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Posts tagged ‘revision’

ETC-Euler Taxonomic Concept Alignment Demonstration Video – Minyomerus 2015 versus Minyomerus 1982

This 8-minute screenshot video, produced in late April, 2015, demonstrates the interaction of the Exploring Taxonomic Concepts (ETC) and Euler/X software tools.

The ETC team has built a highly useful and effective front-end web service to the Euler/X reasoning services, allowing users to import two concept taxonomies through an on-line file management system, provide articulations, run input visualizations, obtain logically consistent alignments, and extract these products from the web interface to the desktop. The underlying ideas and methods are explained in Franz et al. (2015).

The capabilities of the user interface are illustrated with the Minyomerus use case, aligning two classifications authored in 2015 and 1982, respectively.

ETC Euler Taxonomic Concept Alignment Demonstration – Minyomerus 2015 versus 1982 from taxonbytes on Vimeo.

New postdoctoral position in revisionary insect systematics

We are excited to have the opportunity to recruit a new postdoc into our lab. This is ASU job # 10742; please contact me (details below) if you are interested in applying.

Postdoctoral Researcher – Revisionary Insect Systematics
School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

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Trucks and Trogloderus

Yesterday was a day of firsts.

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Dumont Sand Dunes, California.

It it was the first time I got a truck stuck in a sand drift. It was also the first time I dug a truck out of a sand drift.

But it was all worth it, yesterday yielded our first specimens of Trogloderus! We were camping behind the Dumont Dunes north of Baker, CA.  They appear to be a different morphotype than any of the four known from Mono Lake located a few car hours north.

The next stops are northern Nevada and southwestern Idaho.

Collecting from collections when the field doesn’t play nice

Trogloderus

Drawer of Trogloderus specimens in the Aalbu Collection.

Franz lab members Andrew Johnston and Andrew Jansen took off on the summer’s first collecting trip last Wednesday, May 7th. And the first two days were a bust!

The goal of this trip was to collect the somewhat rare and enigmatic genus Trogloderus LeConte. Trogloderus is a sand-dune-dwelling tenebrionid endemic to the Western United States. The plan was great – spend a night at each type locality and hit dune systems in between; collect specimens from as many places as possible for sequencing in hopes that a molecular phylogeny would help to sort out the complicated morphology of the group.

So far we are 0/3 at type localities. Not only are Trogloderus elusive, it seems there is no insect activity at all right now, our Mercury Vapor light traps have only netted a single insect specimen (Hyles lineata) each night. There seems to be a low pressure system we are following North through California, suppressing insect activity. The good news is that there is high pressure system pushing its way North now, so we are calling an audible and straying from our scheduled road map and getting in place to follow the high pressure system to the rest of the type localities. Hopefully things will turn around!

While the field has been entirely disappointing, we just borrowed what is almost surely the world’s largest representation of Trogloderus from the collection of Dr. Rolf Aalbu (partially pictured above). Fresh specimens are incredibly important and worth the effort, but the amount of specimens and data contained in Natural History collections cannot be overvalued.

When collecting in the field doesn’t work out, collecting from other collections might save the day!

Andrew Jansen defended Master’s thesis

Today graduate student Andrew Jansen defended his Master’s thesis entitled “A Phylogenetic Revision of Minyomerus Horn, 1876 and Piscatopus Sleeper, 1960 (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Tanymecini: Tanymecina)”.

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