Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Little Sahara Sand Dunes

      While in Utah last week, some collage students and I took a night collecting trip to Little Sahara Dunes. This trip was primarily arranged for the Scorpion fauna,  but I went along to find other cool bugs and get good photographs.

Immediately after getting out of the car, I happened to shine my flashlight on the bug I was most hoping to find while in Utah, only this one was not alive... It did have all six tarsi though, so I had no reluctance pickling it. The Label will just have to say: "Found dead". 

 Paracotalpa granicollis Haldeman

We soon found the scorpions we had been searching for. They were in a dune/forest/hilly area running along little slopes of sand. We found them using UV flashlights under which they illuminated a neon green.

Also out wandering around was one of our largest Tenebs:

 Eleodes obscurus (Say)

On our way out of the dunes, we stopped by a bright light perched on the road divider. On the near side we saw over a dozen crushed bugs of various kinds, including many scarabs and two beautiful Hydrophilus triangularis. It was a devastating site to behold for a collector, but my feeling were soon put back in check when I noticed all of the same species on the other side of the divider walking around in perfect health. It was then obvious that rather than cars driving by, it was a person who made a game out of smashing the bugs.

 White-lined Sphinx Moth
Hyles lineata (Fabricius)

 Hydrophilus triangularis Say

 Dynastine scarab in the Pentodontini tribe.
(Orizabus pyriformis?)

 Shield bug from the family Pentatomidae

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