Plants and Insects New to Sable Island, Nova Scotia


  • Paul Catling Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environmental Health, Biodiversity, Wm. Saunders Building, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6
  • Zoe Lucas Sable Island Green Horse Society, P.O. Box 64, Halifax CRO, Nova Scotia B3J 2L4
  • Bill Freedman Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1



Sable Island, Nova Scotia, flora, fauna, new records, climate change


During recent inventories, particularly in 2008 and 2009, 8 plants and 17 insects were found that are additions to the flora and fauna of Sable Island, respectively. Additions to the flora include Alnus incana subsp. rugosa, Carex nigra, Frangula alnus, Isoetes tuckermanii, Linaria vulgaris, Mertensia maritima, Panicum dichotomiflorum, and Solidago rugosa. Additions to the insect fauna include Apateticus bracteatus, Barce fraterna, Carabus maeander, Conocephalus fasciatus, Danaus plexippus, Eulithis explanata, Haliplus cribrarius, Harmonia axyridis, Lasioglossum novascotiae, Lateroligia ophiogramma, Lycophotia phyllophora, Muirodelphax arvensis, Nemoria rubrifrontaria, Neoconocephalus retusus, Paraphlepsius irroratus, Scaphytopius acutus, and Spilodiscus arcuatus. The occurrence of Spilodiscus arcuatus is of interest with respect to an apparent decline throughout much of its range. Neoconocephalus retusus and species of Catocala provide an indication of the capability of storms to transport even large insects over substantial distances. The increasing numbers of Danaus plexippus observed may be part of a trend toward the northward movement of migratory insects. Some of the 7 plants are likely recent arrivals, but Isoetes tuckermanii and others may have been previously overlooked.