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COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the mormon metalmark in Canada

Global range

The Mormon Metalmark sensu lato ranges from Sinola, Mexico to southern British Columbia and southwestern Saskatchewan (Fig. 4).  The species has its greatest number of subspecies in California and ranges eastward through Nevada, Utah and Colorado.  North of these states, the species occurs in a series of disjunct populations.  Opler (1999) and Pyle (2002) show a cluster of four disjuncts in the Pacific Northwest, which includes the British Columbia population, and a northeastern disjunct population in eastern Montana, North Dakota and southwestern Saskatchewan (Fig. 3).  Throughout much of its range in the northwestern United States and Canada, the species is found mainly in habitats along the valleys of the Columbia and Missouri rivers and their tributaries (Hooper, pers. comm.).

The southern distribution of the species depends upon whether one accepts the more inclusive concept favoured by most authors, or accepts splitting into four separate species as did Opler (1999). Using the inclusive taxonomic concept of Apodemia mormo, the species ranges as far south as the Mexican states of Sinola (A. m. mejicanus Behr) and Baja California (A. m. virguleti Behr) and, extends eastward into Texas (A. m. duryi W. H. Edwards).   Opler considers the subspecies extending into these areas to be separate species in the genus Apodemia (Fig.3).

Figure 3.  North American Distribution of Apodemia mormo.  Populations in regions shown in grey removed from Apodemia mormo by Opler 1999.  Map adapted from Opler 1999 and Pyle 2002.

Figure 3.  North American Distribution of Apodemia mormo.  Populations in regions shown in grey removed from Apodemia mormo by Opler 1999.  Map adapted from Opler 1999 and Pyle 2002.

Canadian range

The Canadian range is limited to two disjunct populations.  One population occurs in the Similkameen Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia.  A single record from the Similkameen Valley in Washington State is about a kilometre south of the international border and about twenty kilometers from the nearest known site in British Columbia (Pyle pers. comm.).  It is considered (Pyle 2002) to be part of the disjunct population located primarily in British Columbia.   The nearest known site further south is near Brewster, Washington, about 75 km further south, and is considered to be part of a disjunct population bordering the Columbia River (Pyle 2002).

The second Canadian population occurs in southwestern Saskatchewan in the east and west blocks of Grasslands National Park (Fig. 4).  This population is considered (Opler 1999) to be part of a disjunct population extending into eastern Montana and North Dakota (see Appendices for more detailed maps of both populations).  Badlands habitat that may be suitable for metalmarks continues across the Montana border.

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Figure 4.  Canadian Distribution of Apodemia mormo.