Santa Clarita and Northern Los Angeles County Area Butterfly and Moth Site
Jawbone, Rock Corral, Granite Mts., March 20 2005
First stop, Jawbone Canyon in Inyo County. Plenty of bloom but not much flying, probably due to the high winds. It's a very large canyon with loads of ATV paths (and ATVs!) everywhere.
Next stop, Rock Corral in San Bernardino Co. It's not *easy* to find but asking the locals sure helps :-) This is a very "boulder"-style rocky area with many secluded canyons and quite a few nearby peaks. Due to the high winds, we did not hike the tall mountains to look for indra.
Final stop, the Granite Mts. Conditions weren't the greatest, but still it was worth an exploratory visit to check the progress of the season, and perhaps look for larvae. After climbing 1000-2000 feet to a ridge on the south edge of the range, we discovered that the season is not very far along and there was no sign of indra. :-(
Luckily, we did find Hemileuca electra mojavensis in the granites, in reasonable numbers. Scattered about on Buckwheat, the larvae were 1st and 2nd instar in some places, and as late as 5th instar in others. Typically 1 in 20 bushes contained larvae, but rarely more than 1 to 5 per bush. In one case, 2 small clumps of 1st and 2nd instars were found with 2 very mature 5th instars on the same bush. Some pictures of the largest 5th instar larvae are shown. One individual was crawling on bare rock, apparently heading off to some dark crevice to pupate.
Once back in the lab, I took some more pictures of this very colorful mature 5th instar larvae. These photos and images from the rearing project are here: electra