Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bugs and Beetles from Aravaipa Canyon

Last Sunday we had visitors from Texas and Germany who were mostly interested in mantids and ants. May is by no means the best time to find either. Mantis nymphs are still tiny and ants are not swarming, so their queens are deeply entrenched under their mounds and layers of rock and caliche. Turns out the two guys couldn't visit later in the season because of the impending Soccer World Cup.

We decided to go to Aravaipa Canyon in Pinal County, AZ. We had no time to get permits for the actual Wildlife Preserve and instead stayed in the more open, less dramatic western part of the canyon. This area only hints at the dramatic beauty of the deeper chasm of the preserve, but is still very attractive with it's year-round running creek.

Following is just a pictorial list of insects that I was glad to find, even if most of them weren't first sightings.

Beetles, Coleoptera

Griburius montezuma, Glyptoscelis pubescens, Disonycha alternata, Plagiodera arizonae, all Chrysomelidae
Necrobia rufipes Cleridae, Ulus crassus Tenebrionidae, Lixus semivittatus CurculionidaeCanthon sp., Aphodius haemorrhoidalis, Aphodius vittatus, all Scarabaeidae
Olla-v nigrum Coccinellidae, Chrysobothris sp. Buprestidae, Cymindis sp. Carabidae, Laemosaccus sp. Curculionidae

True Bugs, Heteroptera
unidentified Mirid, Ochrimnus sp., Lygaeidae, Gelastocoris oculatus, Gelastocoridae

Crophius sp., Oxycarenidae, Leptoglossus clypealis, Coreidae, Rhopalus tigrinus, Rhophalidae, Neurocolpus arizonae, Miridae

More little Toad Bugs to come!

Collecting Methods

We found all these critters by whacking bushes over a beating- sheet, fishing around in muddy algae, turning over the leathery corps of a long dead cow, going through dung of very much alive cows...the usual.

One of our group, though, showed his true dedication by trapping an over four-feet-long snake in the leg of his trousers. Luckily only one and a half feet went up, and luckily it was only a Gopher Snake.


  1. Love the gelastocorid! I think they are unbelievably cute insects. Glad to hear you can find them in Arivaipa too! I'm always on the lookout for new places to see and/or collect them.

  2. They were just making more little toad bugs there at Aravaipa
    I also found them in Wickenburg in the preserve

  3. Wonderful pictures Margarethe... much better than mine :)

    Once again, thanks for showing Christian and I around. Much appreciated.

  4. Wow, love the toad bugs. You got some great photographs.

    Happy to see another Arizona blogger :-)