Grassrange, Montana leafy spurge flea beetle collections

Over the years we have traveled with the BLM (Bureau Of Land Management) 3 times to collect leafy spurge flea beetles from a series of "super sites" in the Grassrange area.  We say thank you to Vic Roberts, the BLM Biological Weed Control Coordinator for Montana for allowing us to collect on these sites and helping us with his equipment, knowledge and friendly patience.
    During the Summer of 2004 we collected 1.6 million flea beetles, many of which went with the BLM but, the majority came back with us to Madison and Jefferson Counties.  In the summer of 2005 we brought many of the teachers and high school students who attend our Whitehall Project Summer Class with us and collected 1.5 million.  The teachers plus the BLM took many releases home with them.  The rest (still slightly over half) we brought home and distributed throughout the counties.
    Every person who cares about the effects of noxious weeds should have a chance to see the miles of dead spurge and to collect awesome nets full of spurge killing flea beetles.  In places the foliage (including the few remaining well chewed spurge plants) will be black with flea beetles.  It is also nice to see the grasses and forbs coming back to create a healthy plant community after the flea beetles have killed the spurge.  See the photo links below.
2005 crew and summer class2
The Whitehall, Harrison and Ennis crews plus teachers from the Whitehall Project Summer Class, their students and BLM employees, 2005.
flea beetles hammering spurge
leafy spurge covered with flea beetles- mostly Aphthona lacertosa, the black beetles.  Notice that most of the spurge is dead (the dead stems in the background) and the rest is doomed.  Grasses and forbs are coming back at this site.

General Photos:
2004 Collections Photos:
2005 Collections Photos:
The Setup    
Sweep Netting    
The Accelerator   
Flea Beetles    
The Hawk Moth