bugs & plants

Doug Yanega dyanega at DENR1.IGIS.UIUC.EDU
Mon Apr 1 15:17:37 CST 1996

Bill Hayes wrote:

>This sounds like an excellent idea in a limited way. Somehow, I thought
>this might be one of the greatest benefits of a list such as Taxacom. If
>we had a list of who was interested in what...and could keep our eyes
>open for things others are looking for while we collect the really
>important stuff (the species we as individuals are interested in), we
>could advance the knowledge base generally and share the expanded
>knowledge base around and about.
>To get things started, I collect crayfish (crawfish, ecrevisse,
>yabbies...)...anyone seen these pollinating lately? ;)

Maybe not, but perhaps the gentlemen who found a new pseudocoelomate phylum
on lobster mouthparts haven't yet looked at enough crayfish. There is
*always* the potential for cross-taxonomic work. Myself, I'm always more
than happy to identify native bees for botanists, but rarely am I called
upon to do so - I rely much more on botanical help to ID plants my bees are
visiting than virtually any botanist I'm aware of does the converse (which
I find mystifying, given how many people study rare and endangered plants -
one would think there would be some genuine demand to identify pollinators
of such plants, but apparently not - either that or all the bees from such
studies are going to folks at the USDA instead of museum-based folks, *and*
none of it is getting published). And when one studies bees, for instance,
one finds mites quite commonly (hi, Barry), or fungi in the nests, and
various other parasites and associates. I can't imagine one can fully
describe the biology of *any* taxon without cross-referencing to several
others from entirely outside one's discipline.

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