Monthly Archives: February 2013

BotW: Chlaenius pimalicus

Chlaenius pimalicus (Carabidae: Harpalinae: Chlaeniini) is one of my favorite ground beetles from North America.  During my 17 years in Tucson, Arizona, I had very much wanted to find one in the field.  I didn’t manage until 2 months before … Continue reading

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Pretty heads and furrowed brows

What is it about Bembidion heads?  And, in particular, what is it with the heads of one subgroup of Bembidion, the Bembidion Series?  The Bembidion Series is a large clade of few hundred species, and represents perhaps a quarter of … Continue reading

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Academic Beans: Citing Software

Scientific software is worthy of being cited on its own, without reference to a paper in which the software is described, and citations of the software should be tracked in the same way one would for a standard journal article. … Continue reading

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BotW: Asaphidion yukonense

This lovely species occurs on damp soil in open areas around forests in northwestern North America, from Alberta to Alaska. Here’s what a typical habitat looks like:

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Morphological subtleties and the value of n > 1

Authors should consider illustrating two or more specimens of a species when trying to communicate the nature of some morphological trait in that species. Here’s why. In illustrating morphological features in a publication, authors typically choose one specimen to image … Continue reading

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The mysterious Bembidion ulkei

In Carl Lindroth’s (1963) classic work on the Bembidiina of Canada and Alaska, he describes some species that do not occur in Canada or Alaska.  These species were always a source of some mystery to me when I was a … Continue reading

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Academic Beans: the strange world where 1 can equal 5

One of the interesting aspects of scientists in academia is that they love to quantify things wherever possible.  In some circumstances, this is a very good idea, as it can lead to greater precision and rigor.   But the increased rigor … Continue reading

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Names in native languages

In an early post, I talked about how naming a species after the native people of an area should be done with caution, and ideally with permission.  While a name of a tribe is potentially offensive, I had thought that … Continue reading

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BotW: Elaphrus

This beautiful ground beetle is from Hyco Creek in North Carolina.  It is not a Bembidion, but it is a carabid beetle, as are Bembidion. The genus Elaphrus has many spectacular species.  Here’s another species from the same habitat:

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Ghost of a Massless Scalar Boson

This is part of an illustration from “Gauge Theories of the Forces between Elementary Particles”, by Gerard ‘t Hooft, from Scientific American, published in 1980.  I think it quite astounding that one can convey the concept of the “ghost of … Continue reading

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