Assessing the diversity of Mompha associated with southwestern Oenothera was no small task. I traversed over 7000 miles! Thankfully I had the company and support of a fellow graduate student, Ben. He was collecting leaf tissue from Oenothera section Calylophus as I collected Mompha from them.
We divided the journey up into three loops: (1) Texas, (2) Arizona/Utah/New Mexico, and (3) New Mexico/Oklahoma/Kansas. The trip took a little over a month and along the way we experienced brake failure, powerful monsoons, attacks from wild animals, and the great beauty of the southwest. I was able to have over 70 collection events which will lead to a strong dataset!