Date of Defense

Fall 12-2-1999


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Stephen Malcolm, Biology

Second Advisor

Duane D. McKenna, Entomology, University of Illinois




Almost nothing is known about the impact that vehicles and roads have on insects. While we know that vehicles can impact populations of deer, amphibians, snakes, boala bears, wolves, badgers, and other vertebrates, we known practically nothing about the impact that vehicles and roads have on invertebrates. This study was conducted to demonstrate the magnitude of roadway mortality and its implications for populations of Lepidoptera in East Central Illinois. To quantify the number and kinds of Lepidoptera killed along roads in East Central Illinois, dead butterflies and moths were collected, counted, and later identified. This was done on 13 roadside transects in the vicinity of Urbana, Illinois, with collections occurring weekly on each transect for six weeks. Monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, are often seen hit by cars (pers obs.). For this reason, special attention was given to this species. For this study, the author hypothesized that there was a significant correlation between the number of vehicles traveling a roadway in 24 hours and the number of dead Lepidoptera collected per meter of roadside over the eight week study period (August 25, 1998-October 19, 1998).

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only