Title

A Survey Of The Insect Populations Of Three Different Beaches Along The South Carolina Coast

Author(s)

Tanner Maharrey

School Name

Governor's School for Science and Math

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Zoology

Presentation Type

Mentored

Mentor

Mentor: Dr. McElroy; Department of Biology, College of Charleston

Abstract

The Texas Horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) is a species that was introduced to the coast of South Carolina in the last few decades, and inhabits dry, semi-arid areas such as the sand dunes located on Edisto Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms. Little is known about the South Carolina populations other than the fact that they don’t seem to be invasive, or harmful to the local habitats. An important part of locating the origin of this population is identifying what their diets consist of, and that requires knowing what insects are found along the sand dunes. This project proposes that the number of insect species present in a specific habitat will be proportionate to the size of the lizard population in that area. A survey was conducted of the insect population by collection and identification of each species over one summer. These values were then compared to the number of lizards found during the same time period. We found that the number of insect species present was not actually related to the size of the lizard population in that area. This information will be used in accompaniment with another project to determine what the lizards eat by comparing the total insect population to the number of species found in fecal samples collected from the lizards to determine what they eat.

Location

Kinard 119

Start Date

4-16-2016 10:45 AM

COinS
 
Apr 16th, 10:45 AM

A Survey Of The Insect Populations Of Three Different Beaches Along The South Carolina Coast

Kinard 119

The Texas Horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) is a species that was introduced to the coast of South Carolina in the last few decades, and inhabits dry, semi-arid areas such as the sand dunes located on Edisto Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms. Little is known about the South Carolina populations other than the fact that they don’t seem to be invasive, or harmful to the local habitats. An important part of locating the origin of this population is identifying what their diets consist of, and that requires knowing what insects are found along the sand dunes. This project proposes that the number of insect species present in a specific habitat will be proportionate to the size of the lizard population in that area. A survey was conducted of the insect population by collection and identification of each species over one summer. These values were then compared to the number of lizards found during the same time period. We found that the number of insect species present was not actually related to the size of the lizard population in that area. This information will be used in accompaniment with another project to determine what the lizards eat by comparing the total insect population to the number of species found in fecal samples collected from the lizards to determine what they eat.