museums and biodiversity

Doug Yanega dyanega at MONO.ICB.UFMG.BR
Sat Nov 15 12:42:33 CST 1997

Thomas Lammers wrote:

>5. Specimens provide raw data not even dreamed of when the specimen was
>stashed away, e.g., extraction of chloroplast DNA from 50+ yr old herbarium
>specimens; this very day, there is a plant anatomist culling leaves in our
>herbarium for anatomical study;  I once examined skins of birds via SEM for
>adhering pollen grains; etc.

6. Along these lines, much data on ecological associations and natural
history is gleaned from museum material; with bees, for example, host plant
associations (or pollen grains themselves, as above), commensal or
parasitic mites, triungulin beetle larvae, etc. It's also common to
preserve bee/wasp nests or portions thereof. You also commonly find
predatory insects pinned together with their prey, or male-female in copula
pairs pinned together, or insects with their pupal exuviae and/or cocoon.

Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 031-449-2579, fax: 031-441-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

More information about the Taxacom mailing list