Mexico (Coahuila) 2006
17–28 July, 2006: Partially funded by the NSF REVSYS grant. This trip was conducted by two teams. W. David Sissom traveled south from Texas with Brent Hendrixson, Kari McWest and Steven Grant, while Oscar Francke traveled north from Mexico City with Milagros Cordova, Abigail Jaimes, Jesus Ballesteros and Edmundo Gonzalez (visiting Mexico from New York). The first week, spent in Coahuila, was hot and dry, and yielded several new and interesting scorpion species. The two teams met in Cuatro Cienegas de Carranza, a desert oasis famous for its desert pupfish populations as well as other endemics (including scorpions). Each night, the groups would split into two or three teams, covering more habitats and localities, and increasing the diversity of the catch. In Cuatro Cienegas, they failed to collect two of the target species (Vaejovis minckleyi and Paruroctonus coahuilanus), although a large quantity of other interesting material was collected. Vaejovis minckleyi, or a very close relative, was collected a few nights later at a different location in western Coahuila. The groups then moved south to Parras, where one team collected in the flats and found little besides a good series of Paruroctonus gracilior, while the other traveled into the mountains and collected several interesting species, including a possible new Vaejovis related to V. rubrimanus and a new Diplocentrus. The teams then traveled into the mountains in southeastern Coahuila and camped at 2,700 m, where the collecting was unproductive, before moving into Nuevo Leon, near Monterrey, where Vaejovis rubrimanus and Diplocentrus colwelli were collected at their type localities. Moving south in Nuevo Leon, the teams ran into a tropical depression and attempted to fight-off and out-run the rain for three days and nights unsuccessfully. The rain was intermittent during the first two nights, enabling them to collect with limited success. A vaejovid that appears to be Vaejovis tesselatus was collected at several localities. On the third night, the rain was so persistent and heavy, that no collecting was possible. The two team leaders agreed to terminate the trip a few days early due to the unfavorable weather conditions. On the way home, Francke’s team collected additional samples of interesting scorpions that will help to fill gaps in their known distributions.