The entomology team has identified 50 species of butterflies, 71 species of spiders, eight species of scorpions, and one species of tailless whip scorpion (Phrynus asperatipes) in the Sierra Cacachilas.
Like the botany team, the entomology team has discovered multiple species new to science, including a species of treehopper (Idioderma sp.) previously only known from the Caribbean and a mantid (Mantoida maya) previously only known from mainland Mexico. Another discovery that captured worldwide media attention was of a new species of a cave-dwelling spider. This species has since been named Califorctenus cacachilensis after the Sierra Cacachilas.
Both desert figs (Ficus palmeri) and palms in the region are active resources and habitats for many birds, rodents, and insects. The entomology team has begun documenting the importance of these plants for the insect community in particular. The large trees mobilize water in the desert community and are often green when nothing else is. These dependable resources become a hub of entomological activity with presumably cascading effects up the food chain.
Learn about two interesting and unusual bugs on our ranches from this entertaining blog post written by Michael Wall, Vice President of Science and Conservation at the San Diego Natural History Museum (SDNHM) :
A few of the species of arthropods encountered on Rancho Cacachilas are presented in the photo gallery below. Click on images for larger views and then hover over for Latin names. Use arrows to scroll left and right.