Happy New Year and thanks (Tiger Beetles 3)

Happy New Year everyone, and thanks (yet again) for the rapid turnaround on Tiger Beetles 3!

I hadn’t been paying close attention to the progress of the expedition over the holidays, but was expecting there to be a few more days left before its completion upon my return to work today. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to see that on January 1st, you “Beat the ETC” by 6 days. Way to go! Much thanks to Rob G. for providing the impetus to see this happen.

This now completes the E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum’s Tiger Beetle holdings (for real this time), so we’ll be moving on to other ground beetle groups from here on. First, we’ll finish off the remainder of the Trechine ground beetles with our next expedition “Trechine Ground Beetles 2”, of which there are 972 specimens left to be transcribed, and then we’ll move on to the Bombardier Beetles (Brachininae).

In the meantime, I hope to start reconciling completed transcriptions and loading the data into our collections’ database soon. At the end of November we received results from the 1st Tiger Beetle expedition which I now need to comb through for data issues that I hope to discuss in future posts.

In other news, last month our Tiger Beetles 3 expedition was the focus of a teaching session on digitizing collections for 10-11 year olds put on by folks at the Natural history Museum in London. Much thanks goes to Margaret G. for coordinating this and providing valuable feedback on how it went. Here is some helpful information that might help others working on this project:

  • I’ve prepared a list of URLs where you can find common abbreviations that are in use for Canadian provinces/territories1 and US states2. In addition, the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names3 and Canadian Geonames Database4 are useful for interpreting place names of both historical and contemporary use around the world and in Canada, respectively. These links have also been integrated into the help boxes.

1 https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/ref/dict/table-tableau/table-tableau-8-eng.cfm

2 https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/ansi_statetables.html

3 https://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/tgn/

4 http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography/place-names/10786

  • I’ve attached our our current list of ground beetle collecting parties (collector list), along with the earliest and latest dates of their collections. A quick perusal of the list should help determine who the collector of a specimen was if there are any label interpretation issues.
  • Collectors of entomological specimens often report the month of collection in Roman numerals, and the year may appear in 2-digit or 4-digit formats. For the former, take note that our collection was founded in the early 1920s and so much of the material will be collected from the 20th-21st
  • Finally, you can visit any of the following websites for more information on our collection, and the specimens and/or species it contains:

http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/

http://www.gbif.org/dataset/8971dfba-f762-11e1-a439-00145eb45e9a

https://www.idigbio.org/portal/recordsets/1f9209f0-ecf2-4c3e-8ec5-bfacec1e5b9c

http://symbiota4.acis.ufl.edu/scan/portal/collections/misc/collprofiles.php?collid=84

 

Cheers,

–Bryan Brunet, PhD
Collections Management Advisor (Natural Sciences), University of Alberta Museums, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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