5 Responses to Discovering Insect Species: DNA magic in Arizona

  1. James C. Bergdahl says:

    I am whittling away at finalizing a very short paper for the Bulletin of the Oregon Entomological Society on the carabid beetle species of Tatoosh Island, northwest Olympic Peninsula, Washington, which is little outpost of a barren island, that also just happens to be the western most reach of the lower 48 US states (and a very important US Coast Guard facility). This survey would not have been possible without the help of one on my mentors, Robert T. Paine. As all good ecologists know, R.T. Paine’s “keystone species concept” was first defined in the intertidal zone of Tatoosh Island.

    I have never been to Tatoosh, but when I was surveying small islands for carabids in the nearby San Juan & Gulf Archipelago I was able to get Pat Doak (now at University of Alaska Fairbanks) to set a bunch of pitfall traps on Tatoosh in 1988. Nine carabid species showed up in the pitfall and hand-collected samples, including Bembidion versicolor (18 specimens), and a very long series of B. (Trepanedoris) “connivens” (99 specimens). The identity of these Bembidion species was verified by Dave Kavanaugh in 1994. According to David Maddison these B. connivens may actually be B. (T.) elizabethae. Obviously there is a permanent wetland on Tatoosh, despite its small size; there are a number of other wetland indicator carabid species on this tiny island, including Pterostichus crenicollis.

    I am awaiting some digital terrestrial habitat photos from Tatoosh from Bob Paine before I submit the paper to BOES. Good aerial photos of Tatoosh are available at Google Earth.

    James Bergdahl
    Spokane, WA, USA

  2. James C. Bergdahl says:

    I have confirmed that all of the many Bembidion (Trepanedoris) “connivens” (=B. elizabethae?) I have in my collection from Tatoosh Island (Olympic Peninsula, WA) were pitfall trapped without any trap solution and then pickled in ethanol, so they may be suitable for DNA analysis. They were pointed probably at least 20 years ago, and are still in excellent condition in my office in Spokane.

    James Bergdahl
    Spokane, WA, USA

  3. James C. Bergdahl says:

    Hi David,
    I assume your course “Discovering Insect Species” is over by now. I suppose I am not the only one who follows your blogs that is wondering what the results of this project are ….. we have not heard from you for almost six weeks now!
    James Bergdahl
    Spokane, WA

  4. Pingback: Discovering Insect Species: Overview in Rearview | The Subulate Palpomere

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