Three rare green gems
jbwalsh at u.arizona.edu
Fri Jul 16 00:24:15 EDT 2010
One of the fun things (among a large number to choose from!) about collecting in
SE Arizona is a rather large number of species known from just a few
individuals. Are these rare strays from strange (and uncollected) locations in
nearby Mexico? Are they locally common at the right time and location, which
(for some reason) collectors seem to avoid?
In 1985 when Ferguson published his MONA on the green Geos, three AZ species
were all known from four individuals (or less).
A recent post dealt with Nemoria splendidaria [ MONA 7038 ]
A second species, Nemoria mutaticolor [ MONA 7017 ], is known from just three
individuals (as of 1985), the type from Mexico and two individuals from Madera
Canyon. Given that Madera is a classic location, perhaps these are rare strays
from the top of the Santa Ritas (which rise to over 9500 feet) around the 5500
feet of Madera. Keep looking, but have never taken this. No online photo, see
the MONA. One reason is that it very closely resembles the more common
Nemoria strigataria [ MONA 7039 ]
The third little green gem is Lophochorista lesteraria [ MONA 7069 ],
Pretty obvious, only green geo with large white spots. Ferguson lists four
records from the Santa Catalinas (which I collect all the time) and Brown
Canyon in the Baboquivari Mts. I also collect here regularly, but no luck! In
2006, out-of-towner Tomas Mustelin took one in Brown when he was trapping with
me, and there are two records from the 1990's from Pena Blanca.
So, if you find yourself collecting in SE Arizona, keep an eye out for these, as
you never know when/where they might turn up!
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