Kayla Edmunds '21 majored in Conservation Biology and minored in African Studies. She is particularly interested in Entomology and completed a Senior Year Experience in Fall '20 on the phenology and dispersal of Proctacanthus robber flies (Diptera: Asilidae) in St. Lawrence County. Her SLU Fellowship builds upon this experience while studying Lasiopogon currani, another unique robber fly species.
Robber flies (Order: Diptera, Family: Asilidae) are members of a widespread family of predacious flies. Lasiopogon currani are a small species within this family, active in late spring to early summer and commonly found perching on exposed sticks or rocks. We conducted daily surveys at Glen Meal State Forest, combined with a mark-resight technique to measure their phenology as well as collect observational data. The first L. currani were surveyed on May 2nd, with the population peaking in abundance on May 9th and plateauing for 9 days before decreasing, with no L. currani spotted after June 7th. The 2021 phenology does not match that of the 2019 dataset, which we hypothesize to be related to a changing climate and varied weather conditions. This research contributes to the growing collection of data on how different species of wildlife may be impacted by our changing climate.