ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

0001 A citizen scientist's contributions to tree cricket taxonomy

Sunday, November 13, 2011: 7:50 AM
Room A2, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Nancy Collins , Racine, WI
There are many benefits amateur naturalists / citizen scientists can provide to professional entomologists. Imagine having ‘informants’ around the world – who can gather information on genera not found in your location. Informants who work for free! A successful collaboration has a much better chance of occurring if you manage to find the right personality to mesh with your own. Today’s social networking and amateur naturalist internet websites allows one to pick and choose. There are more folks out there than you might realize who have a serious interest in specific bugs– folks who are eager to contribute to the study of their favorite bug.

Simply as a result of spending a great deal of free time on all things Oecanthinae, my own experiences include: 1) being able to provide specimens and song recordings to a world-renowned Orthopterist in order to describe an unnamed species in Texas previously known only in Mexico; 2) being able to supply photographs and song recordings to a world-renowned Orthopterist in order to confirm the presence of Oecanthus forbesi in Wisconsin; 3) finding a Nicaraguan Oecanthine – believed to be the same species described in 1905 by Charles Fuller Baker – and attempting to return it from synonym back up to species status on his behalf; 4) providing specimens of various species from around the country to a PhD candidate at Dartmouth College - for DNA sequencing to develop a phylogeny tree for Oecanthinae; 5) sorting through Oecanthinae specimens in insect collections at the California Academy of Sciences and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and determining species of a few of those in the ‘undetermined’ sections; and 6) developing a website entirely devoted to Oecanthinae –

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.54317

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