Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

New Mexico Gathering 2022

We have been discussing a possible Gathering to coincide with National Moth Week held in San Miguel County NM this year, 2022. The Highlands University at Las Vegas, NM is willing to welcome a summer conference for BugGuide Gathering attendees, opening student housing to us at a discounted rate. Single and double rooms will cost between $45 per night without amenities to $65 for full service and linens provided. There is a 10 room minimum for summer conference eligibility, so I am gauging the interest in this venue to determine that we can meet this minimum. Your response only is requested at this time, deposits and registration will follow if we meet the attendance requirement.

Re: state records & new-to-BG taxa from the gathering
I posted a topic here for any putative state records (even if unsurprising) or new-to-Bugguide taxa from the gathering.

BugGuide firsts for New Mexico
starting a new thread - reply with a post of your image from the gathering_2022 which is the first BugGuide post of a species for the state of New Mexico. Let's see how many we get!

About 80 so far
I've gone through most of the gathering contributions and added NM1 to the identifier block of those that are NM firsts for the taxon. I also added BG1 if new to BG entirely (2 each). The searches for them are linked on the 2022 gathering info page. I tried to be systematic, but I'm sure I missed some. There will also be new ones that need adding as new contributions appear, and bugs get ID'ed. I did not add bugs that are only ID'ed in the title or remarks, but not moved to the actual taxon page.

If the original contributor or a contributing editor sees anything new or missed, they are free to add these keywords themselves. I'll never catch everything myself. Non-editors who identify NM or BG firsts from other contributors may thumbnail link them here, and I'll add them.

Dichagyris capota

Calosoma marginale - Caterpillar Hunter Beetles

Terellia occidentalis

First photo to BG from New Mexico.

Aulocara elliotti

First image to BG from New Mexico.

Add "gathering_2022" and "NM1" to identifier field
I suggest Contributing Editors who find NM Bugguide firsts add "NM1" to the identifier block. If it is entirely new to Bugguide, add "BG1" too. I have added the following to the Gathering Info page:

"First New Mexico Bugguide taxon records from the 2022 New Mexico Gathering

"Many postings resulting from the gathering represent the first contribution of that taxon from New Mexico on Bugguide. The are identified by putting both "gathering_2022" and "NM1" in the Remarks or Identifier field."

Toronia perplexus
Zack posted this new record for NM

Bedellia somnulentella
John posted this new sighting for NM

Schinia mortua
Submitted but has to be placed to guide- no NM record yet

Statira robusta
didn't know about all the different long-jointeds out this way - should have collected more of them.

new for NM, and only the 3rd one on BG.

has to be placed yet
Submitted but not yet placed - no record yet for NM Cydia populana

Lots to come
There will be many more submissions in this category. One of the attractions to the gathering this year was the recognition that San Miguel County was poorly represented on BG. The whole state of NM, actually, is under-represented to a lesser degree. I have not started posting my own pics from the gathering yet due to other priorities. I did, though, post details of my bug sheet. I gave it priority since others were having so much trouble with the wind.

Here are a few,

can't believe Stenolophus lineola and Anthicus ephippium are new to BG for NM! They are almost annoyingly common in around me in South Jersey. Great going, Mark!! Let's keep filling in these new ones for NM!

Shinia jaguarina

love the colors!

a southwest color scheme ... :)

Berosus miles
I'm excited about this one (in case you couldn't tell :)

LV water shortage
Did you all see the news article today about the water shortage in Las Vegas? It mentions Charlies Bakery where we first met for lunch! And there are different version of the accompanying video, but the one linked below has a few images you may now recognize! (unless it changes - they seem to rotate versions)
It was both sad and a little exciting to see a town I never visited before, yet struggling (still) to get through their difficult circumstances.

LV water shortage

Repeated evolution in overlapping mimicry ... NA velvet ants
I'm posting this link relating to the different "velvet ants" species we found at the LVNWR on our first day of "bugging" during the day. Edward has collected some specimens to focus stack.

As I am researching the velvet ants we found, I came across this interesting paper on velvet ants of N.A., "Repeated evolution in overlapping mimicry rings among North American velvet ants".

It also has a chart with pictures of "all" of the velvet ants in N.A.
It will take me some time to digest the paper and make some sense of it.

I've attached the paper for any who may be interested in velvet ants. Here is the link to the document:

Here is another article similar, North American velvet ants form one of the world’s largest known Müllerian mimicry complexes

There are additional article readings at the end of the article.

I find the velvet ants truly fascinating, and convergent evolution...

Looks like the link is not "live" so you'll have to cut and paste to your browser. Can someone give me a pointer on how to make the link live? thanks!


To learn how to make url’s “live” or, better yet, hyperlink a word or phrase to the url, click Help then Markup above.

we nave 4 sheets with 250 mercury vapor lights and had quite a few moths last night including 3 maybe 4 sphinx species

Itinerary Update
All those visiting United World College on Thursday 21 July, please meet at the Visitors Center at 12:00 noon for campus orientation.

All are welcome to come in the morning and begin exploring this amazing location, but please pause your activities for the noon meeting as requested by our generous hosts. Thanks!

Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge activities
My plan for Wednesday July 20 is to drive up to Las Vegas and have lunch at about noon at Charlie's Spic & Span Cafe, a place that my wife has been to and highly recommends. Thereafter (about 1 pm), I'll be at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge Gallinas Nature Trail parking lot. I'll hike about a mile or two and explore. Anyone who wishes to join me may meet me at the parking lot at that time. My vehicle is a white Nissa Xterra Pro 4-X, NM lic. 279TDM. I'll be wearing a off-white wide brim Tilley Hat.

As stated in my trip report, all other areas are fenced off, as far as I can tell. There is a raised observation deck to look out onto a dry lake, though. All lakes are dry. That said, I expect there to be lots of nocturnal insect activity at the trailhead, based on what I saw during my initial trip. Something must be feeding all those gophers. I will return to this spot and set up my light station after dinner at the Hotel Castaneda at 5:30 pm and before dark.

I’ll be interested in joining and need guidance as I not been in NM before.
See you at trailhead at 1pm. In a Toyota RAV4 luna rock color.

Trip report
See my LVNWR Trip Report for map from I25 and other details. Click "high resolution image". Please consider Sabinoso Wilderness trip too on Friday (see below). We may need more of such vehicles to get everyone there!

Hi Edward,
I’m looking at the weather report and T storm this afternoon. I’m not from here and not familiar with this kind of weather. I am incline to go in the morning probably between 9-10am. I’ll see you and your wife at dinner tonight.

Is anyone else going in the morning?

Rain maybe, yes
We’ll be taking our chances with rain the whole trip. It is monsoon season. All need to have rain gear at all times when out. “Scattered thunderstorms” here are often of short duration (~1 hr). I’m not aware of any other specific times for groups to meet. It is officially “at leisure” My wife is not traveling with me. She has been to Las Vegas though, knows the area better, and recommended restaurant.

I think they may be mole hills covering the terrain, but I’m not sure.

Thanks for posting - I intend to join you. This habitat is so foreign to me, I'll need lots of guidance and advice! Looking forward to it!

native plant walk Santa Fe Sat July 23
Also a native plant walk in Santa Fe on Sat July 23 at 9 am

I'll be returning from the Sabinoso Saturday morning, having not had much sleep, so I'll miss the plant walk. I'll show up at 1 pm when it's over, though, and head up Winsor trail a short distance with anyone interested to where lots of bugs are. I've been there many times. We may run into Rocky Mountain Parnassians if we're very very lucky. They're common at Nambe lake further in, but I've seen them where we are going. I've been meaning to post pics of it since there is no BG record of it in NM, but haven't gotten around to it.

Sabinoso Wilderness trip
Regarding the option to visit the Sabinoso Wilderness on Friday, July 22, I suggest those interested meet me for lunch at 12 noon on Friday at the Days Inn dining room. We will hopefully organize appropriate vehicles to carpool in, and head out thereafter. Not everyone needs to participate in all the activities that I plan on. If you're only interested in moth lighting, for example, you need only show up at the Sabinoso parking lot before dark. My plan is to arrive early enough to hike down into Higgins Canyon. The trail down is less than a mile each way, but with a 400 ft drop in altitude. We will hike back up when the sun is lower and things cool off a bit. There is an area to rest in the shade halfway up. I will set up my light station in the parking lot when we get back. There is plenty of room for multiple setups if others bring theirs. My lights will run all night, and I will pack up and leave in the morning. I will spend an hour or two on the way back to collect more from what I call Tank 1. If that stop does not interest you, you may just head back. I will be the last one out and will make sure everyone gets out OK.

Please consider the following advice if you wish to join me:

1. Read my trip report.
2. Stay on the road until you reach the parking lot, except for Tank 1. It is through private land, but I have permission from the land owner to investigate invertebrates at Tank 1.
3. Make sure the vehicle you are traveling in is adequate for the road conditions described in the trip report. My opinion is that anything in the SUV class or above is adequate if it does not rain, but use your own judgement.
4. Fill your gas tank before leaving Las Vegas. There will be no gas stations.
5. Bring plenty of water, whether you take the hike or not.
6. If you stay overnight, sleep in a tent or vehicle. Otherwise, you may find youself sharing your sleeping bag with a Giant Desert Centipede or being evicted by Rough Harvester Ants.
7. Consider the risks of driving back in the dark if you do not wish to stay all night. There are rocks and ruts that may be difficult to see in the dark.
8. If there is or recently has been heavy rainfall, we'll have to abort and join the others at Storrie Lake State Park. The roads are reported to be impassible when wet.

Sounds Awesome
This is the event I'm most interested in, so I'll be on board for the day exploration and after-dark moth summoning.

I'll bring an extension cord, MV lamp and sheet, so hopefully there'll be an available generator outlet.

I'd love to take my Jeep out there but it's a gas guzzler, and that stuff ain't cheap. I'll carpool with whoever can accommodate.

Bring your lights and sheet
I will be bringing a 2000 W generator but only need 500 W, except when I boil water for meals and coffee (+1100 W). I just threw a 3-way outdoor power splitter in the car, but bring your own cord. I'll do the math if it's close.

There was no response to my request on 11 June in this thread for information about attendees with high clearance vehicles. So, it is not known if there will be enough appropriate vehicles for everyone. Please consider the possibility that your vehicle is needed to take yourself and perhaps others. You can ask them to pitch in for gas. Any SUV will do, based on my pre-BG trip.

Itinerary outline
July 20 - exploration of Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge (grasslands, croplands, marshes, ponds and timbered canyons) day at leisure, dinner at Hotel Castaneda 5:30 pm, night mothing at Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge dark to 2 am.

July 21 - exploration of United World College, Montezuma (agricultural, raparian, forested, mountainous) check in at the visitor's center any time after 9 am - notify staff of intention to attend mothing activity at night, dinner at Hotel Castaneda 5:30, night mothing at United World College dark to 2 am or longer if needed.

July 22 - exploration of Sabinoso Wilderness (semi-arid mesas and canyons, savannah, diverse vegetation) option to spend day and night mothing for those who are interested, alternatively I am working with the staff at Storrie Lake State Park (still water lake) for permission to set up for night mothing there.

July 23 - exploration of Santa Fe Ski Basin (high elevation mountains) for those interested, night mothing activities with the Allens at guest ranch in Sapello, NM (foothills basin). Would appreciate volunteers when mothing is exhausted to assit the Allens in tearing down the equipment.

Addresses and directions:

Hotel Castaneda – 524 Railroad Ave, Las Vegas NM
From Days Inn take I-25BL (Grand Ave) south, exit at E National Ave turn right at first cross-street onto Railroad Ave – destination on left

Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge – 435 SR-281 MM4, Las Vegas NM
Take SR104 (East University) east, make a right on SR-281 and proceed to destination

United World College – Montezuma, NM
Take SR-65 (Hot Springs Blvd) north to Montezuma, turn right onto Campus Dr., turn right onto Castle Ln. We will be met at the visitor’s center.

Sabinoso Wilderness – 8 miles NE of Trujilo
Take SR-104 (East University) east, travel 32.7 miles to Trujilo, NM. Turn left onto CR-C51A travel 7 miles. Follow BLM signs turning left at Y, head north for 3 miles to parking area

Allen’s Guest Ranch – 205 CR-A2, Sapello, NM
Take SR-518 (7th Street) north, pass Storrie Lake State Park turn left on CR-A3 south of Sapello, then turn left onto CR-A2 to arrive at destination

Key: SR = State Road or NM, CR = County Road

Itinerary for July 24?
Hi Marcia,
Thanks for arranging all these great places. I don’t seem to see anything for July 24? When is the last day of the gathering?


July 24 for myself and others
Me and others are leaving July 24th. However, there are things to do of interest nearby. There is a bioblitz in progress during our Gathering in Santa Rosa, NM (ending Monday July 25th and I believe that some of the participants of our event are planning to head down to Santa Rosa to participate in that. There is a discussion earlier in this thread giving details and a contact for the coordinator is Scroll down to the second page of comments and you will see it. Santa Rosa is along I-40, an hour drive from Las Vegas. Also of interest is the little town of Tucamcari, NM - an hour east of Santa Rosa. There is a small, but fascinating museum there filled with fossils! The town itself is situated along old Route 66 and is festooned with color and quaint nostalgia. Sorry to keep editing this, but I would like to add that if you end up in Tucamcari, there is an alternate route via paved byway back to Las Vegas that is stunning, the climb through canyons up onto the highlands, but quite convoluted with switchbacks and an opportunity to encounter domestic animals. :) Another site of interest is Ghost Ranch in Abituiu, NM - a working paleological site with tours, a 2 hour drive west and north of Las Vegas.

I visited Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge and Sabinoso Wilderness last weekend to scope things out. Follow the links to my trip report on each. Pay particular attention to the latter since an SUV or such is recommended to get there.

There are directions to Santa Fe Ski Basin at this link. Here is a Google maps view. I confirmed by phone that Winsor trail at that end is open.

Events page
I've created New Mexico, July 20-24 under BugGuide Gatherings and Events.

Menu moved and other planning images
I moved the Bar Castaneda menu to this page, and added "Initial images posted here precede the gathering itself, and are provided for planning purposes" to Info. I will follow up with my own images of my pre-gathering trip to the Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge and Sabinoso Wilderness shortly. I visited those sites yesterday (09JUL2022) and took pictures relevant to specific site localities of interest and travel related issues such as road conditions.

I was not able to visit the Pecos canyon, since it is still closed for rehabilitation due to fallen trees, roads torn up by heavy equipment, and such. The Santa Fe Ski Basin has reopened, however. It is at the western end of the Winsor trail. This site is at high altitude and offers much greater diversity of flora and insect fauna than the lower sites. It would be ideal for a daytime collecting trip.

Santa Fe Ski Basin
That would fantastic! Can’t wait. Do we have a date and time to be there? Thsnks!

Thank you!
The page looks good, and seems to follow the format of past gatherings, very helpful. Thank you, John, for all you do for our community!

the menu at Bar Castaneda
I received the menu for our dinners of July 20 and 21st , looks appetizing. We do not have to pre-order as originally discussed, but I can share the menu with all as I promised I would. The manager indicated that there may be a change or two in that menu in coming days, but we can get a good idea of what to expect. The menu arrived in .jpg format, so bear with me. I will post the photos to the main site and import url into this message -

Thank you! This is very helpful!

Turns out we're not going to make it after all, sigh
Take and post lots of good images. We'll be enjoying the trip through your images. Will be interesting to see what you find in that part of the country. Mostly we'll miss seeing all you guys. Maybe next year...

Dee And Ken Himes will join for all dinners. We are new to the group.