In the canyon Cloudless Sulfurs fluttered among Cardinal Flowers and large congregations of male butterflies were sipping minerals from the moist soil.
A mantis surrounded by the colorful wings of her victims and a big paw print in the mud (it's a mountain lion, the claws are visible because he was slipping in the mud) reminded us that we shared this paradise with some formidable predators.
A beautiful, but very aggravated Black-tailed Rattler announced his presence from across the creek. Very unusual behavior for that species, we would have missed him otherwise.
|Rounded Toad Bug and Neon Skimmer|
|Leuronotina ritensis by Robert Behrstock|
Free standing rock needles rising up like small versions of Spider Rock in Canyon De Chelly on the Navajo Reservation had plenty of lichen cover, but I didn't find the elusive camouflaged hopper.
|The Atascosa Gem Grasshopper|
Back at the university Carl Olson was rather sure that my photo showed a mature individual and thought it might be of a mostly Mexican genus. I posted an image on Bugguide and then left for the Sierra Vista art show. There, in the evening, I met with Pat Sullivan who casually mentioned that he and Bob Behrstock were planning to search for a long lost grasshopper in Sycamore Canyon. Guess what he described?
We checked my pictures (it's so good to have my images accessible wherever I am) then called Bob Behrstock with the news: the Atascosa Gem Grasshopper Aztecacris gloriosus was rediscovered after 70 years! On Bugguide , David Ferguson had also already identified our pictures.
|Enoclerus decussatus Klug|
Jaques Rifkind wrote up my rediscovery of Enoclerus decussatus in the Pan-Pacific Entomologist and Behrstock and Sullivan will post the grasshopper find (they managed to collect several specimens last Sunday) in one of the orthopterist journals.
I can't wait to get back to Sycamore Canyon for more surprises!