Category Archives: Taxonomic Process

The legacy of a taxonomist

I have recently been looking through the notes of Kenneth W. Cooper, a renaissance entomologist who wore many hats, one of which was as someone passionate about the same beetles I love, the genus Bembidion.  Kenneth and I began corresponding … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Examining name-bearers at the USNM

I’m at the Smithsonian Institution for the next three days, working in the United States Museum of Natural History (the “USNM”).  My main goal is to look at type specimens, especially Casey types, so that I can figure out what … Continue reading

Posted in Revising Bembidiina, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lindrochthus at Mount Tamalpais

In an earlier post, I wrote about how the distinctive subgenus Lindrochthus, viewed in the literature as consisting of the single species Bembidion wickhami, was actually at least two species.  And those two species live together at Mount Tamalpais, just … Continue reading

Posted in Fieldwork, Revising Bembidiina, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

It was fifty years ago today…

Fifty years ago today, Carl Hildebrand Lindroth’s revision of the Bembidion of Canada and Alaska was published; this was part 3 of his opus on the ground beetles of Canada and Alaska. This work is the basis of all that … Continue reading

Posted in Revising Bembidiina, Scientific Illustrations, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Who should be listed on collecting labels?

One of the questions that all collectors face is “what should I put on the label?”  From a time in which the only label on a specimen might be a gold dot, or simply “Canada”, we are now at a … Continue reading

Posted in Fieldwork, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Another surprise in Lionepha

Two days ago I had a post about an unexpected species of Lionepha in the Sierras, of which I became aware when I looked at a specimen that my graduate student John Sproul caught on the South Fork of Bishop … Continue reading

Posted in Revising Bembidiina, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A surprise in Lionepha

In the late spring I was in the final stages of a manuscript about the genus Lionepha.  This paper will describe the new species I have mentioned earlier, describe the male of Lionepha chintimini for the first time, document DNA … Continue reading

Posted in Fieldwork, Revising Bembidiina, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

And then there were five…

Earlier this week I spent three lovely days in the Bay Area with Dave Kavanaugh, and on Monday we went to collecting on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais.  There, along Cataract Creek, we found a series of small “Bembidion curtulatum” … Continue reading

Posted in Revising Bembidiina, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Hiding in Plain Sight

In most groups of organisms there are taxa that are very isolated phylogenetically, and are structurally so distinctive that they are easy to recognize (the Australian platypus and Welwitschia mirabilis come to mind).  Some of these isolated taxa are considered to … Continue reading

Posted in Revising Bembidiina, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The excitement of discovering patterns in nature

When a pattern in nature emerges, suddenly revealed through new data, I get a high unlike any other.  It is this aspect of systematic and taxonomic work that I like the best, which keeps me enthralled, and which I crave … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Musings, Revising Bembidiina, Taxonomic Process | Tagged , | 1 Comment