Anza-Borrego Adventure- Part 1: Arrival and the Inland Sea

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is one of my favorite California desert locales. I had never been there in the spring before, so on the evening of April 27th of this year, Rachel Romine (@paperplum), Boaz Benaiah Solorio (@arthropod_crossing), and I began the drive to the park. Despite some delays, and a fruitless side trip to the Salton Sea area to look for Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnakes, we eventually arrived safely at the Borrego Springs Motel around 2 AM. Before we had even begun hauling our gear into our room, Boaz and I were examining the walls under the lights for possible lifeforms, which produced a Running Crab Spider (Philodromidae). While we were settling down for bed, Rachel discovered a roach that Boaz identified as a Surinam Cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis)- an invasive species that turned out to be a first on iNaturalist for Anza-Borrego and Borrego Springs.
The next morning, we were up as early as our late night allowed. The first find of the day was a Kukulcania, a large female spider lurking under a board next to the motel. Alongside it was a Western Black Widow, also female.
Our first outing was outside of the park- to the Salton Sea. We drove through Salton City, sparse and desolate, and stopped the car in an abandoned parking lot by the sea. Its pungent odor enveloped us as we stepped outside.
I flipped over a large concrete slab and was excited to find a scorpion underneath- by the looks of it, a member of the family Vaejovidae. I called the others over, but before any of us could get a picture, it had burrowed out of sight.
We walked down near the shore and proceeded to flip many of the numerous slabs of concrete and aggregated rock that lay there. Two of them each produced a Prowling Spider of the genus Syspira, one quite large and attractively patterned.
After taking some time to eat, we drove back to the park.

To be continued…

Posted by ectothermist ectothermist, July 02, 2021 23:46

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Observer

ectothermist

Date

April 28, 2021 11:01 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

ectothermist

Date

April 28, 2021 12:21 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

ectothermist

Date

April 28, 2021 12:24 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Surinam Cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis)

Observer

ectothermist

Date

April 28, 2021 02:23 AM PDT

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