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Historical and recent records of both plants and insects are synthesized for uplands along the eastern edge of Maryland?s Patuxent River from the edge of the Piedmont south to Jug Bay. This strip is characterized by deep sandy soils found in the Evesboro and Galestown sandy loams soil series. Within this narrow strip there exists a unique flora and fauna adapted to open dry sandy soils and occurring in small remnant patches associated with old sand mining operations and scattered protected areas. We illustrate the uniqueness of these sites using four groups, vascular plants, tenebrionid beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae), and bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila). Within each of these groups, rare species were detected whose populations were locally restricted to this soil type and whose nearest known populations were often hundreds of kilometers away. In addition to documenting the direct conservation importance of these small sandy openings along the Patuxent, we contrast the lack of any indication from vertebrate inventories that this region is unique. The combination of plant and insect inventories appears to be a better means of clarifying a site?s importance than does any survey of a single taxonomic group.
Additional Publication Details
The lost micro-deserts of the Patuxent River using landscape history, insect and plant specimens, and field work to detect and define a unique community
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington