Texas Tech University

Research Highlight: Invertebrates of Monahans Sandhills - Scott Longing


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A website to provide information on insects and other arthropods occurring at the Monahans Sandhills in western Texas, funded by the Horned Lizard License Plate funds and the State Wildlife Grant Program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
(Website construction in progress)

Monahans Sandhills – The Monahans Sandhills occur in western Texas approximately 2 miles east of the city of Monahans, TX. The Monahans Sandhills are part of a more extensive network of sandhills occurring across several counties in western Texas and southern and eastern New Mexico, forming the Monahans-Mescalaro sand ecosystems. Together, these ecosystems comprise the Shinnery Sands Ecoregion.

Biodiversity of the Sandhills – The sandhills are an extremely unique ecosystem where numerous species are locally and regionally endemic. Among this unique biodiversity are nine endemic insects restricted to the Monahans-Mescalaro dune systems. Five of the species (Anomala suavis, Nicagus occultus, Prionus spinnipenis, Stenopelmatus monahanensis, and Trigonoscutoides texanus) are currently known only from the Monahans dunes. The remaining species occur in both the Monahans and Mescalaro systems. Current research is being conducted to better understand the ecology and distributions of these rare and endemic species.


Focal species:

Polyphylla monahanensis
Polyphylla pottsorum
Epitragosoma arenaria
Prionus arenarius
Prionus spinnipenis
Trigonoscutoides texanus
Stenopelmatus monahanensis
Anomala suavis
Nicagus occultus



Photos from our project:

March 30-31, 2013
April 27-28, 2013
May 4-5, 2013
May 13-15, 2013
June 7-9, 2013
June 22-23, 2013
July 28-30, 2013
August 11-12, 2013
August 17-18, 2013
October 5-6, 2013


Insect Videos from our Project:



Scott Longing, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Entomology