DMXA - Pearblossum Peaches (4/24/01)

Mark Walker MWalker at
Tue May 1 17:02:24 EDT 2001

Day Seven:

The weather was getting downright summerlike by Tuesday.  We were sure that
we'd have good luck out in the Mojave after these past few days of good
weather.  We drove over Cajon Pass, admiring all of the fresh new snow on
the back side of Mt. Baldy.  By the time we reached Pearblossum, the temps
were already in the 80s.  The Mormon Metalmarks (Apodemia mormo) were
plentiful, and the Juniper Hairstreaks (Callophrys siva) could also be
readily found on and about their hostplant.  There were also plenty of
Pierids on the wing - and we were once again astonished to find the Desert
Orangetip (Anthocharis cethura) to be common and fresh.  Obviously, the
winterlike weather that skunked us so badly was once again calling out new
bugs that I frankly didn't expect David to experience.  What a year it's
been for this often elusive bug!

We also found another early flyer - the desert form of the Wright's Leanira
Checkerspot (Thessalia leanira wrighti form cerrita).  How's that for some
wishy-washy taxonomy?  The cerrita form has varying amounts of orange
scaling - some are approaching the closely related Great Basin ssp. alma,
which is mostly orange on the ups.  Interestingly, several of these
Cerrita's were fresh and several were rather worn.  This later-than-cethura
flying bug must have been caught emerging in the midst of the winter storm.
Still, it's a beauty - and a good indication that the rest of the late
spring bugs are only a few weeks away.  Hopefully, all of us in SoCal will
enjoy a good brood of Leanira wrighti again this year in the local mountain
areas.  The past two years have been a couple of banner years for this bug.

After some looking, we were able to find Euphilotes bernardino (Dotted
Blue), although many of these tend to look more like the Mojave Blue (I
think this is limited to the eastern-most stretches of the Mojave Desert -
anyone care to comment?).  There were plenty of other bugs flying here as
well, including Philosora cattulus (Common Sooty Wing).  Another good day to
close out an XLNT trip.

Our Pearblossum list:

Pontia sisymbrii (Spring White)
Pontia protodice (Checkered White)
Euchloe lotta (Desert Marble)
Anthocharis cethura (Desert Orangetip)
Anthocharis sara (Sara Orangetip)

Callophrys augustinus (Brown Elfin)
Callophrys affinis (Bramble Hairstreak)
Callophrys siva (Juniper Hairstreak)
Brephidium exile (Western Pygmy Blue)
Leptotes marina (Marine Blue)
Celastrina ladon echo (Spring Azure)
Euphilotes bernardino (Dotted Blue)
Plebejus acmon (Acmon Blue)
Glaucopsyche lygdamus (Silvery Blue)

Thessalia leanira (Leanira Checkerspot)
Chlosyne acastus neumoegeni (Neumoegen's Checkerspot)
Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady)

Erynnis funeralis (Funereal Duskywing)
Philosora cattulus (Common Sooty Wing)

Mark Walker


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