A researcher sets traps on an eastern Joshua tree inflorescence to assess visitation by their sole pollinator, the eastern Yucca moth
SBSC researcher Mary Kathryn Busby sets traps on a Joshua tree in NW Arizona, April 2022. SBSC is studying the ecology of the Yucca moth (Tegeticula antithetica), which is the obligate pollinator of eastern Joshua trees (Yucca jaegeriana) to determine how climate change affects the emergence of blossoms and eastern Yucca moth visitation. These species have co-evolved in a mutually beneficial relationship - they both rely on the other to reproduce and continue their life cycle. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Thomas, USGS, SBSC.