Zoological Studies

Vol. 51 No. 6, 2012

Life on a High Isolated Mountain: the Arthropod Fauna of Mt. Taylor, Cibola County, New Mexico

David B. Richman1,* and William O’Keefe2

1Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003, USA
2PO Box 3758, Milan, NM 87021, USA

David B. Richman and William O’Keefe (2012) The arthropod fauna of Mt. Taylor, New Mexico at 2874-3445 m (9424-11,300 ft) was examined by pitfall trapping, and to a lesser extent by pan trapping and hand collection between 1997 and 2008, with continuous pitfall trapping in 1997-2000.  This fauna was characteristically Canadian in nature (as might be expected as the area covers Canadian and Hudsonian life zones with a tiny area of Arctic-Alpine at the top of the peak’s north face; see Price 1997), but also contained unique elements such as a then-undescribed species of trapdoor spider (Araneae: Cyrtaucheniidae) from the pitfall traps (described as Neoapachella rothi Bond and Opell in 2002) and a still-undescribed jumping spider of the genus Habronattus (Araneae: Salticidae).  At least 237 species in a minimum of 75 families were collected over the course of the study.  As our methods were somewhat limited, we expect many more species to be found in the area covered.  Pitfall traps were maintained near the summit until 2000.  Dominant arthropods included Carabus (Oreocarabus) taedatus agassii LeConte (Coleoptera: Carabidae), Anystis sp. (Acari: Anystidae), and Pardosa concinna (Thorell) (Araneae: Lycosidae), among others.  The Canadian and Rocky Mountain tiger beetle Cicindela longilabris Say (Coleoptera: Carabidae), the alpine dragonfly Oplonaeschna armata (Hagen) (Odonata: Aeshnidae), and the short-winged grasshoppers Chorthippus curtipennis (Harris) and Melanoplus magdalenae Hebard were examples of less-common hand-collected or pan-trapped high-elevation species.

Key words: Larval fish, Alpine fauna, Faunal survey.

*Correspondence: E-mail:rdavid@nmsu.edu