Enthusiastic coleopterist

Submitted by Matt Williams on

A recent visit by Darren J. Mann, Head of Life Collections at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, left both he and the BRLSI Collections team very excited about our entomology collections. Darren, a coleopterist (beetle expert) by specialism, was particularly exercised by some very rare and restricted dung beetles. The particular specimens, Onthophagus verticicornis, came from the collection of Robert Gillo who collected this member of the scarab family on hills on the margin of Bath. This area is now known as the last UK refuge of these critically endangered species.

We had previously thought that we lacked locality information for much of our coleopteran collection, but Daren revealed to us that in most cases the card stubs to which the beetle specimens are glued can be unpinned from their trays: the collecting locality is written on their reverse. Having discovered this information we are now on the lookout for a new volunteer, as we need to unpin each specimen, transcribe the data on the cards, and then re-pin them in the original position. So if anyone reading this has good manual dexterity, a background of biology or natural history, and the time to spare, please do get in contact. 


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