Caribbean Shopping List
I’m posting something because Heather recently complained about my lack of activity. Hey, it’s hard to do a bug blog in Chicago in the middle of a very cold winter. But all of that will change next week: Leon and I are accompanying UrSpo and his partner on a cruise to the Caribbean. Since we are going to be playing in the land of the duty-free, I thought I’d best prepare a list before we head out. The following shopping list is sure to inspire derision from UrSpo:
1. Orphulella typha. This grasshopper is found only on the island of St. Martin. My book is now 20 years old, so things might have changes since then, but the author reports that males have not yet been observed. A challenge! I couldn’t find any online photos. Another challenge!
2. Sphingonotis haitensis. A banded-winged grasshopper with lovely pale-blue wings. There are several Caribbean species of Sphingonotus. My best bet is to try to see S. haitensis at the end of the trip while we are on Pureto Rico. Again, no photos, but I did find a picture of an African relative.
Cicindela trifasciata. Photo: Fr. Alejandro Sanchez
3. Tiger Beetles (of course). There are three species that I have a chance to see. Cicindela trifasciata is the most likely. It’s also found in the US, though I have never seen it. There are two Caribbean endemics. C. suturalis is found on a bunch of the islands. It’s probably my best shot at seeing a regional endemic tiger beetle. C. boops, in addition to having a charming name, is a cool species that I might see on either Puerto Rico or St. Martin. The literature describes it as the least common of the three.
Strangalia insularis - photo by Larry Bezark
4. Strangalia insularis. The item on my list that I most want to see. It’s a cerambycid beetle that is endemic to the island of Dominica. It’s a flower longhorn, which means that I stand a chance of being able to see it during the daytime.