Arizona and Sonora 2013

In August of 2013 we went to Arizona and Sonora to get fresh specimens of the beautiful Habronattus for genomic work. Habronattus are the North American version of Australia’s famous peacock spiders, but with a difference: while their colours are not so brilliant, the male courtship ornaments and motions are more complex and diverse than those of the peacock spiders. We had a long list of species we wanted to catch, but we had two very special targets: an undescribed species from Arizona that we called “sunglow”, and another undescribed species from Sonora. We were thrilled to catch both. Wayne tweeted the trip at https://twitter.com/WayneMaddison, this tweet and previous. Sam also composed a Storify summary of tweets from the trip.

IMG_3355 copy
The team: Heather Proctor, Wayne Maddison, Sam Evans, and Geneviève Leduc-Robert.  Here we are in a mirror that helps drivers navigate the tight switchbacks up the Mt. Hopkins Observatory road.

IMG_3293 copy
The beautiful Sonoran Desert: Ocotillos in the Santa Rita Mountains

IMG_3361 copy
A male Habronattus virgulatus in his natural habitat

IMG_3385 copy
Sunset over the Galiuro Mountains, southeastern Arizona

IMG_3453 copy
The negative estuary near Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, where we found, finally, adults of the mysterious undescribed Habronattus species that we call “The Peñasco Beast”.

Habronattus%22Peñasco%22-Mf copy
A male of The Peñasco Beast, an undescribed species of Habronattus that appears to be related to H. tarsalis, but which is altogether strange. It lives on the salty plants and mud of this negative estuary.

IMG_3456 copy
After our successful quest for The Peñasco Beast, Abraham Meza López of CEDO and I are delighted

Habronattus%22Blondie%22-Mf3 copy
Another undescribed species of Habronattus from the negative estuaries of Puerto Peñasco.

IMG_3494 copy
The dangers of trying to catch a Phidippus species that lives only on cholla cacti.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s