Gary and I headed down to Coyote Canyon in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and then set up a couple black lights in Borrego Springs after dark. Four days previously the area had a great deal of rain (and flooding) from some monsoonal moisture that moved into the area.
We only made it as far as First Crossing, and the road in to that point was pretty rough and showed places where there had been massive mud piles a couple days earlier.
|There had been much more water than this at its peak, judging from the mud and flood-signs. The leading edge of the stream receded and then moved forward again while we watched - strange.|
|Just past where we parked the truck. The flowering shrub appears to be Petalonyx thurberi.|
|I also saw these stink bugs on the Petalonyx. After a bit of searching on Bugguide.net after returning home I found that they appear to be Agonoscelis puberula (the African Cluster Bug), a non-native True Bug, first collected in the U.S. in 1990.|
|Honey Bees were out and about (no surprise there).|
|A carpenter bee at Desert Willow, which was also flowering.|
|Asbolus verrucosus, a darkling beetle. We had seen these in Coyote Canyon in the spring of this year also.|
|Raccoon tracks in the mud.|
|Bobcat track, just west of Shelter Valley, Anza Borrego Desert, August 2012. Better "M" shape...|
|Mountain Lion track, NAS Miramar, mid-1990s. Nice "M" plus massive size.|
|Roadrunner track. Very recognizable with two toes forward and two toes back.|
After leaving the peaceful retreat of Coyote Canyon, we headed into Borrego Springs proper and set up black lights at a motel (closed for the hot season) with advance permission from the owners. There had been rumor of large beetles there last September, following monsoonal rainfall, and so I was hoping for Derobrachus sp. to come to the lights.
Here are some of the beetles that DID show (no Derobrachus this time!). They are shown roughly in the order in which they arrived at the sheets.
|Cyclocephala sp. (possibly C. longula).|
|Osmidus guttatus. This is the first I have seen of this species in San Diego County, although I have seen them regularly in Imperial County in the past. This one is a female (the male's antennae would be much longer).|
|Omorgus suberosus, a type of Hide Beetle.|
|Creosote Bush Katydid (Insara covilleae), a very sharp-looking katydid indeed! These have always been uncooperative for photos in the past, but this one stayed put briefly.|