December 07, 2019

2019: A Year in Review

2019 marks the year that I first began collecting, as well as the year I first began to really focus exclusively on Buprestidae. Due to that, this summary is heavily about Buprestidae, so if you hate Jewel Beetles, then feel free to stop reading (Also, what’s wrong with you?).

This year, I found a total of 53 species of Buprestids and collected 52 species. 17% were Agrilinae, 13% Buprestinae, 8% Chrysochroinae, and 62% Polycestinae. I collected from a total of 5 states in the US and received Buprestids from 4 states.

Agrilinae: Agrilus arizonicus (AZ:1), Agrilus gibicollis (NM:1), Agrilus latifrons (AZ:2), Agrilus planipennis (MI:1), Agrilus sulcicollis (MI:1), Agrilus pulchellus (NM:2), Agrilus lecontei celticola (AZ:1). Brachys ovatus (AL:1), Brachys sp. (NM:1).
Buprestinae: Buprestis lineata (AR:1). Anthaxia sp. (NM:1). Agrilaxia flavimana (AZ:1). Chrysobothris caddo (NM:1), Chrysobothris lateralis (NM:1), Chrysobothris knulli (NM:2), Chrysobothris merkelli (NM:1). Sphaerobothris ulkei (NM:1).
Chrysochroinae: Gyascutus caelatus (NM:4), Gyascutus planicosta (NV:1). Lampetis drummondi (NM:3), Lampetis webbii (NM:1).
Polycestinae: Acmaeodera acanthicola (AZ:1), Acmaeodera alicia (AZ:1), Acmaeodera amabilis (NM:14), Acmaeodera amplicollis (NM:6 AZ:6), Acmaeodera auritincta (NM:4), Acmaeodera bowditchi (NM:1), Acmaeodera cazieri (AZ: 3), Acmaeodera chiricahuae (AZ:7), Acmaeodera decipiens (NM:19 AZ:6), Acmaeodera diffusa (UT:3), Acmaeodera disjuncta (NM:9), Acmaeodera flavopicta (NM:3), Acmaeodera gibbula (NM:5), Acmaeodera haemorrhoa (TX:1), Acmaeodera knowltoni (UT:2), Acmaeodera ligulata (NM:2), Acmaeodera maculifera (NM:7), Acmaeodera mixta (NM:14), Acmaeodera neglecta (TX:1), Acmaeodera ornatoides (TX:1), Acmaeodera parkeri (NM:2 AZ:1), Acmaeodera pubiventris lanata (UT:1), Acmaeodera pulchella (FL:1), Acmaeodera quadrivittatoides (NM:3), Acmaeodera recticollis (NM:2), Acmaeodera rubronotata (NM:3 AZ:7), Acmaeodera scalaris (NM:5 AZ:1 TX:1), Acmaeodera solitaria (AZ:4), Acmaeodera variegata (NM:3), Acmaeodera yuccavora (NM:1). Thrincopyge alacris (NM:4), Thrincopyge ambiens (NM:1).
Highlights:
SE AZ: The first time I went to Southeast Arizona this year, I had the help of a wonderful Bup guy, Denanthony Fernandez (BG: Pleocoma). We spoke via email, and he helped me to find both Acmaeodera acanthicola and Acmaeodera alicia. I also went again to the area and found my target A. chiricahuae.

Local: Acmaeodera yuccavora was a first for me and a first for the area this far east. It possibly represents a new species or a new population. (I would love the help of all the local iNatters to find and maybe collect more).

Misses:
TX!!!!!: I travelled to TX several times this year and came away with a total of 2 species. I first came to South Texas late March, hoping to find A. neoneglecta and maybe even A. starrae. I left with one blister beetle. Misses from Texas include A. neoglecta, A. tubulus, B. rufipes, and more.

Next Year:
My biggest goal is to work on beating more. Last year, I relied primarily on my eye, but that only goes so far. On top of that, I am hoping to work on rearing from collected logs this next year as well.

Local targets for next year include Acmaeodera cribicollis, more of the Brachys I collected last year, Paratyndaris, and Acmaeodera immaculata. I am hoping to frequent the West Texas area and maybe do some South and Central Texas. Goals from here include Acmaeodera tiquilia, Acmaeodera riograndei, Acmaeodera starrae, Acmaeodera neoneglecta, and Ptosima.
All in all, I have had a wonderful year and hope to find many more species next year with the help of many of you all on iNaturalist, and thank you all for helping me this year!

Posted on December 07, 2019 03:39 AM by tuftedparidae tuftedparidae | 4 comments | Leave a comment

August 26, 2019

Acmaeodera yuccavora

This past weekend, I decided to take a quick trip to Dog Canyon, just south of Alamogordo. I went specifically for Acmaeodera auritincta, which was seen in the area last year at about this time. I was definitely successful, as I found 10+ individuals on the Dog Canyon Trail. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31434949
Other than this, the Bup life was surprisingly dull, with the exception of one observation of Acmaeodera yuccavora.

As I was hiking down the trail back towards the visitor centre at Oliver Lee SP, a small insect caught my eye on a small yellow flower. I got a quick, good view of the insect before it flew. I am certain it was Acmaeodera yuccavora.

Appearance: Small Acmaeodera, larger than A. quadrivittatoides, but slightly smaller than A. variegata, both species found in a similar habitat (albeit different times of year). The Bup was black and had four tan stripes across each elytron that didn’t quite reach the fused suture. The end of the Bup was rounded, and very similar in appearance to A. quadrivittatoides in shape. I did not get a good look at the pronotum or underside.

Behaviour: The Bup was on a small flower, which is typical for most Acmaeoderae. Flower species did not match BugGuide’s one species named (Allionia), but this species does not have enough data for us to possibly declare only one adult host.

When I flushed it, however, it flew about 3 metres before landing on the rock surface. This is probably the number one biggest indicator of this species. Knull’s paper says that it will, “frequently alight on paths or other bare areas,” which is not common in Acmaeodera. They will generally, when flushed, fly to another adult host or larval host occasionally, not the ground. After it landed there for about 30 seconds, it flew towards a large rock surface by a dangerous precipice (hence the reason why I couldn’t find it again).

Range: Nearly every databased A. yuccavora is collected in AZ, with a few Mexican records and one NM record in western NM. Knull’s specimens were nearly all found in the Chiricahua Mountains, and subsequent collectors have collected it in other areas around Portal as well. The Mexican record was photographed on iNaturalist, and the NM record posted onto BugGuide. However, the closest record is 250 km away from Alamogordo. That it why this find is so significant for me: it would expand A. yuccavora’s range by a significant amount.

Host: Although the majority of the Asparagus species were Dasylirion, which shewed no sign of being an alternative host, Yucca was found semi-regularly on the trail. When I return, I’ll collect some stalks of the dead Yuccae in hopes to rear some.

Unfortunately, this observation was by eye only, so it really accounts for nothing, but I hope to go out again in a couple of weeks (not next week, I’ll be in Vegas) and try to find this awesome Bup again!

Posted on August 26, 2019 03:56 PM by tuftedparidae tuftedparidae | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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