Update June 02, 2015: CLICK HERE to visit Troy Hibbitts' extensive page of mendax photos. I expect Troy will add to this collection, but as of this date there are 40+ individuals (from a variety of locations) where the pattern of the S7 white marks is assessible - and only two show even a hint of distal divergence from the central carina. Fewer of these photos show enough of the face to assess the color/pattern , but of those that do, only a couple show some black on the frons. Compare these statistics to the small sample set below.
This taxon is variously described in many reference books as having - and I am paraphrasing here - :
- a pale "face" (= frons, eclyptus and labrum; sometimes with a fuzzy darker wash on the frons).
- pale spots on segment 7 that are large, broad, and ovoid but with straight dorsal edge along the carina that does not diverge away from the carina distally.
- a hamule shaped like a sickle or question mark.
- extensive pale areas on segments 2 and 3.
- the two lateral thoracic pale stripes broad, with
a narrower partial intervening stripe that is still fairly conspicuous.
This holds true for many individuals, but recent examination of examples of this taxon from southern and western Texas
has shown that some vary from this morphology in one or more ways. There seems to be a geographic component to some of this variation, but the precise location of potential boundaries is yet to be worked out.
Below are links to photos of this species, grouped by general location - I hope to add more as I get them.
It is possible that some of the physical variation has a temporal component, thus dates are provide for each individual.
Most of the examples are males, and the variation in females seems much less pronounced.
Group A: Laredo area (mostly Webb county on the Rio Grande, but also south as far as Salineno in western Starr county)
Group B: Del Rio - Uvalde area (Val Verde county on the Rio Grande and proximal stretches of its tributaries, and east to the Nueces River west of Uvalde).
Group C: Trans-Pecos (mostly Brewster and Presidio counties on the Rio Grande and proximal stretches of its tributaries).