There is a fantastic app which generates a list of native plant species associated with the highest number of butterfly and moth species and is specific to any location and most habitat types in California:
Once there, you simply:
- Enter a zip code or search for a local point of interest to get started (I chose Fort Ord National Monument)
- Select the relevant habitat type you’re interested in (I chose Coastal Oak Woodland)
- Select how many species you want to see displayed (I chose 10 to make it easy to see relationships).
It has really nice graphical readouts of both top nectar and host plants for the number of plant species requested, but I’m currently unable to attach them here–I’ll update if I can get it to work later.
They’re open to feedback on the interface or other issues since it’s still technically in beta. It seems to work well on mobile as well.
Any surprises on the species lists for you? I found that Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) was more important that I had assumed in many local ecosystems in my area.
This one too Home - Native Plants Finder (nwf.org) although I find it’s liberal with the numbers if you scrutinize range maps
“Top 10” is the opposite of biodiversity
I mentioned top 10 as an easy starting place, you could enter the top 100 plants if you wanted.
Anyhow, the idea of the project is to easily see which plants support the most lepidopteran species, especially if you have limited space or resources to work with.
I hadn’t seen that one, it doesn’t seem to have an easy readout on actual plant species (output seems to be genera), and it doesn’t give a quick readout of which lepidopteran species are supported, or whether the plants are host vs nectar plants.
However, it’s nice that it does have pictures of some of the genera if you’re not familiar with their appearance, though it does include non-natives like Physalis and Hypericum for my area.
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