Category Archives: Taxonomic Process

A new lineage of Bembidion?

On my recent field trip around the west, something occurred that has never happened to me before in North America:  I knew, in the field, that I had found a previously undiscovered species.  This has happened to me in South … Continue reading

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BLT

Our recent field work around the western USA, dubbed “The Big Loop Trip”, covered about 6165 miles (9922 kilometers) and almost one month.  My graduate student John Sproul was with me for the entire trip; my former postdoc (now UC … Continue reading

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Follow-up to “What should I name this beetle?”

In my post “What should I name this beetle?”, I discussed a pretty, spotted beetle species that lives in the Sierra Nevadas of California and which lacks a name. I’ve recently been in discussion with Don Cameron,  an arachnologist and … Continue reading

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The Bembidion ulkei mystery: solved

In an earlier post, I discussed the mystery of Bembidion ulkei.  Here’s a quick summary:  according to Lindroth’s (1963) study, Bembidion obscuripenne is a widespread species in the west,  from California north to Washington. In contrast, Lindroth knew B. ulkei only … Continue reading

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What should I name this beetle?

Along some creek and pond shores in the Sierra Nevada of California there lives a pretty, spotted Bembidion, and this Bembidion has no name.  It belongs to the subgenus Liocosmius, a group of Bembidion that range from BC to Baja … Continue reading

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Names approved!

In two earlier posts, I wrote about the dangers of naming species after the name of the first peoples of an area, as well as the concerns about using a word from a native language. In the first of those … Continue reading

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How to collect beetles for DNA studies

Preserving beetles for DNA studies is easy, but a few rules need to be followed. You will first need to decide which specimens to preserve. It is ideal to have two or more specimens of a species preserved, so that … Continue reading

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More hidden species in Bembidion: a multiplicity of “Bembidion kuprianovi”

In Lindroth’s magnificent 1963 treatment of Bembidion of Canada and Alaska (and the northern contiguous States), he notes the extent of structural variation within species. Some species he notes to be relatively uniform, others more variable. As I delve into … Continue reading

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Four?

In western North America small, dark Bembidion (Plataphus) are common on gravel river shores.  Most of these are called Bembidion curtulatum.   They are the smallest members of subgenus Plataphus (sensu Lindroth) in North America, at about 3.5 mm long. As … Continue reading

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Photography of beetle microsculpture

Here’s the setup I use to photograph microsculpture of beetles.  I also use the same setup to photograph whole beetles, or other parts, including genitalia, although there is some variation in lighting, position, etc., depending upon the part.  In some … Continue reading

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