Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois


Geoffrey Levin


In late June, 2001, INHS scientists and others swarmed over Robert Allerton Park in east-central Illinois to participate in the Biodiversity Blitz, an intensive one-day effort to locate as many species as possible in the park. Despite the short time period, over 2,000 species were found, breaking the previous record for a single-day survey in the United States. Yes, Illinois is much more than fields of corn and soybeans surrounding urban landscapes. The "Prairie State" is also a place of natural habitats, and our remaining prairies--and savannas, forests, wetlands, streams, and lakes--are home to more than 53,000 species of plants, animals, and fungi.

That we know this much about the state's biodiversity is due largely to the efforts of Survey scientists for more than 140 years. Much of this knowledge is documented in the Survey's biological collections, which comprise more than 9 million individual organisms, the majority collected within Illinois. The specimens and the data associated with them, most of which are contained in computerized databases, are invaluable for identifying native and exotic species, studying their evolutionary history, and understanding their past and present distributions. The collections are heavily used by Survey scientists, scientists at other institutions worldwide, educators, students, policymakers, and the public. Information about the scope and use of the collections can be found on page 6 of this report.

Despite all we know about the Illinois biota, much remains to be learned. For the vast majority of species, we know almost nothing about their ecology and population dynamics, or how changes in the state's environment have affected their distributions. Biodiversity research at the Survey therefore continues to emphasize inventories of our flora and fauna, monitoring to determine changes over time, and studies of the ecology of individual species and natural communities, especially those known to be declining. Research during 2000-2001 included a variety of projects related to documenting and conserving biodiversity. The projects described in more detail below illustrate the range in scale of Survey research, from studies of a single species (the eastern massasauga) to statewide surveys of all groups (the Statewide Biological Survey and Assessment Program).

Plants and animals do not recognize political boundaries, and Survey scientists are involved in projects outside Illinois. These range from surveys of plants, worms, and aquatic insects as part of the All-Taxon Biotic Inventory of Smoky Mountains National Park to expeditions to Tasmania, New Caledonia, and Kyrgyzstan. Studies like these provide a regional, national, and global context to the Illinois biota, a context that is vital not only to validate scientific research, but also to provide the information needed as Illinois grapples with global climate change and invasive species riding the coattails of world trade.


Geoffrey Levin and Chris Phillips


The Illinois Natural History Survey's Center for Biodiversity is the home of the Statewide Biological Survey and Assessment Program, which is supported by a long-term contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Members of this program conduct biological surveys and environmental assessments, especially for threatened and endangered species and high-quality natural communities, within IDOT project areas. Staff also assess potential wetland mitigation sites and monitor created wetlands at these sites. This is one of the few programs in Illinois that assesses biodiversity throughout the state (for another, see the Critical Trends Assessment Program section of this Annual Report).

This contractual relationship with IDOT goes back almost 20 years; the program in its current form has been in operation for more than 10 years. It has grown to approximately 25 full-time staff (including 10 with Ph.D.s), 5 graduate research assistants, and 5-10 hourly assistants, and a budget that now exceeds $1.5 million annually. In FY2001, surveys were conducted at 65 sites in 43 counties, and monitoring was conducted at 4 wetland mitigation sites in 4 counties. Recently the program's botanists initiated a survey of railroad prairies paralleling highways because these sites are crucial for planning, management, and mitigation of highway projects.

The Statewide Biological Survey and Assessment Program is a mutually beneficial relationship between IDOT and the INHS. For its part, IDOT obtains the services of a highly qualified group of scientists who provide unbiased scientific data and interpretation. A similarly strong and diverse staff cannot be found elsewhere, including the private sector. Furthermore, the Survey's long history of sound science imbues the program, strengthening IDOT's own credibility.

The INHS also benefits significantly from the program. The staff members bring scientific expertise to the Survey that it otherwise would not be able to afford. These scientists are resources not only for the program, but they also are available to consult with staff throughout INHS, elsewhere in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and outside the agency on issues statewide. The Surveys' scientific collections receive significant financial support in terms of supplies and salaries for collection management staff, and program staff contribute large numbers of specimens to the collections as a result of their work. Our ability to survey and document the state's flora and fauna are greatly enhanced. The provisions of the contract also allow program staff to conduct some independent research, and many have active research programs in systematics and ecology. Clearly the program contributes significantly to the research, education, and outreach missions of the Survey.




At the time of European settlement, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake was found throughout the northern two-thirds of Illinois. Within a few years, however, habitat destruction and outright persecution reduced the Illinois range of the massasauga to a few widely scattered populations. As early as 1890 it was noted that the massasauga was in decline, and today only three or four populations remain in Illinois. Only the population at Carlyle Lake in Clinton County is thought to be large enough to have any hope of surviving the next 20 years.

In 1994, the massasauga was listed as endangered in Illinois and this resulted in increased interest in the welfare of the species. More recently, plans for commercial development at Carlyle have been presented by various government agencies and private groups that have caused the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to step up its investigations into the status of the massasauga at Carlyle. In response to this need, we started studying the massasauga at Carlyle Lake in autumn of 1998. The initial purpose of the study was to conduct a systematic survey for massasaugas at one of the two IDNR-owned or managed properties at the lake, South Shore State Park. The early results indicated that as many as 100 massasaugas might exist at the main study site at South Shore State Park. An in-depth analysis of the specific locations where massasaugas were found suggests that during egress massasaugas select locations closer to retreats (crayfish holes or logs) and shrubs rather than random locations. This proximity to cover may allow massasaugas to escape predation, especially from aerial predators, such as hawks.

The next phase of the research at Carlyle focused on radio-tracking adult massasaugas to investigate their movement patterns, habitat preferences, and home range size. This phase has been very successful with over 20 snakes involved to date. Most of our telemetered snakes did not move more than a few hundred meters from their hibernation point during the entire activity season (March through October) and most occupied less than four acres during this period. Our telemetered massasaugas occupied a variety of habitats, ranging from old field to autumn olive thickets.

The final product of these efforts will be a better picture of how many massasaugas live at Carlyle Lake and how they utilize the various habitat types at the lake. This information will be used to direct commercial development away from the areas that are used by massasaugas. We hope it will also be part of a larger management plan that includes purchase of additional habitat and educational programs that counter the antisnake press already in existence.



An experimental investigation of the dispersal ability of freshwater invertebrates
C. Caceres, D. Soluk

Ecology of the federally listed endangered Hines emerald dragonfly, Somatachlora hineana
D. Soluk, L. Pintor, S. Foster

Foraging mode and the prediction of the impact of multiple predators on prey populations
H. Vance, D. Soluk


Solar radiation, growth dilution, and metal accumulation by autotrophic biofilms
W. Hill, I. Larsen

 Factors inducing and terminating dormancy in zooplankton 
C. Caceres, A. Rachubinski, A. Andreou


Conservation ecology and genetics of black rat snakes
G. Blouin-Demers, P.J. Weatherhead, H.L. Gibbs

Reproductive ecology of northern water snakes
K.J. Kissner, P.J. Weatherhead


Relationship between fish biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function
K. Ostrand, D. Wahl


 Systematics and fingerprinting of Microsporidia 
L. Solter, J. Maddox, J. Vavra (Charles Univ., Prague, Czech Republic), C. Vossbrinck (Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT)


Computerized Databases

Atlas of North American Freshwater Mussels: Preliminary Species Accounts 
K. Cummings


Bibliography of the Freshwater Mussels (Unionoida) of North America 
K. Cummings, C. Mayer, G. Watters (Ohio State University), and A. Bogan (North Carolina Museum of Natural Science)


Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica--Supplementum Quartum: A catalogue of names, descriptions, and type specimens of the Oligochaeta
M. Wetzel, J. Reynolds (Oligochaetology Laboratory, Kitchener, Ontario)


An Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) specimen database, Internet access and GIS mapping
E. DeWalt, C. Favret


Integration of INHS databases for the Illinois River Decision Support System
E. Chen, E. DeWalt, M. Pegg, G. Levin



Revision of the genus Torula
L. Crane, J. Hughes (Agriculture Canada)


Taxonomic and genetic identification of the horseradish root discoloration pathogen
W. Chen, M. Babadoost (UIUC), C. Eastman


World Host Index of the Meliolaceae (Ascomycetes)
A. Jones (UIUC), J. Crane


Population genetics and host preference of the fungus Phialophora gregata
X. Meng, W. Chen, C. Grau (University of Wisconsin)


Sympatric population of the soybean brown stem rot pathogen
Y. Chen, W. Chen, C. Grau (University of Wisconsin)


Nomenclator of sanctioned names of fungi
L. Crane




Biological study of the Galena River
W. Handel, C. Phillips


Survey for populations of the mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) and salamander mussel (Simpsonaias ambigua) in Illinois
K. Cummings, C. Phillips, C. Mayer, J. Petzing


Biological inventories of C2000 Ecosystem Program grant project sites
K. Cummings, L. Page, C. Phillips, C. Mayer


Surveys for endangered and threatened plants and animals and high-quality natural communities at Illinois Department of Transportation project sites
G. Levin, C. Phillips, and CBD-Statewide Biological Survey and Assessment staff


Inventory of terrestrial arthropods and vascular plants of the grasslands of Kyrgyzstan
C. Dietrich, J. Taft, R. Phillippe, D. Novikov, N. Novikova


The biodiversity, hydrogeology, and water quality of springs in Illinois
D. Webb, M. Wetzel


Invertebrate: Annelids

Aquatic and Terrestrial Annelida (Acanthobdellae, Aphanoneura, Branchiobdellae, Hirudinea, Oligochaeta, and Polychaeta) of North America
M. Wetzel, K. Coates (Bermuda Biological Station for Research), R. Kathman (Aquatic Resources Center, College Grove, TN), K. Fauchald (USNM-Smithsonian Institution), B. Healy (University College, Dublin, Ireland)


The aquatic Annelida (Hirudinea and Oligochaeta) of the Colorado River and its tributaries, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
M. Wetzel, D. Blinn, J. Shannon (Northern Arizona University)


The aquatic Annelida of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
M. Wetzel


The Tubificidae (Annelida, Oligochaeta) associated with sediments in Pop's Cave, Wisconsin
M. Wetzel, H. Swayne, M. Day (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)


The diversity and density of aquatic Oligochaeta (Annelida) associated with sediments in cave streams in Illinois and Missouri
S. Taylor, M. Wetzel, D. Webb


The freshwater Oligochaeta (Annelida: Oligochaeta: Enchytraeidae, Lumbriculidae, Naididae, Tubificidae) from the Lesser Antilles
M. Wetzel, D. Bass (University of Central Oklahoma)


Invertebrate: Arthropods


Revision of genera in Therevidae (Diptera)
D. Webb, M. Irwin (UIUC)


Winter stoneflies of Illinois
D. Webb


Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) species composition at Forest Glen Forest Preserve, Vermilion County, Illinois
R. DeWalt


Status of the genus Heterostylum in Illinois
D. Webb


New species of Chrysopilus from New Caledonia
D. Webb


The origin of parasitism in Psocodea
K. Johnson, M. Whiting (Brigham Young University), S. Barker (University of Queensland).


Phylogeny of the major lineages of leafhoppers and treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracoidea)
C. Dietrich, R. Rakitov


Establishing baseline data on seasonal physiological requirements for Gammarus acherondytes and Gammarus troglophilus in relation to microbial oxygen demand
S. Taylor, G. Adams (SIUC)


Spatial and temporal analyses of the bacterial fauna and water, sediment, and amphipod tissue chemistry within the range of Gammarus acherondytes
S. Taylor, D. Webb, S. Panno (Illinois State Geological Survey)


Microdistribution of subterranean Amphipoda (Crustacea) of Illinois' Salem Plateau
S. Taylor, D. Webb


Secretory products of the Malpighian tubules in the biology and evolution of Cicadomorpha (Hemiptera)
R. Rakitov


Life histories of waterstriders of the Sangamon River, Champaign County, Illinois
S. Taylor


Distribution of Illinois semiaquatic bugs
S. Taylor, J. McPherson (SIUC)


Evolution of Cinara aphids on U.S. pinyon pines
C. Favret


Life cycles of Trichoptera (Caddisflies) and bacterial and agricultural pesticide contamination of an Illinois River bluff springbrook, Utica, Illinois
E. DeWalt, N. Flocca


Evolution of a novel ovipositional behavior in the neotropical leafhopper tribe Proconiini (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)
C. Dietrich, R. Rakitov


Stonefly fauna of Iowa
E. DeWalt, D. Heimdal


Use of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) as indicators of stream health
R.E. DeWalt


Comparative morphology of leafhopper nymphs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)
R. Rakitov


Revision of the treehopper subfamily Nicomiinae (Hemiptera: Membracidae)
C. Dietrich


Biodiversity of Cicadellidae (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha) in the Amazonian rainforest canopy
A. Wallner (UIUC), C. Dietrich


Stonefly fauna of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
E. DeWalt, B. Heinold


Description of new crayfish species from Kentucky
C. Taylor


Response of macroinvertebrate community to land-use changes in the headwaters of the Mackinaw River basin
E. DeWalt, M. Herbert


Comparison of historical and contemporary Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) assemblages across Illinois

R.E. DeWalt, D. Webb, A. Soli, T. Kompare


Phylogeny of avian lice (Ischnocera) and the evolution of microhabitat specialization
K. Johnson


Molecular systematics of midwestern crayfishes in the genus Orconectes
C. Taylor


Invertebrate: Mollusks

Assessment of the status of the freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) in the Mackinaw River drainage in Illinois
K. Cummings


Status survey for three species of Illinois endangered freshwater mussels: round hickorynut, pyramid pigtoe, and rayed bean
K. Cummings, C. Mayer




A botanical site inventory of the Green River State Conservation Area, Lee County, Illinois
R. Phillippe, W. Handel


Vascular flora of the Dean Hills Nature Preserve, Fayette County, Illinois
M. Feist, R. Phillippe


A botanical site inventory of the Middle Fork Woods Nature Preserve, Vermilion County, Illinois
R. Phillippe, R. Larimore


Systematics of Acalypha and Drypetes (Euphorbiaceae)
G. Levin


Monographic studies on the plant family Malvaceae (genera AlceaAlthaeaMalva,MalvastrumSidalcea, and Urena) for Flora of North America
S. Hill


Status assessment of the Illinois endangered false mallow (Malvastrum hispidus)
S. Hill


Systematic studies of Rosaceae for Flora of China
K. Robertson


Systematic Studies of Jacquemontia (Convolvulaceae)
K. Robertson, D. Austin (Florida Atlantic University), J. Tapia (Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán, México)


Amaranthaceae, Erythronium, and Haemodoraceae for Flora of North America
K. Robertson, S. Mosyakin (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), G. Allen (University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)


Conservation genetics in Baker's larkspur, Delphinium bakeri (Ranunculaceae)
J. Koontz, H. Forbes (University of California, Berkeley)


Vascular flora of Matanzas Prairie and Long Branch Sand Prairie, Mason County, Illinois
M. Feist, R. Phillippe


Amaranthaceae in the southeastern United States
K. Robertson


Monitoring Boltonia decurrens, decurrent false aster, at Marshall State Fish and Wildlife Area
R. Phillippe


A botanical site inventory of the Iroquois County Conservation Area and the Hooper Branch Savanna Nature Preserve, Iroquois County, Illinois
R. Phillippe


Floristic survey of Riedle's Bluffs Natural Heritage Landmark and Illinois Natural Areas Inventory Site in Clark County
J. Taft, M. Solecki (IL Nature Preserves Commission)


Floristic survey of riparian communities along the Sangamon River at the proposed River Bend Recreation Area, Champaign County, Illinois
R. Phillippe


Vascular plant and lichen flora of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
R. Phillippe


A vascular flora of Stephen A. Forbes State Park, Marion County, Illinois
D. Ketzner, R. Phillippe


 Vascular flora of the Vermilion River Observatory, Vermilion County, Illinois
R. Phillippe, D. Ketzner, R. Larimore, J. Ebinger


A site inventory of the Green River State Conservation Area, Lee County, Illinois 
R. Phillippe, W. Handel, R. Larimore, J. Ebinger


Vascular flora of Dean Hills, Fayette County, Illinois
M.A. Feist, D. Busemeyer, L. Phillippe, J. Ebinger


 Vascular flora of the Middle Fork Woods Nature Preserve, Vermilion County, Illinois
R. Larimore, L. Phillippe, J. Ebinger


Botanical surveys for the All Taxa Biological Inventory of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
L. Phillippe, M.A. Feist, D. Busemeyer, R. Larimore




A status survey of Franklin's ground squirrel in Illinois
J. Hofmann, E. Heske, J. Martin


Abundance and distribution of grassland and forest birds in northwestern Illinois
D. Wenny


Spring and fall migrant bird use of river dune forest and savanna
D. Wenny


Stomach content analysis of Illinois birds
D. Wenny, A. Caparella (Illinois State University)


The reproductive success of the silvery salamander (Ambystoma platineum) at a man-made pond in Vermilion County, Illinois
J. Mui, J. Petzing, C. Phillips


The distribution of the eastern grey tree frog and Copes grey tree frog in Illinois
J. Mui, E. Conrad, C. Phillips


Home range, habitat use, and reproductive ecology of the eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) at Carlyle Lake
C. Phillips, M. Dreslik, B. Jellen, D. Shepard


Fishes of Illinois
L. Page, M. Retzer, D. Thomas, B. Burr, J. Stewart, R. Heidinger SIUC)


Changes in the fish fauna of seven Illinois basins
M. Retzer


The population genetics of host specificity: waterfowl lice
K. Johnson, K. McCracken (University of Alaska)


Bat survey of Scott Air Force Base, St. Clair County, Illinois
J. Hofmann, B. Sietman, C. Martin (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)


Foraging under gut constraints: reconciling two schools of thought
C. Whelan, J. Brown (UI-Chicago)


The effects of temperature and duration of incubation on the survivorship of the eggs of the marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum)
J. Mui, J. Petzing, C. Phillips


Rarest of the rare animal species of Illinois
L. Page, M, Retzer, C. Taylor


Swainson's Hawk ecology and conservation
D. Wenny, D. Kirk (Illinois Department of Natural Resources), T. Coleman (UIUC)


Small mammal survey of upland sand habitats at the Savanna Army Depot, Jo Daviess and Carroll counties, Illinois
J. Hofmann, E. Heske


Site fidelity, return rates, and reproductive success of Grasshopper Sparrows
D. Wenny


Phylogenetics of pigeons and doves of the world
K. Johnson


Coevolutionary history of pigeons and doves and their lice
K. Johnson, D. Clayton (University of Utah)


Latitudinal test of the escape hypothesis
D. Wenny, J. Tewksbury (Savanna River Ecology Laboratory, South Carolina)


Ectoparasites of birds in Illinois
K. Johnson


Effects of site management on avian fauna of Babe Woodyard State Natural Area, Vermilion County, Illinois
S. Amundsen


Host relationships of Kyrghyz bees and meloid beetles 
J. Bouseman


Meloid beetles of Illinois 
J. Bouseman


Native bees and pollination 
J. Bouseman


Prairie insects of Illinois 
J. Bouseman, J. Sternburg (UIUC, retired)


 Silk moths and emperor moths of Illinois 
J. Bouseman, J. Sternburg (UIUC, retired)


 Skippers of Illinois 
J. Bouseman, J. Sternburg (UIUC, retired), J. Wiker (IL State Museum)


Survey of Illinois earthworms
E. Zaborski


Bipalium adventitium, a flatworm predator of earthworms 
E. Zaborski


Phasmarhabditis sp. nematodes parasitizing Lumbricus terrestris earthworms
E. Zaborski



Bouseman, J.K., and J.G. Sternburg. 2001. Field guide to butterflies of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign. 276 pp.


Bouzat, J.L., L.K. McNeil, H.M. Robertson, L.F. Solter, J. Nixon, J.E. Beever, H.R. Gaskins, G. Olsen, S. Subramaniam, M.L. Sogin, and J.A. Lewin. Phylogenomic analysis of the alpha proteasome gene family from early diverging eukaryotes. Journal of Molecular Evolution 51:532-543.


Cosgriff, R.J., and J.K. Tucker. 2001. The Arthropods of an early sand prairie sere. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 94(2):79-87.

Dettmers, J.M., S. Gutreuter, D.H. Wahl, D.A. Soluk. In press. Patterns of abundance of fishes in main channels of the Upper Mississippi River system. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.


DeWalt, R.E., D.W. Webb, and T.N. Kompare. 2001. The Perlesta placida(Hagen) complex (Plecoptera: Perlidae) in Illinois, new state records, distributions, and an idenfication key. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 103(1):207-216.

Epifanio J.M., and D.P. Philipp. 2001. Simulating the extinction of parental lineages from introgressive hybridization: the effects of fitness, initial proportions of parental taxa, and mate choice. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 10:339-354.


Getz, L.L., J.E. Hofmann, B. McGuire, and T.W. Dolan III. 2001. Twenty-five years of population fluctuations of Microtus ochrogaster and M. pennsylvanicus in three habitats in east-central Illinois. Journal of Mammalogy 82:22-34.

Gibbs, H.L., and P.J. Weatherhead. 2001. Insights into population ecology and sexual selection in snakes through the application of DNA-based genetic markers. Journal of Heredity 92:173-179.


Johnson, K. P. 2001. Taxon sampling and the phylogenetic position of Passeriformes: evidence from 916 avian cytochrome b sequences.  Systematic Biology 50:128-136.

Lougheed S.C., H.L. Gibbs, K.A. Prior, and P.J. Weatherhead. 2000. A comparison of RAPD versus microsatellite DNA markers for assessing population structure in the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Journal of Heredity 91:458-463.


Robinson, W.D., J.D. Brawn, and S.K. Robinson. 2000. Forest bird community structure in Central Panama: influence of spatial scale and biogeography. Ecological Monographs 70:209-235.


Serb, J.M., C.A. Phillips, and J.B. Iverson. 2001. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of Kinosternon flavescens based on complete mitochondrial control region sequences. Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution 18:149-162.

Symstad, A.J. and D. Tilman. 2001. Diversity loss, recruitment limitation and ecosystem functioning: lessons learned from a removal experiment. Oikos 92:424-435.

Tucker, J.K. 2001. Body size and migration of hatchling turtles: inter-and intraspecific comparisons. Journal of Herpetology 34(4):541-546.


Tucker, J.K. 2001. Egg size in the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). Herpetological Natural History 7(2):171-174, 1999-2000.


Tucker, J.K, E.Ratcliff, E. Gittinger, and B.J. Towey. 2001. Pseudemys concinna(eastern river cooter). USA: Missouri. Herpetological Review 32(2).


Zaborski, E.R., and L.A. Soeken Gittenger. 2001. Amynthas hupeiensis (Michaelsen 1895) (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) in Illinois, with observations on worm circling. Megadrilogica 8(4):13-16.

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