New York Natural Heritage Program
The Pink Streak
Dargida rubripennis (Grote and Robinson, 1870)
Insects

Threats [-]
Threats to the pink streak in New York State are uncertain. Elimination and fragmentation of habitat by commercial and residential development is a threat. Fire suppression and allowing natural succession may eliminate suitable habitat for the species. However, fire is not necessary to maintain habitat in much of the species' range. Summer fires pose a greater threat to the species than fires in the fall, winter, or early spring, since at these times of the year the species is in the pupal stage several cm underground (NatureServe 2010).

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices [-]
Maintaining habitat is the main management need. Fire is not necessary to maintain habitat in much of the pink streak's range (e.g., New Jersey, North Carolina, and Indiana), but it might be necessary in some prairie situations. If prescribed fire is used to maintain habitat, typical prescribed burns at unnatural seasons (i.e., fall, winter, and early spring) are probably best. In New Jersey and places northward in the species' range, larvae enter the soil to pupate by mid to late September and go well under ground. With more naturally timed (i.e., summer) fires, mortality (either by direct heat or more likely from loss of food supply) could be quite high to immatures during, and for perhaps six weeks after, the adult flight period (i.e., late July through most of September, in New Jersey and Indiana). Any larvae present during late summer fires or cuts would probably perish. Also, any fire or cutting that prevents normal flowering and seed set of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) would force females to leave the site to look for other oviposition sites, which they probably would never find in highly fragmented prairie regions. Thus a population could be wiped out even if there were no direct mortality. As far as is known based on approximately 55 eclosions (D. Schweitzer, unpublished data), all pupae emerge after one winter. There is no holdover, so the population must reproduce every summer (NatureServe 2010).

Research Needs [-]
Research is needed to learn the pink streak's foodplant in various parts of its range.