Participants: David Sissom, Tom Anton, Gary Casper • The goal of the trip was to accumulate additional samples of vaejovids for DNA sequencing and to flesh out geographical distributions. • Dr. Sissom left from Amarillo, Texas around noon of the 6th of August and picked up Gary and Tom at the airport in Albuquerque, NM. By early evening, moderate to heavy rainfall in northwestern New Mexico eliminated the possibility of collecting that night. After staying in a hotel in Farmington, NM we pushed on to Moab, Utah to collect in that vicinity.
Dead Horse State Park, Utah • Two days and nights in the desert habitats at Dead Horse State Park and vicinity yielded Paruroctonus boreus, P. utahensis, Vaejovisconfusus, and Serradigitus wupatkiensis. One of the highlights was the finding of a female S. wupatkiensis carrying first instar offspring.
Habitat of Paruroctonus boreus, P. utahensis, and Vaejovis confusus in Dead Horse State Park, Utah
Flagstaff & Vicinity • After leaving southern Utah, we headed toward the Flagstaff area. At various locations in the vicinity of Flagstaff, we were able to find essentially the same species as at Moab, with the addition of the iurid scorpion, Hadrurus spadix. Daytime search for topotypes of V. lapidicola and a potential new species in the group were not successful.
The Black Mountains • The third leg of the trip took us to the Black Mountains along the western edge of north central Arizona. On the first night, we collected in the northern part of the range along Highway 68. After an inauspicious start, we were able to collect specimens of Vaejovis confusus, V. spinigerus, V. hirsuticauda, Serradigitus joshuaensis, S. subtilimanus, and the iurid Hadrurus arizonensis. • The second night was spent in the southern part of the range in the vicinity of Sitgreaves Pass. That night we got most of the species at the preceding location, but also found H. spadix.
Some vaejovids from the Black Mountains, western Arizona Serradigitus subtilimanus Vaejovis hirsuticauda Vaejovis spinigerus
Canyon de Chelly • The final destination for collecting was Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Although we sampled for two consective nights, surface activity and abundance were low. Collecting along the rock walls of the White House trail yielded only Serradigitus wupatkiensis. The second night’s collecting in sandy habitats on the south rim produced only Paruroctonus utahensis. • After dropping Gary and Tom off in Albuquerque, an attempt was made to secure specimens of Paruroctonus pecos at the New Mexico/Texas state line, where the species has previously been found. The attempt was unsuccessful.