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Question about Great Spreadwing (Archilestes grandis)

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  • Jim Stuart
     I ve had a male and female Archilestes grandis hanging out in a row of shrubs in my backyard in Albuquerque since early August. Have not seen any mating
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 25, 2011
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       I've had a male and female Archilestes grandis hanging out in a row of shrubs in my backyard in Albuquerque since early August. Have not seen any mating activity, but these spreadwings seem to have found something attractive about these shrubs. There is no pond nearby and no standing water in my yard or adjacent yards, other than a small stocktank containing turtles (not near the shrubs). The adjacent lawn is watered a couple times per week. There are golf course ponds about 5 blocks away and perhaps some backyard ponds elsewhere on the street, but otherwise no suitable breeding habitat. I saw a Great Spreadwing in same area last summer also, but assumed that one was just passing through.

      Any thoughts or observations on why this species would frequent a place that lacks surface water?  I've seen this species use some really small spring sites in NM, but this seems unusual.

      Thanks,
      Jim

      James N. Stuart
      Albuquerque, NM
      jnstuart61 AT yahoo.com
      http://flickr.com/photos/stuartwildlife


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    • Dennis Paulson
      Jim, sometimes an answer can be found in eye color. Spreadwings have brown eyes when they re young, and they turn blue in males and at least some females when
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 25, 2011
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        Jim, sometimes an answer can be found in eye color. Spreadwings have brown eyes when they're young, and they turn blue in males and at least some females when they mature sexually. If you ever heard the song "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," now you understand the reference.

        If your spreadwings have brown eyes, they are surely immatures and just spending quality time in your backyard, which must be full of insects, before they go find a place to breed. If they (or the male) have bright blue eyes and are still there, I wonder if they are out of the gene pool!

        Dennis

        On Aug 25, 2011, at 7:51 AM, Jim Stuart wrote:

        > I've had a male and female Archilestes grandis hanging out in a row of shrubs in my backyard in Albuquerque since early August. Have not seen any mating activity, but these spreadwings seem to have found something attractive about these shrubs. There is no pond nearby and no standing water in my yard or adjacent yards, other than a small stocktank containing turtles (not near the shrubs). The adjacent lawn is watered a couple times per week. There are golf course ponds about 5 blocks away and perhaps some backyard ponds elsewhere on the street, but otherwise no suitable breeding habitat. I saw a Great Spreadwing in same area last summer also, but assumed that one was just passing through.
        >
        > Any thoughts or observations on why this species would frequent a place that lacks surface water? I've seen this species use some really small spring sites in NM, but this seems unusual.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Jim
        >
        > James N. Stuart
        > Albuquerque, NM
        > jnstuart61 AT yahoo.com
        > http://flickr.com/photos/stuartwildlife
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >

        -----
        Dennis Paulson
        1724 NE 98 St.
        Seattle, WA 98115
        206-528-1382
        dennispaulson@...





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jim Stuart
        Thanks Dennis, I always wondered what Crystal Gayle was singing about. I don t recall offhand what the color was. They sure don t seem too concerned or
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 25, 2011
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          Thanks Dennis, I always wondered what Crystal Gayle was singing about. I don't recall offhand what the color was. They sure don't seem too concerned or ambitious about passing on their genes, unless they are anticipating a late-summer flood in my neighborhood. Maybe I should check my home insurance policy ...



          Thanks,
          Jim

          James N. Stuart
          Albuquerque, NM
          jnstuart61 AT yahoo.com
          http://flickr.com/photos/stuartwildlife


          From: Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson@...>
          To: Jim Stuart <jnstuart61@...>
          Cc: SoWest Odes <SoWestOdes@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 9:39 AM
          Subject: Re: [SoWestOdes] Question about Great Spreadwing (Archilestes grandis)

          Jim, sometimes an answer can be found in eye color. Spreadwings have brown eyes when they're young, and they turn blue in males and at least some females when they mature sexually. If you ever heard the song "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," now you understand the reference.

          If your spreadwings have brown eyes, they are surely immatures and just spending quality time in your backyard, which must be full of insects, before they go find a place to breed. If they (or the male) have bright blue eyes and are still there, I wonder if they are out of the gene pool!

          Dennis

          On Aug 25, 2011, at 7:51 AM, Jim Stuart wrote:

          >  I've had a male and female Archilestes grandis hanging out in a row of shrubs in my backyard in Albuquerque since early August. Have not seen any mating activity, but these spreadwings seem to have found something attractive about these shrubs. There is no pond nearby and no standing water in my yard or adjacent yards, other than a small stocktank containing turtles (not near the shrubs). The adjacent lawn is watered a couple times per week. There are golf course ponds about 5 blocks away and perhaps some backyard ponds elsewhere on the street, but otherwise no suitable breeding habitat. I saw a Great Spreadwing in same area last summer also, but assumed that one was just passing through.
          >
          > Any thoughts or observations on why this species would frequent a place that lacks surface water?  I've seen this species use some really small spring sites in NM, but this seems unusual.
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Jim
          >
          > James N. Stuart
          > Albuquerque, NM
          > jnstuart61 AT yahoo.com
          > http://flickr.com/photos/stuartwildlife
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >

          -----
          Dennis Paulson
          1724 NE 98 St.
          Seattle, WA 98115
          206-528-1382
          dennispaulson@...





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        • Scott E. Severs
          Jim and Dennis, Thank you both for this discussion, as I have had the same behavior the last two Augusts in my tiny, yet buggy, Longmont Colorado yard.
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 29, 2011
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            Jim and Dennis,

            Thank you both for this discussion, as I have had the same behavior the last
            two Augusts in my tiny, yet buggy, Longmont Colorado yard. Generally between
            three to five Great Spreadwings hanging around, and all brown-eyed. Most of
            them are gone now. Nearest water about three blocks away.

            --Scott

            Scott E. Severs
            Longmont, CO
            (303)218-0830 mobile
            wildlife/bug images <https://picasaweb.google.com/scottesevers>


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