Sunday, October 13, 2013

How to Make a Coleopterist's Week

      A little over one week ago, I received a email from a friend and blog viewer of mine, Delbert La Rue. He told me he had sent a parasol of tiger and longhorn beetles in the mail to me. I soon checked the mail and was just delighted to find the cared for package waiting there for me. I was about to head to Subway for dinner at the time, but put that on hold to see what was inside. Dinner was definitely worth waiting for.

Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
Cicindelidia hornii (blue/green and black morph), Cicindela pulchra dorothea, Cicindela theatina, Cicindela (Cicindelidia) obsoleta santaclarae, Cylindera debilis, Habroscelimorpha erronea, Cicindelidia willistoni sulfontis, Megacyllene antennata, Megacyllene robusta.

Everything included was new in some way to my collection. The Megacyllene represent a new genus, with four specimens representing two southwestern species, a region where populations of bugs are difficult to predict. The Habroscelimorpha is not only a new genus too, but H. erronea (sometimes considered a subspecies of the geographically distant H. fulgoris), is a highly localized species to Sulphur Springs Valley in se Arizona. The C. willistoni sulfontis is also restricted to Sulphur Springs Valley, and it looks quite good in the collection with my C. w. pseudosenilis from Owens Lake in se California. The Cylindera debilis is an uncommonly spotted tiger in southern Arizona and western Texas, it is most common after rainfall. The Cicindela theatina is an endemic beast to the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado, which makes it an invaluable addition. The C. pulchra dorothae, often called "Beautiful Tiger Beetle", is a unique subspecies for having wider maculations, slightly smaller members and a further distribution southward. C. obsoleta, our largest species of Cicindela in the United States, is a species I've longed to have in my collection ever since I identified a series of C. o. santaclarae for Sam Wells. Ironically, Delbert had sent an A1 specimen of just that in his gift. The Cicindelidia hornii ranges into the U.S. by inhabiting southern AZ, NM and western TX. I had one purple individual given to me through an exchange with the famous Bill Warner, so the fact that Delbert chose to include two different color morphs added to the value of the gift. Everything was well curated and labeled. I can't thank you enough, Delbert! May bugs ever emerge from the earth you travel, the forests you wander, and the water you dri... well, never mind that last part. Best regards!

No comments:

Post a Comment