Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Pacific Pleasantry

          Here's a neat Bycid I collected last August in decent numbers at lights at Shaver Lake:

Ortholeptura valida (LeConte)

One of the reasons I find this species interesting is because it's nocturnal, which is uncommon for the subfamily it belongs to (Lepturinae). This genus is also almost completely restricted to the Pacific Coast of North America; O. obscura is the northern most occuring of the three species, from Washington and Oregon over to Idaho. O. insignis occures from central California down to north Baja California and O. valida, being the commonest, also has the widest distribution: stretching from British Colombia to northern Baja. The largest specimen I found was about an inch long, the smallest, about half that legnth. Needless to say, finding this species made that campout an enjoyable one. The unit tray of this species also looks pretty nice in my collection, if I might add. (Not to boast ...of course).

Shaver Lake

Fresno is in central/southern California, so I'm hoping to see O. insignis at a light some warm summer night in the future. What would be even more exciting, would be to find O. obscura in northern Utah, which is where I don't think it has been reported. This may be a strech, but the state's fauna has surprised me before.

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