Off Ruby Road, Pena Springs area, Pajarito Mountains, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA
July 27, 2013
During our mid-day field stop on the 3rd day of the AZ BugGuide gathering, while exploring near a small side-canyon creekbed, Troy Bartlett mentioned to me having just seen a micropezid in a nearby field, and I excitedly asked it he could direct me to it. I had read about micropezids but never seen one.
Troy said he thought he might be able find it again, and walked about 60 feet away into a large non-descript area of grass and herbs with few distinguishing landmarks...what looked to me like a difficult place to try to refind a tiny fly. But calm, steady, keen-eyed Troy proceeded to search, and in a short while relocated the quarry. I was delighted, and eagerly commenced photographing the thin little stilt-legged fly.
After a few shots the micropezid flew and I lost track of it. I don't remember if Troy found "it" again or I did (I vaguely recall the former)...but when studying the photographs long afterwards, the 2nd micropezid (found within minutes and feet of the 1st) turned out to be a different species! That 2nd species appears in the post below:
The one in this post keys clearly, in both Merritt & James(1)
and Cresson (1938), to subgenus Neriocephalus
) and species Micropeza bistosa
). The two notopleural bristles (visible in last image of series) indicate the subgenus, and the presence of a black arista and the two shining lines on the vertex between the inner and outer vertical bristles (again, see last image) indicates species bisetosa
. The description in Cresson
fits well, and the locale here is within the range...in fact, Merritt (1972)
lists "Santa Cruz Co., Ruby" as an AZ location for M. bisetosa