Hello there, why not take a few seconds to register on our forums and become part of the community? Just click here.

Heading to Arizona this weekend - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by chanda, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Advertisement
    I'll be heading to Arizona this weekend, visiting my brother in Phoenix on Friday night, then down to Tucson on Saturday, returning to California on Sunday. I'm planning on doing some hiking and collecting, and would especially love to find Scolopendra heros - though I'll have my eyes peeled for all sorts of cool inverts. This is primarily a collecting trip for my summer school classes, so I can have some cool new bugs to show the kids (and add to my "bug zoo"). If anyone has any tips for good spots to look, please PM me. I'd really appreciate it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  2. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    CA
    That’s funny I’ll be heading there this weekend also. Last time I was in phoenix I found lots of polymorpha but no heros. It had just rained too! Look near water if possible.
     
  3. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Yeah, I was really hoping for rain in the forecast toward the end of the week - but no such luck! From what I've heard, heros are not terribly common around Phoenix. I'll be looking for solifugids, Hadrurus arizonensis, and polymorpha around Phoenix, then hoping for heros down around Tucson. I'm also hoping for Paraphrynus carolynae in either area (I've found them both in Phoenix and in Tucson before). If I strike out on the heros this trip, I'll try again this fall when I head up to Payson to collect Dynastes grantii.
     
  4. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    CA
    I won’t be going to Tucson this time. Too bad or maybe I’d join you.
     
  5. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Maybe next time! I try to get to Arizona several times a year.
     
  6. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    CA
  7. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Pretty good, actually. I managed to acquire a couple of Paraphrynus carolynae, a wolf spider (Hogna sp.), a couple of Loxoscoles sp. (probably L. arizonica), and a kissing bug (Triatoma rubida). Also saw and photographed (but chose not to collect) several coreids (Thasus neocalifornicus, Chelinidea vittiger, Narnia femorata), some beetles (Brachinus sp., Galerita sp., a Buprestid, a Dynastinae - possibly Hemiphileurus illatus, Chlaenius sp.), assorted spiders, cicadas, scorpions, solifugids, ant lions, and moths. I didn't see any centipedes at all - but then, it was so hot and dry that I didn't really expect to. I'll be out there again in July, so maybe I'll have better luck then.

    How about you? Were you able to find anything?
     
  8. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    CA
    I was farther north. I found many lizards, a gopher snake, some wasp species including several tarantula hawks, beetles, ants, grasshoppers many latrodectus webs, no scorpions, tarantulas or centipedes though...

    That’s very cool that you found so much! How long did you spend looking around? Also in what type of environment were the loxosceles found?
     
  9. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    I went out hiking in Phoenix Friday night from around 10:30 p.m. until around 2:00 a.m., then I hiked a bit in Tucson on Saturday afternoon - maybe an hour or two - and went back out Saturday night from around 9:00 until close to 3:00 a.m., then one final hike on Sunday morning up on Mount Lemmon for maybe an hour or two.

    I found two of the Loxosceles along a cut bank, with mesquite, cactus, and assorted shrubs. I also saw a third one near a dried-out creek, in dried grass, walking around underneath the web of some sort of Agelenid.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Rique

    Rique Arachnopeon Active Member

    Chanda, I’m curious as to what month you usually go to Payson to search for granti. I would love to make a trip someday. But I’ve heard the window is fairly narrow. I’m in Texas. And recent success this season?

    [/QUOTE]
     
  11. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    I usually go around the end of August/beginning of September. (Labor Day weekend or the weekend before.) This was my fourth trip out there. The first year I collected maybe 5 or 6 females and 2 males (Labor Day weekend), the second year I only got 2 or 3 females and I think 1 male? I really don't remember for sure, but not very many. This was also Labor Day weekend. Last year I went the weekend before Labor Day weekend, and they were quite plentiful - especially the males. This year I went again the weekend before Labor Day and they were pretty sparse. We only found one female on Friday night, but Saturday night I had better luck and picked up a couple of males and three additional females. One of the locals said I should come back in a couple of weeks because they hadn't really started to emerge in large numbers yet. It seems like everything is a bit later this year. The Xyloryctes have been super plentiful every year - hundreds of them (both dead and alive) all over the parking lots and sidewalks - but this year there were hardly any of them. I'm sure it just depends from year to year on the weather, temperatures, moisture, etc.

    In addition to the D. grantii and a few Xyloryctes, we also found a couple of Chrysina gloriosa and a couple of Gibbifer californicus. There were also a lot of the big antlions, Vella fallax, some dobsonflies, and even some little mantidflies (Plega sp.) Even when the beetle hunting is less successful, there is some gorgeous hiking in the area, with plenty of birds and inverts to see. (I highly recommend the Horton Creek Trail! It follows a lovely creek and the majority of the trail is shaded by the trees.)

    I would not recommend going on Labor Day weekend. While I did go that weekend the first couple of times because I liked having the extra day to the weekend, it gets SO crowded! The traffic is terrible getting into and out of town, the motel rates are higher, and getting a room can be a challenge.

    It's a great place to go, if you have the opportunity! I highly recommend it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    • Love Love x 1
  12. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Sorry - accidental duplicate post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  13. Rique

    Rique Arachnopeon Active Member

    I am taking notes of your details...so, end of August and beginning of September...and in the vicinity of Labor Day weekend (avoiding the weekend, of course lol). I looked up the Horton Creek Trail...absolutely beautiful! So, spend the night in Payson, then wake up early and go hiking. That sounds excellent! Had I known before, I would’ve made plans in advance.

    Tell me though, where exactly do you look for the beetles? In Payson proper or do you set a light in the forest? ...I am very curious as to what the depth of the substrate that the wild larvae are found in.

    I agree with you in fluctuations in weather patterns and climate shifts influencing emergence peaks.

    PS - although others may not find it so fascinating, I do find Xyloryctes thestalus rather beautiful...
     
  14. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Well... it's not exactly a "natural habitat" - but the Home Depot parking lot is the best spot for beetle hunting. The big lights of the Home Depot and the adjacent gas station attract the bugs, so you can find the beetles just wandering around (or floundering upside-down) in the parking lot - and the antlions, dobsonflies, moths, and mantidflies on the exterior walls of the buildings. The big city park next to the library (and the library parking lot) are also good spots - but you need to clear out of the park by 10:30. I didn't realize that until this past weekend, when the local police paid a visit to make sure I wasn't up to no good. They were quite nice, but informed me that all of the parks close at 10:30.

    As for the wild larvae, I've never bothered digging for those. I just bring back females and set them up in nice deep substrate so they can lay eggs. I've been very successful with the Dynastes (the eggs from the females I brought back three years ago have been maturing this summer), but have not yet had any luck with the Xyloryctes. I suppose something about my substrate or enclosures is not satisfactory because they don't seem to lay eggs for me.

    What I usually do is come into Payson on a Friday night, check into the hotel, then go out for a few hours of beetle hunting, sleep in on Saturday, head out for some hiking, then more beetle hunting on Saturday night, starting shortly after dusk and usually going until 2 or 3 in the morning. On Sunday I head down the hill and visit my brother in Phoenix, then head back home.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  15. Rique

    Rique Arachnopeon Active Member

    I’ll look where you say when I go. And duly noted as well. I won’t forget! And the forested Horton Creek Trail really is beautiful, judging by the photos! I’m definitely missing out until I make my escape to that place...I can already imagine myself hiking through there. In the meantime, thank you for filling my mind with fantasy...

    I think it would be interesting to know what the exact locations and substrate composition the wild larvae are thriving in, being that they’re so plentiful in Payson.

    Would you part with any stage of larvae? I would be interested!
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.