Members of the Hedin lab traveled to Arizona last week, seeking to collect members of the laniatorean harvestmen genus Sitalcina. The Sitalcina sura species group is mostly Californian in distribution, but includes three rarely collected taxa from montane AZ.
We first collected in the mountains of central AZ, looking for Sitalcina rothi, last collected in 1961 and known only from the type locality. We found dozens, real stunners!
We then traveled to the sky island mountains near Tucson, finding S. peacheyi in the Santa Ritas and Baboquivaris, and S. catalina in the Santa Catalinas. We (mostly EG!!) collected an interesting new population in the Huachucas, VERY deep in rockpiles, lacking retinas. All other AZ Sitalcina species have well-developed retinas – perhaps a new species!!
Of course, we saw many other interesting arthropods, plants and vertebrates while in the field. Interesting spiders included Euagrus, Anachemmis, Zorocrates and Lauricius. Highlight vertebrates included a Mexican spotted owl, Arizona alligator lizard, and a Gila Monster!! Thanks to everyone on the trip for their hard work, and thanks to the folks at Brown Canyon for their superb hospitality.
This is the type of science I’m very interested in. Great Job Everyone. I give you all a lot of credit crawling around in the heat of Arizona. You can tell you love what you are doing. Proud of you.