Arizona/California Week 19

Early in the week a late, unexpected cold front blew into Arizona (snow in Flagstaff!), altering my route west across the Colorado River toward the southeastern Sierra, a few days earlier than planned.  Here I caught a break: first, three days of nice weather, and second, Ken Davenport’s generous response to my request for location info on a few (well, actually, about ten) target species in Kern and nearby CA counties.  Ken, acknowledged guru among SoCal lepidopterists, offered to spend a day afield with me, but then the weather cooled again, directing me even farther west to my Monterey CA home county.

Although book-ended by cold weather, the short week was very productive - about 50/50 on target species, i.e., thumb’s up on San Emigdio Blue, Alkali Skipper, and Mojave Sootywing; thumb’s down on Desert Elfin, Small Blue, and Veined Blue.  Of course, while searching for these “goodies," I encountered many common species for a strong weekly total.  Finally, much to my delight, the dunes near Marina in Monterey Bay harbored a few late-flying Coastal Green Hairstreaks, seeking refuge from buffeting winds in sheltered spots near their Eriogonum host plants.

One of the species listed below, Rawson’s Metalmark, is actually a holdover from last week (Big Bend).  I refrained from posting it earlier because it can be confused with the more common fatal metalmark, which also occurs in Big Bend.  I include comparison photos below, both taken in the Chisos Basin, with the understanding that fatal metalmark can be quite variable, and the individual pictured below is somewhat worn.  One Texas expert has given the “OK” on the Rawson’s, but I invite additional comments from readers familiar with these species.

New Species:  Becker's White Pontia beckerii, California Marble Euchloe hyantis, Gray Marble Anthocharis lanceolata, Great Copper Lycaena xanthoides, California Hairstreak Satyrium californica, Sylvan Hairstreak Satyrium sylvinus, Hedgerow Hairstreak Satyrium saepium, Coastal Green Hairstreak Callophrys dumetorum, ‘Alpine' Sheridan's Hairstreak Callophrys sheridanii lemberti, Bernardino Blue Euphilotes bernardino, Bauer’s Blue Euphilotes baueri, Melissa Blue Plebejus melissa, San Emigdio Blue Plebejus emigdionis, Lupine Blue Plebejus lupini, Rawson's Metalmark Calephelis rawsoni, Leanira Checkerspot Chlosyne leanira, Northern Checkerspot Chlosyne palla, Field Crescent Phyciodes pulchella, Tawny Emperor Asterocampa clyton, Nabokov's Satyr Cyllopsis pyracmon, Persius Duskywing Erynnis persius, Mojave Sootywing Hesperopsis libya, Saltbush Sootywing Hesperopsis alpheus, Alkali Skipper Pseudocopaeodes eunus, Juba Skipper Hesperia juba, Yuma Skipper Ochlodes yuma

New Species:  26     Total trip species:  262    Species Photographed:  252


P5100288

Leanira Checkerspot, desert form ‘alma', Westgard Pass, above Big Pine, CA

P5100273

Juba Skipper, Westgard Pass, above Big Pine, CA

P5100250

Alkali Skipper, Owens Valley, south of lone Pine, CA

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Rawson’s Metalmark, Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP, Texas

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Rawson’s Metalmark, Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP, Texas

Calephelis nemesis

Fatal Metalmark, Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP, Texas

Calephelis nemesis

Fatal Metalmark, Chisos Basin, Big Bend NP, Texas




© Chris Tenney 2014