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 2011-2015, 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: taxonomy
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
Two wolf spiders, whose names are Pardosa lapponica and Pardosa concinna, run across open ground all over northern Canada. Here’s the problem: these two species of spiders live in a lot of the same places, and they look very similar. Katie … Continue reading
Loss comes in many forms. Sometimes loss is a sharp, sudden thing; sometimes it’s a slow, fading twilight, creeping in so slowly you don’t even notice when it gets there. This is a story about both those kinds of loss. … Continue reading
As taxonomists, we give names to new species that we describe. The name is entirely up to us (within a few limits imposed by rules of grammar, and a recommendation that they not be offensive). Sometimes it’s easy to figure … Continue reading
There’s been a lot of discussion in the past day about a new paper published in Science. The paper is an opinion piece about an argument that’s played out many times in the past, namely: should scientists kill specimens to … Continue reading