Don Robinson State Park contains and protects a lot of the higher watershed of LaBarque Creek in northwestern Jefferson Co.—one among east-central Missouri’s most pristine and ecologically important watersheds. The St. Peter’s sandstone bedrock underlying the realm options field canyons, shelter caves, cliffs, and glades amidst high-quality upland and lowland deciduous forests. The property was initially bought within the Sixties by businessman Don Robinson, who’s dream was to have a private sanctuary as massive as New York’s Central Park. By means of his generosity, the property was bequeathed to the state to turn into a part of Missouri’s state park system following his loss of life a half-century later. The park opened to the general public in 2017 and presents among the highest-quality mountaineering trails inside an hour’s drive from St. Louis. For these keen on extra element relating to the watershed’s geology, ecology, and conservation, a superb abstract will be discovered within the not too long ago issued LaBarque Creek Watershed Conservation Plan by Associates of LaBarque Creek Watershed.
Listed below are a couple of photographs from alongside the Sandstone Canyon Path.
The flora alongside the riparian hall contained in the field canyons was of explicit curiosity to me, because it contained good stands of three tree species of word: Betula nigra (river birch), Ostrya virginiana (jap hop hornbeam), and Carpinus caroliniana (blue beech, musclewood, American hornbeam). All three species belong to the household Betulaceae and have been related to some fascinating woodboring beetle species in Missouri. I’ve reared massive collection of Anthaxia (Haplanthaxia) cyanella from fallen branches of B. nigra (each blue and bronze coloration kinds—see MacRae 2006), and in the midst of doing so I additionally reared a collection of an Agrilus species that turned out to be undescribed (to which I later gave the title Agrilus betulanigrae—see MacRae 2003). From O. virginiana, I’ve reared two specimens of Agrilus champlaini from galls on dwelling timber (nonetheless the one recognized Missouri specimens of this species—see MacRae 1991). Lastly, from useless branches of C. caroliniana, I’ve reared Agrilus ohioensis (see Nelson & MacRae 1990), and from a bigger, punkier useless department I reared a single Trachysida mutabilis—this additionally nonetheless the one recognized specimen from Missouri (see MacRae & Rice 2007). I feel I’ll return in late winter to early spring and see if I can discover useless branches of every to put in rearing containers or maybe girdle some branches to depart in situ for a season earlier than retrieving and putting in rearing containers. Who is aware of, possibly I’ll get fortunate with further new finds.
MacRae, T. C. 1991. The Buprestidae (Coleoptera) of Missouri. Insecta Mundi 5(2):101–126.
MacRae, T. C. 2003. Agrilus (s. str.) betulanigrae MacRae (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), a brand new species from North America, with feedback on subgeneric placement and a key to the otiosus species-group in North America. Zootaxa 380:1–9.
MacRae, T. C. 2006. Distributional and organic notes on North American Buprestidae (Coleoptera), with feedback on variation in Anthaxia (Haplanthaxia) cyanella Gory and A. (H.) viridifrons Gory. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 82(2):166–199.
MacRae, T. C. & M. E. Rice. 2007. Organic and distributional observations on North American Cerambycidae (Coleoptera). The Coleopterists Bulletin 61(2):227–263.
Nelson, G. H. & T. C. MacRae. 1990. Extra notes on the biology and distribution of Buprestidae (Coleoptera) in North America, Half III. The Coleopterists Bulletin 44:349–354.
©️ Ted C. MacRae 2021