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Entomology 2014: 3rd collecting trip to Coon Bluff, Salt River

During the early night hours of Friday, September 19, we had our third collecting trip for this Fall period to the always interesting and productive Coon Bluff Campground, located along the Salt River of the Tonto National Forest. In addition to abundant and diverse moths, we collected a number of antlion species (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) and large to minute beetles flying to the mercury and ultraviolet lights. Recent rains (10 days prior) must have flooded the usually loose and powdery soil which this year appeared solid and compacted. Not many darkling beetles were present, and scarabs were also less frequent than in previous years.

The proper way to record the locality information is “USA: AZ: Maricopa Co.; Tonto NF, Coon Bluff; 33.547349, -111.644989; general coll. & at Hg/UV lights; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], IX-19-2014″. Photos of the trip are posted here.

Coon Bluff Collecting Trip, Round 2

On November 9, several students from our group came out for their 5th collecting trip of the semester. After some confusion, especially with the north-bound 202 being shut down, we all eventually managed to find each other on the banks of the Salt River, Tonto National Forest. We decided to collect further upstream of the previous collecting site. There was water present, but it was not flowing at the time. The area was rich with insects, including multiple odonates. Long-horned beetles (Cerambycidae) could also be found in abundance. It was a successful collecting trip, both in terms of group turnout (keep up the good work!!) and insect activity.

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2013 BIO 386 course has first field trip to Coon Bluff

On Thursday, August 29, students of the ASU-SoLS General Entomology course BIO 386 had their first night collecting trip to Coon Bluff Campground, an iconic local collecting site along the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest. The proper way to record the locality information is “U.S.: AZ: Maricopa Co.; Tonto NF, Coon Bluff;  33.547349, -111.644989; general coll. & at Hg/UV lights; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], VIII-29-2013”. See more photos here.

Information for Prospective Students


Collecting at Coon Bluff

Our lab is continuously looking to recruit graduate students into our School’s M.Sc. or Ph.D. program who are interested in invertebrate systematics and evolution, and/or in fundamental topics in biodiversity informatics such as logic-compatible representations of taxonomic practice. A desire to work with weevils is viewed favorably, however other taxonomic interests in insects or other invertebrate lineages will receive full consideration. The School of Life Sciences offers a wide range of learning and research opportunities and is close to fascinating insect habitats.

Interested students should contact Dr. Nico Franz with a Statement of Interest and Curriculum Vitae. Additional information about the graduate student application process may be found here.