Protodejeania echinata (Nearctic) 1

This one keys rather awkwardly to Protodejeania echinata … the problems center around the first couplet in Curren’s 1947 key where the reader has to decide whether the upper calyptrae are “brownish” or “reddish or brownish yellow”. I hate couplets like this because all of those colours are gradients of the other and no clear way has been provided to make out where one finishes and the other starts.

One comment on “Protodejeania echinata (Nearctic)

  1. Reply Aaron Schusteff Mar 27,2012 3:22 am

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for posting this, and the comment on Curran’s key. I recently posted two images of Protodejeania from California (here on BugGuide). And, afterwards, I noticed on the NADS Protodejeania webpage that there appears to be only two currently recognized nearctic species: P. echinata, which ranges from British Columbia to California; and
    P. hystricosa, which is recorded from Arizona, New Mexico, and elsewhere…but apparently not from California. So I was looking for further info on how to separate those two species (and in particular for Curran’s treatment) when I ran into your post. (I wasn’t successful in finding any other resources to ID Protodejeania to species.)

    I can empathize with your frustration over the imprecision and overlap of the “brownish” vs. “reddish or brownish yellow” character for the upper calypters couplet in Curran’s key. The calypters in my images look much the same color as those in yours (I’d call it an “off-white/dull ivory”). After comparing the two BugGuide Protodejeania posts from Arizona with ours, I thought their calypters were noticeably darker. But then I looked at a post from Marin Co., CA and it looked just as dark as the AZ images! (Do you know where exactly was your specimen was from?)

    Currently, the Protodejeania page on BugGuide has no ID’s to species.

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