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Scarab Central
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Little Brown Beetle Workshop
Montana State University
Bozeman, Montana

17-20 August 2003
Mary Liz Jameson and Brett Ratcliffe
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The diversity of the order Coleoptera exceeds that of any other plant or animal group. Approximately 1 out of every 4 species on earth is a beetle! There are currently 172 beetle families that contain approximately 350,000 described species. In addition to loss of taxonomic expertise in scarab beetles (which includes about 35,000 described species), there are relatively few experts who can identify beetle families. To address this lack of knowledge, we sponsored a PEET-funded "Little Brown Beetle Workshop" that was held 17-20 August at Montana State University, Bozeman and facilitated by Dr. Michael Ivie. Ivie is a prominent beetle systematist whose research deals with the higher classification of Coleoptera; systematics of Cerambycidae, Bostrichidae, Colydidae, and other small beetle families; and the beetle fauna of the West Indies and northern Rocky Mountains.
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Workshop participants, from the left: Katie Marske, Sardis Medrano Cabral,
Alistair Ramsdale, Shauna Hawkins, Michael Ivie, Andrew Smith, Brett Ratcliffe,
Matt Paulsen, Mary Liz Jameson, Federico Ocampo. 
Photo by compliant third party.
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This workshop provided participants with an appreciation for beetle diversity and the skills necessary to identify beetle families. The workshop focused on identification of world beetle families, beetle classification and characters, and literature for beetle identification and taxonomy.

Participants included members of Team Scarab (Shauna Hawkins, Mary Liz Jameson, Federico Ocampo, Matt Paulsen, Brett Ratcliffe, Andrew Smith) and members of Ivie's lab (Alistair Ramsdale, Katie Marske, and Sardis Medrano Cabral).
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......Matt Paulsen and Andrew Smith at the Little Brown Beetle Workshop.
Photo by Mary Liz Jameson.
Michael Ivie and Andrew Smith "team-identifing"  a little brown beetle.
Photo by Mary Liz Jameson.......
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In this intensive 3-day workshop, each participant had a hands-on view of 98% of the world's beetle family diversity! Ivie's outstanding collection of world beetle families includes specimens of 169 beetle families (the only families that for which specimens were not available were Jurodidae, Crowsoniellidae and Belohinidae). The laboratory exercises included keying beetle families using American Beetles and a key for the up-coming and revised Field Guide to the Beetles (both written by Ivie), comparisons of beetle taxa using Lawrence's Beetles of the World CD, and examination of beetle taxa in order to gain an appreciation of overall beetle diversity and adaptation. Each 12-hour lab-day was punctuated by a profusion of snacks cheerfully delivered by Donna Ivie.

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Little Brown Beetle Workshop lab at
Montana State University.
Photo by Brett Ratcliffe.
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Federico Ocampo "exhibiting" his
team spirit at the summit
of Mt. Sacajawea. 
Photo by Mary Liz Jameson.
Shauna Hawkins and Matt Paulsen
collecting aphodiine scarabs from marmot
dung on slopes of Mt. Sacajawea. 
Photo by Mary Liz Jameson.
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Team Scarab at the 9,700 ft. summit of Mt. Sacajawea. Left to right (standing) Shauna Hawkins, Andrew Smith, Mary Liz Jameson, Federico Ocampo; left to right (sitting) Brett Ratcliffe and Matt Paulsen. 
Photo by compliant third party.
Shauna Hawkins near the summit of Mt. Sacajawea. 
Photo by Mary Liz Jameson.
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........It's a bird!  It's a plane!  
It's . . . not a scarab!!!!! 
Matt Paulsen momentarily
diverting to ornithology
on Mt. Sacajawea.
Photo by Mary Liz Jameson.
 
Runza Rex promoting Team Scarab during a lunch stop at North Platte, Nebraska.  From left: Shauna Hawkins, Federico Ocampo, Brett Ratcliffe, Runza Rex, Mary Liz Jameson, Matt Paulsen. 
Photo by Andrew Smith.
 
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Links:

Beetles of the World CD,
http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/18/pid/2312.htm

Ivie's web page, http://virgin.msu.montana.edu/WestIndies/Polyphaga/Scarabaeoidea/index.html

 

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UNSM logo
Division of Entomology
W 436 Nebraska Hall
University of Nebraska State Museum
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0514 USA
Curator:
Brett C. Ratcliffe
(402) 472-2614
bratcliffe1@unl.edu
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