Apodemia virgulti mojavelimbus

Desert Edge Metalmark

This metalmark is one of the single-brooded, spring flying members of the mormo complex. It flies early April to mid-May on the desert side of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains and - possibly - into Joshua Tree National Park (the entity at JOTR may be different according to DNA testing). The type locality is the Ord Mountains near Hesperia, where they can be easily found along Bowen Ranch Road and up to Coxey Meadow. The larval food plants are the common buckwheats Eriogonum fasciculatum and E. wrightii. In the Ords, mojavelimbus is sympatric with Apodemia mejicanus deserti, which is on E. inflatum and can have several broods a year under the right conditions. And if you continue up from Coxey Meadow to Holcolm Valley in early May to mid-June, you may find Apodemia virgulti pratti flying around its host, E. kennedyi. That is the only known pratti population. These two spring-flyers are closely related.

Apodemia virgulti mojavelimbus - Ord Mountains Metalmark
A female mojavelimbus that is very similar to the allotype at the Natural History Museum of L.A. County. All of these photos were taken April 27, 2020, on Bowen Ranch Road in the Ord Mountains.
Apodemia virgulti mojavelimbus - Ord Mountains Metalmark
Another female.
Apodemia virgulti mojavelimbus - Ord Mountains Metalmark
Showing the ventral side.
Apodemia virgulti mojavelimbus - Ord Mountains Metalmark
This one matches the male holotype very well.

©Dennis Walker