|Dendrothereua homa (Arizona House Centipede) photo by jan nadeau|
|Vaejovis spinigerus, Arizona Striped Tail Scorpion|
|Diplocentrus spitzeri (?)|
|Rabidosa santrita with eggs|
|Bombardier Beetle, Brachinus elongatulus and False Bombardier Beetle, Galerita mexicana|
We had started our trip in Tucson at 6 am because I was afraid that it would get too hot later in the day. The predictions were for temperatures in the triple digits. But all morning long the sky was overcast and grey and it stayed cool. During our short stop at Pena Blanca Lake it actually rained. Unheared of in May! Consequently, I left my camera in the car. Also unheared of.
It very much resembled the juvenile Wester Skink in my field guide. But that species should be only in the NE corner of the state, and Pena Blanca is as far south as you can get in AZ. We met a couple of herpers later who said that there is an endemic species around Pena Blanca. Not in my field guide, though.
As soon as it got warmer around noon, many Elegant Earless Lizards showed up. His bobbing rhythm is an extremely fast nodding towards the intruder or the object of his desire.
Large Whiptails were foraging. I think this is a Canyon Whiptail still in juvenile colors even though he was at least 7 inches long without the tail.
We met some 'herpers' who had caught a small mud turtle. The reticulation of the face and the little spur under the chin indicate that this is a Sonoran Mud Turtle.
So we saw a lot of interesting things and time flew by in a hurry. We turned hundreds of rocks and found scolopedromorphs and other centipedes, just no scutigeromorphs. This is the first time that I guided an excursion to find a special arthropod and failed. I did know that they had not been seen here in the arid pre-summer, but the opinion was that these centipedes cannot dig deeply into the soil because of their long fragile appendices and that they cannot stay inactive too long because they have to satisfy their need for water by either feeding on prey or drinking. So can they not aestivate? To survive here in Arizona they may have to.
If any of my readers find any or know about either the local Dendrothereua homa (Arizona House Centipede) or the introduced species Scutigera coleoptrata (House Centipede) - they are still needed! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org