Sunset for another great collecting trip

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with my Great Basin collecting trip. From Nevada’s isolated ranges to California’s stunning Owens Valley; from Utah’s starkly beautiful canyons to Colorado’s majestic mountains, the experience not only quenched my thirst for natural history but also provided much needed spiritual renewal. Look for a “Trip iSummary” here at Beetles in the Bush in the coming days, and of course I have lots of photographs of the insects I encountered that I will share in the following weeks.

In the meantime, here’s a preview of one of the species that I encountered—a male Agrilus walsinghami preparing to bed down for the night.

Agrilus walsinghami | Davis Creek Regional Park, Washoe Co., Nevada

Agrilus walsinghami (male) | Davis Creek Park, Washoe Co., Nevada

© Ted C. MacRae 2013

17 thoughts on “Sunset for another great collecting trip

  1. The A. walsinghami is nice. I have collected all over the western portions of the Great Basin from Oregon and Idaho down to Mono Lake. I have heard that there is a Hippomelas in the willows in western Nevada. Know anything about that? I could never find any. So I have to ask . . . get any Crossidius?

    • There are no Hippomelas in Nevada, but several species of the closely related and former subgenus Gyascutus do occur there, including G. fulgidus and G. planicosta cribriceps which have both been collected on willow (as well as other plants).

      Yes, the whole point of the trip was to collect Crossidius, and in that respect we were quite successful. You’ll see more about ’em in future posts. 🙂

      • Thanks!

        I look forward to your Crossidius stories. One of my favourite genera. Frank Hovore and Dick Penrose got me started on them years ago . . .

          • Very nice! One thing about Crossidius: talk to Dick Penrose about them. Most of the Chemsak subspecies are not actually good. Dick found that the real broadly distributed species with lots of subspecies (like coralinus, hirtipes) are actually huge clines. I have collected lots between the subspecies localities and the intergrades are nearly perfect.

            • Sadly, Dick Penrose passed away about 2 years ago; however, the problems with the genus are well known. While I agree many of the current subspecies might not pass muster when more thorough studies can be done, I’m not ready to dismiss them all out of hand. More material from more localities (with a small subsample from each pickled for molecular analysis) is what we need, and that’s part of what we were doing out there.

              I’d love to see your C. coralinus temprans x monoensis integrades!

              p.s. I’m already thinking about the next Crossidius trip. Maybe we could have a chance to hook up in the field so I could leech off of your experience. 🙂

              • I had no idea Dick had passed. I guess it has been a long time since we spoke last.

                Dick and Frank and I had literally thousands of specimens ranging from eastern Oregon and western Idaho, south through northern Mexico. The cline was really obvious. Maybe we can get together and talk about it sometime. The full story is rather involved . . .

                  • Ha! It does need to be done. It one of the most beautiful examples of clinal variation. Just follow Hwy 395 from one end to the other, collecting the entire way. Beautiful country. Beetles are a hobby (although I do have two beetle publications). My taxonomic researches are in the crustaceans.

  2. Awesome photograph! The beautiful crisp and clear picture helps remind to appreciate such living creatures. I am looking forward to learning more about such beetles and insects and their magnificent roles in our ecosystem.

  3. Pingback: roundup of macro photography articles | Splendour Awaits


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