmental education section.

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