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Photo#1650658
Undescribed desert Adela species - Adela

Undescribed desert Adela species - Adela
Plum Canyon, Anza-Borrego State Park, San Diego County, California, USA
March 24, 2019
Size: Body Length: 5.6 mm
For full-size image, click this link...then click the image once more after it loads in your browser window.

This is a recently discovered species. Though currently undescribed, it is known and a name & description will be given in the upcoming revision of Adela by Davis & Medeiros...due out in the near future.

There appeared to be up to 7 or so at a time fluttering within and slightly above the open stems of a large creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) engulfed below with profusely flowering Phacelia distans. It was late in the morning on a calm, sunny, and warm day, and I observed them for over half an hour. I’d guess there were about 15-20 distinct individuals in that large creosote “clump”...perhaps more...though I only saw 3 actually stop flying and land: one on an inflorescence of unopened Phacelia distans buds; one on a creosote twig; and one on flowers of the native mustard Caulanthus lasiophyllus growing with the Phacelia distans within the large creosote bush. Only the one on the Caulanthus lingered long enough for me to get unposed in situ photos:

   

I finally netted one, chilled it for 10 minutes, and was able to get the final four photos in this series. When I released it I put it on a Phacelia distans flower and it lingered long enough for me to get the first two photos seen here. However I didn’t see any of these Adela land and linger on any open Phacelia flowers on their own (just on that inflorescence of unopened buds).

Wandering around the vicinity I saw many more groups of these Adela fluttering within the open stems of other large creosote bushes engulfed in flowering Phacelia distans...but, again, none of them were seen to land. Based on these observations I'm speculating I was seeing males performing a type of lekking behavior...but I don't know if that's correct.

I thank Chris Grinter & David Bettman, and also Dave Wagner, for their assistance here.

Images of this individual: tag all
Undescribed desert Adela species - Adela Undescribed desert Adela species - Adela Undescribed desert Adela species - Adela Undescribed desert Adela species - Adela Undescribed desert Adela species - Adela Undescribed desert Adela species - Adela

undescribed Anza Borrego Adelid
This is a species of Cauchas.

 
Thanks, Al...but can you please provide reasons & references?
In particular, what specific diagnostic characters or other facts demonstrate that this is Cuachas rather than Adela?

And can you cite & recommend any accessible references that I and others can consult to confirm the claim for ourselves?

An assertion by itself, even if correct, is often not altogether satisfying...it's good to be able to follow up on things (and have some means to confirm, as sometimes people make errors ;-).

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