Insect diversity @ McGill
The blog and website of the Wheeler lab and the Lyman Museum at McGill University. Posts about arthropods, natural history, taxonomy, ecology, science culture, and life (or something like it) in academia.
All content copyright Terry A. Wheeler 2011-2016, unless otherwise noted.
TagsAgromyzidae alpine arctic biodiversity Chloropidae collecting collection communication conferences curation Diptera DNA barcode ecology Ephydridae fieldwork flies history Ichneumonidae ideas natural history new species Northern Biodiversity Program Phoridae publications science culture students Syrphidae taxonomy teaching thinking
Tag Archives: Diptera
There’s a little genus of small, rare flies that live in bird nests. They’re called Neossos, and a few years ago one of my former undergraduate students, Gregor Gilbert, pulled together what was known about the taxonomy and ecology of … Continue reading
Christine Barrie, a grad student in the lab, found a fly she couldn’t put a name on. Other students in the lab had trouble too. So did I. It looked familiar, but it didn’t key out in the standard North … Continue reading
The Myth of the Solitary Taxonomist goes a bit like this: Solitary Taxonomist goes away to an exotic place, usually with at least one hazard to life and limb, usually land leeches. Collects a specimen. Recognizes it immediately as a … Continue reading
Many people see the arctic as a pretty barren place, with not much biological diversity. In fact, one of the most well-known patterns in ecology — the latitudinal diversity gradient — incorporates that idea. As you leave the tropics and … Continue reading
One of the most widely used products of taxonomy is the identification key. A key allows somebody who isn’t a specialist on a particular group to put a name on an unknown species. At least, that’s how it all works … Continue reading
Taxonomy is a dynamic science. It evolves over time. We collect new specimens, we develop new tools for studying biodiversity, and our theoretical approaches to describing the diversity of life change. All of these developments mean that the names of … Continue reading
Most insect collectors and other insect fans tend to walk through a forest with their eyes focused on the ground at their feet, or low undergrowth, or sunny spots above the path ahead. That’s where a lot of the insects … Continue reading