Division of Arthropods

open weekdays 8am - 5pm
visitors welcome by appointment
information for visitors

phone: (505) 277-1360
fax: (505) 277-1351
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tarantula hawk wasp

Division of Arthropods
Museum of Southwestern Biology
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
Division of Arthropods
Museum of Southwestern Biology
302 Yale Blvd NE
CERIA 83, Room 204
Albuquerque, NM 87131
shipping contact: 505-277-1360

David C. Lightfoot, Ph.D.

David C. Lightfoot Senior Collection Manager 
Division of Arthropods

Museum of Southwestern Biology                                                                                                        

Research Interests

  • Taxonomy and ecology of western North American crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids
  • Community ecology and plant-animal interactions
  • Desert ecology
  • Restoration ecology


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles, Books and Book Chapters

Collins, N. and D.C.Lightfoot. 2022. Oecanthus beameri sp. nov. (Gryllidae: Oecanthinae): A new tree cricket from Chihuahuan Desert gypsum dunes in the United States and a key to the Nigricornis species group. Journal of Orthoptera Research. Journal of Orthoptera Research, 31 (2):181-189.

Maron, J.L., D.C. Lightfoot, M.A. Rodriquez-Cabal, S.L. Collins and J.A. Rudgers. 2022. Climate mediates long-term impacts of rodent exclusion on desert plant communities. Ecological Monographs, e1497. 1-17.

Cardenas, P.A., E. Christensen, S.K.M. Ernest, D.C. Lightfoot, R.L. Schooley, P. Stapp, and J.A. Rudgers. 2021. Declines in rodent abundance and diversity track regional climate variability in North American drylands. Global Change Biology, 27:4005-4023. 

Welti, E.A.R., A. Joern, Aaron M. Ellison, D.C. Lightfoot, S. Record, N. Rodenhouse, E.H. Stanley and M. Kaspari. 2021. Studies of insect temporal trends must account for the complex sampling histories inherent to many long-term monitoring efforts. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 5:589-591.

Homziak, N.T., Lightfoot, D.C., Metzler, E.H. & Miller, K.B. 2021. The Lepidoptera of Cuatrociénegas Protected Area 1. A new species in the genus Callistege Hübner, [1823] (Erebidae, Erebinae, Euclidiini) from the Chihuahuan Desert, Coahuila, Mexico. ZooKeys, 1044.

Cole, J.A, D.B. Weissman, D.C. Lightfoot, N. Ueshima, E. Warchalowsk-sliwa, A. Maryanska-nadachowska and W. Chatfield-Taylor. 2021. A revision of the shield-back katydid genus Neduba (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae Tettigoniinae, Nedubini) Zootaxa 4910 (1):1-92.

Lightfoot, D., A. Russell, V. Amato, C. Stropki, C. Flynn, I. Dolly and J. Frank. 2020. Wildlife responses to small-scale tree thinning in central New Mexico pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine woodlands. Pages 74-118. In: Malcom, K., B. Kykstra, K. Johnson, D. Lightfoot, E. Muldavin, M. Ramsey, editors. Symposium Proceedings on pinion-juniper habitats: status and management for wildlife-2016. Proceedings RMRS-P-77. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 128 p. 

Malcom, K., B. Kykstra, K. Johnson, D. Lightfoot, E. Muldavin, M. Ramsey. 2020. Symposium Proceedings on pinion-juniper habitats: status and management for wildlife-2016. Proceedings RMRS-P-77. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 128 p. 

Lightfoot, D.C. 2018. The effects of livestock grazing and climate variation on vegetation and grasshopper communities in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. Journal of Orthoptera Research 27:35-51.

Johnson, P.J. and D.C. Lightfoot. 2018. New Species and records of Elateridae (Coleoptera) from Cuatrocienegas, Coahuila, Mexico. Insecta Mundi 0687:1-15. 

Dornelas, M., L.H. Anato, F. Moyes, A.E. Bates, A.E. Magurran, D. Lightfoot, et al. 2018. BioTIME: a database of biodiversity time series for the Anthropocene. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27:760-786.

Davidson, A.D., E.A. Hunter, D.C. Lightfoot, A.M. McCarthy, J.K. Mueller, and K.T. Shoemaker. 2018. Reintroducing a keystone burrowing rodent to restore an arid North American grassland: Challenges and success. Resotration Ecology 26:909-920.

Lightfoot, D. C. 2015. Planning and implementing landscape-scale arthropod inventory and monitoring projects. Pages 60-77. In: Huenneke, L. F., van Riper, C., and K. A. Hayes-Gilpin, editors. 2015. The Colorado Plateau VI. Science and management at the landscape scale. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ.

Metzler, E. H. and D. C. Lightfoot. 2014. The Lepidoptera of White Sands National Monument 6: A new species of the genus Areniscythris (Scythrididae), a recently discovered iconic species from the Monument. Journal of the Lepidopterist's Society. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 68:185-290.

Amato, V. J. W., D. Lightfoot, C. Stropki and M. Pease. 2013. Relationships between tree stand density and burn severity as measured by the Composite Burn Index following a ponderosa pine forest wildfire in the American Southwest. Forest Ecology and Management 302:71-84.

Lightfoot, D. C., A. D. Davidson, D. G. Parker, L. Hernandez and J. W. Laundre. 2012. Bottom-up regulation of desert grassland and shrubland rodent communities: implications of species-specific reproductive potentials. Journal of Mammalogy 93:1017-1028.

Gómez, R. A., Lightfoot, D. C., & K. B. Miller. 2012. A phylogenetic review of the North American band-winged grasshopper genus, Encoptolophus Scudder with description of Nebulatettix gen. n. (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae). Insect Systematics & Evolution, 43 (2012) 117-145.

Parmenter, R. R., M. Kreutzian, D. I. Moore and D. C. Lightfoot. 2011. Short-term effects of a summer wildfire on a desert grassland arthropod community in New Mexico. Environmental Entomology40:1051-1066.

Lightfoot, D. C., Weissman, D. B. and Ueshima, N. 2011. Phymonotus jacintotopos: A new genus and species of shield-backed katydid (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Tettigoniinae: Nedubini) from the San Jacinto Mountains of California, USA. Zootaxa 2937: 49-65.

Lightfoot, D. C., A. D. Davidson, C. M. McGlone and D. G.Parker. 2010. Rabbit abundance relative to rainfall and plant production in northern Chihuahuan Desert grassland and shrubland habitats. Western North American Naturalist 70:490-499.

Davidson, A. D., E. Ponce, D. C. Lightfoot, E. L. Fredrickson, J. H. Brown, J. Cruzado, S. L. Brantley, R. Sierra-Corona, R. List, D. Toledo and G. Ceballos. 2010. Rapid response of a grassland ecosystem to an experimental manipulation of a keystone rodent and domestic livestock. Ecology 91:3189-3200.

Edelman, W. C., D. C. Lightfoot and K. B. Miller. 2010. The phylogenetic placement of the rare North American band-winged grasshopper Shotwellia isleta Gurney, 1940 (Orthoptera:  Acrididae:  Oedipodinae). Insect Systematics & Evolution 41:303-316.

Cartron, J. E., D. C. Lightfoot, J. E. Mygatt, S. L. Brantley and T. K. Lowrey. 2008. A field guide to the plants and animals of the Middle Rio Grande bosque. Univeristy of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, NM.

Lightfoot, D. C., S. L. Brantley, and C. D. Allen. 2008. Geographic patterns of ground-dwelling arthropods across an ecoregional transition in the North American Southwest. Western North American Naturalist 68, no. 1: 83-102.

Weissman, D. B. and D. C. Lightfoot. 2008. Techniques for the Field Capture and Captive Rearing of Jerusalem Crickets. Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute. 2007 Invertebrates in Captivity Conference Proceedings, pages 22-29.

Davidson, A. D., D. C. Lightfoot, and J. L. McIntyre. 2008. Engineering rodents create key habitat for lizards. Journal of Arid Environments 72:2142– 2149.

Davidson, A. D. and D. C. Lightfoot. 2008. Burrowing rodents increase landscape heterogeneity in a desert grassland. Journal of Arid Environments 72:1133-1145.

Muldavin, E. H., D. I. Moore, S. L. Collins, K. R. Wetherill, and D. C. Lightfoot. 2008. Aboveground net primary production dynamics in a northern Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem. Oecologia 155:123-132.

Davidson, A. D. and D. C. Lightfoot. 2007. Interactive effects of keystone rodents on the structure of desert grassland arthropod communities. Ecography 30:515-525.

Davidson, A. D. and D. C. Lightfoot. 2006. Keystone rodent interactions: prairie dogs and kangaroo rats structure the biotic composition of a desertified grassland. Ecography 29:755-765.

Baez, S., S. L. Collins, D. C. Lightfoot and T. L. Koontz. 2006. Bottom-up regulation of plant community structure in an aridland ecosystem. Ecology 87:2746-2754.

Giese, E., and D. C. Lightfoot. 2005. Arthropods. Pages: 129-141. In: R. Julyan and M. Stuever, editors. Field guide to the Sandia Mountains. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, NM. 259 pages.

Hernandez, L., A. G. Romero, J. W. Laundre, D. Lightfoot, E. Aragon, and J. Lopez Portillo. 2005. Changes in rodent community structure in the Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico: Comparisons between two habitats. Journal of Arid Environments 60:239-257.

Brantley, S. L., P. L. Ford, R. A. Fagerlund and D. C. Lightfoot. 2001. Surface-active arthropods of shortgrass steppe: new county and state records from New Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist 46:207-209.

Schowalter, T. D., D. C. Lightfoot, and W. G. Whitford. 1999. Diversity of arthropod responses to host-plant water stress in a desert ecosystem in southern New Mexico. American Midland Naturalist 142:281-290.

Shaw, D. D., D. C. Lightfoot, and D. B. Weissman. 1998. Chromosomes as isolating mechanisms in Trimerotropine grasshoppers. Journal of Orthoptera Research 7:157-163.

Lightfoot, D. C. 1997. The fauna of El Malpais National Monument. In: K. Mabery, editor. Natural history of El Malpais National Monument. New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Bulletin 156:139-154.

Lightfoot, D. C. 1996. A comparison of ground-dwelling arthropod assemblages among different habitats resulting from the 1977 La Mesa fire. Pages 166-178. In: Craig Allen, editor, Fire effects in Southwestern forests. Proceedings of the Second La Mesa Fire Symposium. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report RM-GTR-286.

Parmenter, R. R., S. L. Brantley, J. H. Brown, C. S. Crawford, D. C. Lightfoot, and T. L. Yates. 1995. Diversity of animal communities on Southwestern rangelands: species patterns, habitat relationships, and land management. In: N. E. West, editor. Biodiversity of rangelands. Utah State University, College of Natural Resources, Natural Resources and Environmental Issues Vol. 4, Logan, UT.

James, C. D., M. T. Hoffman, D. C. Lightfoot, G. S. Forbes, and W. G. Whitford. 1994. Fruit abortion in Yucca elata and its implications for the mutualistic association with yucca moths. Oikos 69:207-216.

James, C. D., M. T. Hoffman, D. C. Lightfoot, G. S. Forbes, and W. G. Whitford. 1993. Pollination ecology of Yucca elata: An experimental study of a mutualistic association. Oecologia 93:512-517.

Richman, D. B., D. C. Lightfoot, C. A. Sutherland, and D. J. Ferguson. 1993. A manual of the grasshoppers of New Mexico. New Mexico State University, Cooperative Extension Service, Handbook No. 7. 112 pages.

Lightfoot, D. C. and D. B. Weissman. 1991. A review of the grasshopper genera Dracotettix and Litoscirtus Orthoptera: Romaleidae) with a discussion of their origins and life histories. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 47:159-174

Lightfoot, D. C. and W. G. Whitford. 1991. Productivity of creosotebush foliage and associated canopy arthropods along a desert roadside. American Midland Naturalist 125:310-322.

Lightfoot, D. C. and W. G. Whitford. 1990. Phytophagous insects enhance nitrogen flux in a desert creosotebush community. Oecologia 82:18-25.

Lightfoot, D. C. and W. G. Whitford. 1989. Interplant variation in creosotebush foliage characteristics and canopy arthropods. Oecologia 81:166-175.

Lightfoot, D. C. and W. G. Whitford. 1987. Variation in insect densities on desert creosotebush: is nitrogen a factor? Ecology 68:547-557.

Lightfoot, D. C. 1986. Invertebrates of the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Western Cascades, Oregon: III. The Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets). USDA, Forest Service Research Note PNW 443:1-23.

MacKay, W. P., S. Silva, D. C. Lightfoot, M. I. Pagani and W. G. Whitford. 1986. Effect of increased soil moisture and reduced soil temperature on a desert soil arthropod community. American Midland Naturalist 116:45-56.

John, B. C., D. C. Lightfoot and D. B. Weissman. 1983. The meiotic behavior of natural F1 hybrids between Trimerotropis suffusa and T. cyaneipennis (Orthoptera:Oedipodinae). Canadian Journal of Genetics and Cytology 25:467-477.

Rentz, D. C. and D. C. Lightfoot. 1976. Notes on the distribution of shield-backed katydids with the description of a new species of Idiostatus. Entomological News 87:145-158.

Select Peer-Reviewed Technical Reports

Lightfoot, D.C., K. Wright and K.B. Miller. 2017. Arthropod Inventory of White Sands National Monument, USA, and Cuatrociénegas Protected Area, Mexico: Final Report, 2017, 127 pages. Final report  submitted to: White Sands National Monument, PO Box 1086, Holloman AFB, NM 88330. February, 2017.

Lightfoot, D.C, S.L. Brantley, N. S. Cobb and R. J. Delph. 2006. Arthropods. Pages 64-102. In: Kearsley, M.J.C., N. Cobb, H. Yard, D. Lightfoot, G. Carpenter, S. Brantley, J. Frey. 2006. Inventory and monitoring of terrestrial riparian resources in the Colorado River corridor of Grand Canyon: An Integrative approach. Final report. Submitted to: US Department of Interior, Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ.

Parmenter, R. R., D. C. Lightfoot, and W. L. Gannon. 2000. Capulin Volcano National Monument: Listed and category species inventory. Submitted to: US Department of Interior, National Park Service, Intermountain Support Office, Santa Fe, NM.

Parmenter, R. R. and D. C. Lightfoot. 1996. A field survey of the faunal resources of the Pecos Unit, Pecos National Historic Park, Pecos, NM. Submitted to: Pecos National Historic Park, Pecos, NM.

Parmenter, R. R., D. C. Lightfoot, D. L. Bleakly, J. J. Hamilton, and M. J. Mund-Meyerson. 1996. The Petroglyph National Monument: A survey of the biological resources. Submitted to: The Petroglyphs National Monument, Albuquerque, NM.

Lightfoot, D. C., D. L. Bleakly, R. R. Parmenter, and J. R. Gosz. 1994. Vegetation and wildlife inventory of El Malpais National Monument. Submitted to: El Malpais National Monument, Grants, NM.