Just back from a Springbreak collecting trip with a crew from SDSU and UC Riverside. We traveled to the western foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, starting in Tuolumne County, and ultimately winding (literally!!) our way down to Kern County. We were mostly after Laniatores harvestmen, particularly members of the phalangodid genus Calicina. Calicina is a truly remarkable genus, with many species, most of which are short-range endemic taxa. Almost all of these species were described by Darrell Ubick & Tom Briggs, researchers from the California Academy of Sciences. Below is a screenshot from the Ubick & Briggs revision showing microendemism observed in the Sierras. Similar patterns are found in the Coast Ranges!!
Kristen Emata, a MS student in the Hedin lab, is interested in the evolutionary and biogeographic history of Calicina, and aims to tackle these questions from a molecular phylogenetic perspective. Our collections of fresh samples from this recent fieldwork will help greatly in this endeavor.
In addition to Calicina, we found other nice CA endemic harvestmen, like Megacina and Enigmina. Of course, many other excellent Californian taxa were encountered. For some reason, I have a special place in my heart for diplurans. Maybe because many of these species are also low-dispersal, short-range endemics. 🙂
I have a special place in my heart for diplurans too! Maybe we’re soul mates 🙂
I heard some wonderful stories from a lovely young lady about this trip! And yes, I think you are sould mates.