|Bilbo, Frodo, Cody and Laika|
|Isocoma tenuisecta, Burroweed|
This year Crossidius seemed rare around Tucson. It is possible that the small host plants are more affected by the drought than mesquite trees and roses.
|Epicauta wheeleri and Epicauta sp.|
|Pygmy Blue, Checkered Skipper and American Snout|
American Snout Butterflies were extremely abundant last fall - they must have migrated up from Mexico by the thousands. Not too many this year.
|Apis melifera, Halictus ligatus, Agapostemon angelicus|
|Lordotus sp. (?) and Poecilanthrax sp.|
|Sinea diadema (Spined Assassin Bug) and Miturgidae (Prowling Spiders)|
|Conotelus mexicanus and Ripiphoris sp.|
The insect on the right is a female Wedge-shaped Beetle (Ripiphoridae) who does her best to look just like the bees that she intends to employ as foster parents for her brood. This species appears regularly in autumn on burroweed and is distinctly smaller than Ripiphorus vierecki that flies in April to lay its eggs on Desert Marigolds along this same River Path. If you are interested in the natural history of this group click here.
The Santa Cruz River Path in Cortaro is lined by new developments, sport fields, and small industry. It is a rather disturbed area, far from natural. But I still managed to find and photograph all the above insects and more while being pulled along by four impatient dogs.
So next week: a trip to a more natural area between Sonita in Santa Cruz County and Lochiel on the Mexican border, to check out blooming Desert Broom and Burrobrush (Chamisia), without dogs.