For those of you that visit the web site and blog on a regular basis may have noticed over the past several months not a lot of activity. At last I am getting control of editing the content of the web site and plan on updating many of the pages. So be looking for changes over the next days, weeks and months.
The first changes have already taken place. The Haiku button has been deleted and replaced with a Search button for the museum specimen database. What this means is that there is not going to be a Haiku contest this year. Sorry to all the poetry lovers out there but I am a music lover not a poetry lover and with the loss of personal at the museum here there is no way I feel like I can take on the job of judging the entries.
The database continues to grow in record numbers. Currently there are over 60,650 records and growing. While just a drop in the bucket of all the specimens in the collection it is a start and a number that is added to usually daily. I am also taking images of the holotype labels and hope to begin uploading them soon.
The collection has received the first specimen of the mayfly species Dolania americana Edmunds & Traver (Behningiidae). It was collected in North Carolina from the Little River in Cumberland Co. on the Fort Bragg property. Dolania americana is a rare species found in the southeastern states. The nymphs burrow in the sand at the bottom of large rivers. I want to thank Clyde Sorenson for collecting the specimen and Matt Green for determining the specimen.
The collections holding of determined Myrmecophilidae have been digitized and are available by searching our Specimen Database Portal. A link to the database is located on the Museum’s homepage. Enter the taxon name in the search engine to view a distribution map and label information for the various specimens of each species.
I just finished capturing the label data for the specimens of the Scaly Crickets, Mogoplistidae. Members of this family are small, wingless or very short-winged crickets. They occur on bushes or beneath debris in sandy localities near water. Many of our specimens were collected at or near the coast and by the noted Orthopterist, B.B. Fulton.
While putting away the Praying mantids pulled from the student collections of the systematics class taught this fall I also decided to sort and determine any North Carolina mantids in the Museum. While looking in the undetermined material I ran across our first North Carolina specimen of the Grass-like mantid, Thesprotia graminis (Scudder). This specimen was collected in Raleigh, May 17th 1972. All of the other specimens of this species in the Museum were collected from Florida and Georgia. You never know what treasures can be found in the undetermined material in collections.
After a longer than expected hiatus, the Insect Minute will be returning after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. There will be a new addition to the posts as well, podcasts of the actual Insect Minute, as heard on NCSU’s radio station WKNC 88.1!