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  1. Agapema

    Hello from Arizona

    Hello Forum Members, I have been approved as a member of beetleforum.net. It's been long enough since I applied that I despaired of ever making it in this grouBut I have to say that I actually like the fact that membership is not instant and automatic like some other online groups. In 1987, right out of college at UCSC in coastal California, I packed up my VW squareback with a few possessions and moved to Arizona. I had no job here, I had no place to stay, I had no friend's couch to crash on. One of my first destinations in Arizona was Carr Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains of Cochise County. Unbelievably, there was a sign on the outside of one of the last homes before entering the national forest, "ROOM FOR RENT." I stopped in and talked with the young couple who were renting the home. Before I left that day, the couple told me to bring my car around and move my stuff inside. I was able to run my lights every night during that summer and into the fall that year. I have lived and worked in Arizona since that time. Though I started out collecting beetles and butterflies as a boy, in my teenage years I moved to large moths and that has occupied my time for a few decades. Professionally, I worked for nearly 20 years as a botanist and most of my science publications regard plants. I have been deeply involved in working on the floristics and faunistics of the state of Sonora, Mexico. I continue to be fascinated by the region-- from the tropical deciduous forests in the extreme south where Morpho butterflies and Golofa (only a 9 hour drive from Tucson) occur, to the dry and hot deserts of the western coastal plain. I have reared Megasoma and Dynastes successfully and would like to continue rearing these and other groups. I am rearing Phanaeus now, too. There is an undescribed species of Dinapate south of here that I might attempt at some point. For now, with my interest in biogeography and ecology, I am preoccupied with local beetles (southwestern North America including Northwest Mexico), especially Megasoma. I am very interested in doing field prospecting for undiscovered populations and observing behavior in the field with a special emphasis on hostplants of adults. I am excited to be able to establish contact with other hobbyists who collect and rear. And I will end by saying I have no issue with collectors and those who sell insects, alive or dead. I do it myself. And, it is true now as it has been as long as collecting has been a hobby, that most of the information we have about nature has been collected by so-called "amateurs" and not professional scientists. The greatest disservice a country can do for the state of knowledge of it's natural resources is to forbid its citizens the ability to engage in hobbies in the natural sciences. Best regards, Mike in Tucson