Researching Pelecinids – Part 1

image of a pelecinus wasp

Wasp in the genus Pelecinus, image by Cynthia L. McLaughlin and licensed under CC BY 2.0

Many years ago, arthropods were one of my greatest childhood fears. I was so petrified of bugs that I hardly ever went outside during the summer. Anyone who knew me as a child would never have guessed that I would someday develop a passion for entomology and a love for the insect world. I began to collect insects in little plastic jars, but my rudimentary “collection” might as well have been a dermestid buffet; this was long before I understood how to properly store, curate, and preserve specimens.

It wasn’t until my final year of high school that I realized that I could become an “entomologist” as a profession, a life-changing revelation. During the summer of 2016, I finally learned how to make a proper insect collection at the Ohio State University’s Stone Lab, where I enrolled in a week-long course on insect field biology. That autumn I started my first semester at Ohio State as an entomology major, commuting every day from my home in Westerville, Ohio.

I recently completed my first year in the entomology undergraduate program, and I couldn’t be more excited about my academic future. I have met so many great peers and faculty members within the entomology department, and I have had the chance to explore entomology in ways that my younger self could never have imagined. I joined my general entomology class on an all-day collecting trip in Hocking Hills. I visited the on-campus insectary and learned about rearing insects with Chrysalis Entomology Club. But perhaps the most enlightening experience I have had so far was my interaction with the Triplehorn Insect Collection. I participated in an internship at the collection during autumn semester, then continued to work there part-time during spring semester. This summer I plan to continue working at the collection, but now the collection has presented me with yet another exciting opportunity: working on my first undergraduate research project.

image of a June bug

Unidentified June bug (Phyllophaga) from central Ohio, image by author

I will work with Dr. Norman Johnson and Dr. Luciana Musetti over the summer to research wasps belonging to the genus Pelecinus. These beautiful insects may appear intimidating with their long, slender abdomens, but they are not aggressive toward humans and stings inflicted by their small ovipositors are rare. Their flexible abdomens are instead used to parasitize the larvae of Phyllophaga beetles, more commonly known as “June bugs”. The female wasp does this by thrusting its abdomen into the ground and ovipositing into the subterranean grubs.

My research will focus on Pelecinus polyturator, a species that can be found in areas of South America and in North America east of the Rocky Mountains, including here in central Ohio. One of the most interesting aspects of P. polyturator is that males are extremely uncommon north of Mexico but become much more common further south.

The goal of my research is to examine P. polyturator specimens from both northern localities and southern localities and determine if they are one species or if they are actually multiple distinct species. This can be determined using nondestructive DNA extraction and barcoding, which consists of using a species-specific genetic marker in a specimen’s DNA for species identification. I do not have any prior experience with DNA barcoding, or even molecular genetics in general, so I see this as an incredible opportunity to learn new skills that will benefit me throughout my entire scientific career. I will also get to learn first-hand how specimens such as Pelecinus wasps end up in an insect collection by going through the complete collecting process, from malaise trapping all the way to entering specimen data in the collection’s online Hymenoptera database.

At the conclusion of this research project, I plan to present my findings at both the Denman and the CFAES Undergraduate Research Forums. One of my main hopes for this project is that it can be used to illustrate the research experience for other students interested in undergraduate research, both entomological and otherwise.

As I continue to learn more about topics such as DNA barcoding, specimen collection, and Pelecinus wasps themselves, I will update this blog so that everyone reading can learn alongside me and watch the progress of my research in real-time. Keep watch for another post from me next week about taking photographs of P. polyturator specimens currently owned by the collection. I can hardly wait to share these images and the photography process behind them.

About the Author: Hannah McKenzie is an undergraduate entomology major at the Ohio State University. She currently works at the Triplehorn Insect Collection and is participating in undergraduate research on Pelecinus wasps.

Fossils – a look into the past


Parasitic wasps in amber (above). These specimens have been studied and some are deposited at the Triplehorn Insect Collection.

No one really knows the number of insect species that have been formally described and named, but it is surely a six-figure number.  Of these, some will sure turn out to be duplications, but beyond that, the consensus opinion is that the real total number of different kinds of insects in the world is in the millions or tens of millions (and some think it may be even higher).  That leaves a lot of exploration, discovery and documentation left to do, the first two of those being the “fun” parts of insect taxonomy.

If those numbers are not not impressive enough, consider that the estimates only include insect species that are alive today! Most paleontologists (the scientists who study fossils) will tell you that the number of ‘extant species‘ (same as living species) is but a tiny fraction of all those that have ever existed on Earth.

Despite the fact that we taxonomists already have a monumental task in front of us with just today’s species, we also tend to investigate fossils as well. Why? Because they provide precious insight in the evolution of insects and help inform our research of the living groups.

Until recently the Triplehorn Insect Collection did not have any fossil specimens in its holdings. That’s partly due to our history — the collection is a reflection of the interests of previous curators, faculty and students associated with it, and their focus was in extant species.  It’s also partly due to the chronic lack of storage space that plagued our collection for so many years.  Another big obstacle is the fact that keeping fossils adds a whole new level of complication to our already complex curatorial task.

All that aside, my research interests, and those of my students and collaborators, led us to take a determined step into the past. As the current caretaker of the Triplehorn collection, that meant the addition of fossil insects to our roster. We started creeping into this new adventure slowly.  It began some 15 years ago with a colleague in Germany who is deeply interested in the insects embedded in amber, and in particular, Baltic amber.  He would sort specimens of parasitoid wasps of the group we are currently studying and offer to sell them to us.

Amber from the area around the Baltic Sea has been known since the Stone Age and was used both for jewelry and medicine.  Pieces were either collected along the shores or, later, actively mined in countries stretching from Denmark in the west to Russia in the east.  This is a huge area, and the deposits occurred over a long period of time.  The age, actually really the ages, of Baltic amber range from roughly 40 to 60 million years.  The amazing thing, for our purposes, is that insects, mites, and other small organisms would get caught in the sticky tree resin and be preserved for the ages.  In a good specimen it feels like you’re looking at something that was just collected yesterday, with all the smallest details of hairs and body texture perfectly preserved.  In fact, though, there’s usually very, very little of the original specimen left, and what we see is merely the cast of its body.

We began to slowly acquire amber specimens of the minute parasitoid wasps we study (order Hymenopera, family Platygastridae) and deposit them in the Triplehorn collection.  Slowly, not because these inclusions are particularly rare, but because they’re not cheap.  We now have several hundred of these, from which we’ve described a few new species and one new genus (Cobaloscelio Johnson & Masner in Masner et. al. 2007.)  On a global scale our collection is small and specialized.  Much, much larger collections with amber from many other places around the world may be found in, for example, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the American Museum of Natural History, and the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany.

[Just as a historical side note, the main collection of Baltic amber used to be stored in the Zoological Museum in the city of Königsberg in Germany. This city is now known as Kaliningrad and is located in a small piece of Russia on the Baltic coast, otherwise surrounded by the country of Poland. Unfortunately, this museum and almost all of its contents were destroyed by bombardment during World War II.]

In the past few weeks we’ve graduated from our own small niche of amber wasps. This began when Ohio State’s Orton Geological Museum decided that they needed to make more space for dinosaur bones. Their solution was to find a new home for some of their fossil insect specimens. (Can you imagine prioritizing dinosaurs over insects? Neither can I.)  We decided that it was most appropriate for the material to stay at Ohio State, and so the Triplehorn collection is now the proud owner of hundreds of specimens of Green River Shale insects.

Moving the Green River Shale cabinets and drawers was strenuous work. Soon we’ll start the cataloguing process.

Fossils from the Green River formation are comparable in age to Baltic amber, but we know that number more precisely: 53.5 – 48.5 million years. And we’re no longer dealing with amber, but with rocks. There are three main deposits of Green River shale made up of the sediments that were deposited in mountain lakes near the present day area of the Uinta Mountains in Utah. They’ve been known to Europeans since the explorations of the West in the first half of the 19th Century, and the fossils are very well known. In fact, if you go to a natural history shop that sells fossils, it’s likely that some of the amazing fossils of fish you see come from the Green River deposits. The best areas for fossils were made from fine mud deposits. In those, the very small details of insects and spiders are preserved. Unlike amber though, these fossils are compression fossils, specimens that have been pretty much flattened by tons of sediments sitting on top of them.

Fossil Butte 2015.jpg

Fossil Butte National Monument in Wyoming. Not the kind of habitat where we’d normally be looking for insects!

The adoption of this collection will call for skills and expertise beyond those typical of a collection of dried insects. One thing we won’t have to worry about are “museum pests,” insects like carpet beetles that will feast on all sorts of dried organic matter such as the bodies of dead insects. Instead, we need to take into account the pure dead weight. These fossils are, after all, embedded in rocks. Handling hundreds of pounds of stones will surely put a premium on strong, athletic undergrad student assistants in the future!

Our tasks ahead are, first, using the records of the Orton Museum, to determine as precisely as we can the area(s) within the Green River Formation that these specimens were collected.  Then we’ll use our existing connections as well as the Fossil Insect Collaborative, to let paleoentomologists (entomologists specialized in the study of fossil insects) know that these materials exist and are available for study.  We need their help because, while we can distinguish beetles from flies, they are the ones who can figure out exactly which species of beetle or fly is in a particular fossil.

I have a colleague, recently retired, who always emphasizes that fossil collections add the critical dimension of “deep time” to our understanding of biodiversity.  With this new acquisition then, we hope to make a contribution to that understanding.  Along the way we’ll certainly learn a lot about paleontology and the curation of fossil insects.

Here’s a list of our work with Baltic, Canadian and Lebanese amber over the last several years. The Canadian and Lebanese materials are much older than Baltic amber, by about 80 million years! Some species and one genus were described based in part on specimens in the amber collection at the Triplehorn Insect Collection (photos, top):

Johnson, Norman F., Lubomir Masner, and Luciana Musetti. 2008. Review of genera of the tribe Sparasionini (Hymenoptera: Platygastroidea, Scelionidae), and description of two new genera from the New World. American Museum Novitates 2629: 1-24. (available online here)

Johnson, Norman F., Luciana Musetti, and Jens-Wilhelm Janzen. 2001. A new fossil species of the Australian endemic genus Peradenia Naumann & Masner (Hymenoptera: Proctotrupoidea, Peradeniidae) from Baltic amber.  Insect Systematics & Evolution 32: 191-194.

Masner, Lubomir, Norman F. Johnson & Andrew Polaszek. 2007. Redescription of Archaeoscelio Brues and description of three new genera of Scelionidae (Hymenoptera): a challenge to the definition of the family.  American Museum Novitates 3550: 1-24. (available online here)

Johnson, Norman F., Luciana Musetti, and Lubomir Masner.  2008. The Cretaceous scelionid genus Proteroscelio Brues (Hymenoptera: Platygastroidea).  American Museum Novitates 3603: 1-7. (available online here)


About the Author: Dr. Norman Johnson is Professor of Biology and Entomology with appointments in EEOB and Entomology. He’s also the Director of the Triplehorn Insect Collection. Norman works with minute, but crucially important, parasitoid wasps. You can learn more about his work by visiting the website of the Johnson Lab.

Water Striders Spring into Action – Guest Post by Jon Bossley

Another cold, snowy, wonderful winter in central Ohio is finally yielding to spring. As a true fan of winter, my praise of the frozen season is genuine. Snow-covered trees, birds at the feeders, ice sculptures, ice skating, and ice hockey all make winter a uniquely fun annual phenomenon. And a good, hard winter makes us appreciate spring all the more. So with warm weather turning the those pond hockey rinks and stream-top ice skating arenas back into swimming pools, a different set of athletes will soon take possession.

Like hockey players waiting out an intermission in the locker room, adult water striders in Ohio spend the winter tucked away in leaf litter, logs, rocks, or soil awaiting their turn to retake their skating arena. Overwintering forms sometimes possess wings, which allow them to fly to more suitable aquatic environs in case conditions at the winter site prove undesirable when spring returns. Such wing dimorphism is a common trait of water striders, and the presence or absence of wings depends on the cohort and season of hatch.

Water Strider - by Steve Upperman

Water strider — by Steve Upperman, a nature photographer here from Central Ohio.

As members of Order Hemiptera, water striders are true bugs. Drably colored with combinations of gray, brown, black, and white, water striders range in size from 2 – 20 mm.  The family Gerridae contains the most and best known representatives, but smaller surface-skating insects in the families Veliidae and Mesoveliidae are also called by the same common name. Interestingly, the water strider moniker is only one of many such common names associated with these aquatic bugs, which are also known as pond skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skippers, and Jesus bugs for their ability to walk across water.

The ability to glide so gracefully across the water’s surface derives from the numerous hydrofuge hairs that cover the water striders’ legs. Working in conjunction with the high surface tension of the water these hairs repel water and retain pockets of air that allow the striders to remain on top of the water surface. (You can easily test the surface tension of the water with this experiment from National Public Radio’s Science Friday).

Additionally, claws are located a short distance up the leg rather than at the end of the tarsus to avoid puncturing the water surface. Propulsion is enabled by the long middle legs that stroke the water in rowing motions like the oars of a boat. At slow speeds the push of the water repellent legs against the water provides sufficient force for forward motion. When a water strider is travelling faster than the speed of the capillary waves its motion creates, however, a unique skill is employed: the water strider’s legs deform the water surface creating a trampoline effect, which springs the animal forward. Through such activity, water striders can travel at speeds of around 1 m/s.

Hind legs act as rudders and brakes to change course and stop. A water strider’s agile legs also enable it to jump off of the water surface and land as far as 10 body lengths away. In the event of an unanticipated wave or splash that inundates the entire body, hydrofuge hairs across the whole outer integument allow water striders to right themselves on the water surface. They can even purposely dive under the water, where they breathe from a plastron – an envelope of air around the body that is held in place by the hydrofuge hairs.

While middle and hind legs are invested in locomotion, the forelegs allow water striders to capture prey. These aquatic predators feed upon terrestrial insects, spiders, and dragonflies that have experienced the misfortune of falling into the water. While the forelegs grasp the prey, the piercing/sucking tube that is characteristic of bugs is inserted into the victim to drink its internal fluids. The forelegs also help locate prey by sensing the vibrations of organisms floundering in the water. During the non-mating season, water striders will feed cooperatively in groups, attacking struggling victims like a school of piranhas. With such voracious habits, it may not be surprising to learn that cannibalism is a common phenomenon among Gerridae, especially in the instance of adults preying upon young. What goes around comes around, though, and water striders must be wary of bug-eating birds. Frogs and sometimes fish will also prey upon water striders, although scent gland secretions from water striders repel many fish.

Not only can gerrids sense prey via water vibrations, they also communicate with each other through wave action. Studies have shown that high wavelength frequencies (35 Hz or 90 – 100 Hz, depending on the species) send a repel signal, which alerts an oncoming water strider about territorial claims. A non-reply to such a signal indicates to a male that it is a receptive female approaching. A low frequency signal (2 – 5 Hz) is then used to send courtship messages. In some Gerridae species, a mated male and female remain together throughout the entire mating season. Eggs are attached to floating surfaces in the water and development of the young involves 4 – 5 nymphal instars over a period of 3 – 6 weeks Offspring from a mated couple must be wary of the cannibalistic tendencies of Gerridae, however, so must disperse as soon as possible to avoid such risks.

Only the oceanic Halobates water striders are safe from parent cannibals, as members of this genus can recognize their own offspring and will refrain from such familial cannibalism. Halobates is remarkable for several other reasons too, not the least of which is its singularity as the only insect of the open ocean. Halobates water striders have been found far out at sea, making them the most prodigious water striding athletes of the insect world.

Plate from the Challenger Report on the Pelagic Hemiptera, by F. Buchanan White. 1883.

Plate from the Challenger Report on the Pelagic Hemiptera, by F. Buchanan White. 1883. 1. Halobates micans (as Halobates wullerstorffi) 2. Halobates micans 3. Halobates princeps 4.Halobates micans (as Halobates streatfieldanus) 5. Halobates sobrinus 6. Halobates germanus 7. Halobates sericeus 8. Halobates hayanus. Image [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

But whether you find yourself out at sea or much closer to central Ohio this spring, keep an eye out for water striders. With the annual transformation of ice into water, these remarkable creatures are springing into action once again.


*Cheng, L. 1985.  Biology of Halobates (Heteroptera: Gerridae). Annual Review of Entomology.  30:111-135.
*Hu, D.L. and Bush, J.W.M. 2010.  The hydrodynamics of water-walking arthropods. Journal of  Fluid Mechanics. 644:5-33.
*Merritt, R.W., Cummins, K.W, and Berg, M.B. 2008.  An introduction to the aquatic insects of North America. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
*Spence, J.R. 1994.  Biology of water striders: interactions between systematics and ecology.  Annual Review of Entomology. 39:101-128.
*Voshell, J.R., Jr. 2007.  A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. The McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company: Blacksburg, VA.


About the Author: Jon Bossley is a Ph.D. candidate in the Environmental Science Graduate Program at Ohio State University. Jon is committed to science education. He has a masters degree in Education and is a 4-time NSF GK-12 fellow (2011-current).

Praying mantids have hatched!

Insects are everywhere!  Even in the most urban environment, insects are easy to find.  You just have to keep your eyes open and you will see them. Entomologists are always on the lookout for insects. First, because we admire them, second, because we study them and want to know more about the way they live. Sometimes we bring the insects with us to the lab, sometimes we take photos of them in the wild and leave them be.

Because of that interest, we keep finding cool insects, or insect-related structures. Huayan Chen, an Entomology graduate student in Norman Johnson‘s lab, found this beautiful Chinese praying mantid (Order Mantodea: Family Mantidae: Tenodera sinensis) egg case on the stem of a tall grass on his way home on a cold January day. He brought the egg case back to the lab hoping to find egg parasitoids. However, instead of parasitoids, he was surprised one day by dozens of mantid nymphs. Here are some of the photos he took of the babies as they explored their new world.

All photos courtesy of Huayan Chen. He also wrote most of this blog post.

That’s a wrap! — the insect collection at the #MBDOH15

It’s mid March and almost Spring here in Columbus.  The 2015 Museum Open House happened more than a month ago, but here at the Triplehorn Insect Collection we’re still not quite done with it yet. It usually takes our staff several weeks to prepare the collection to welcome the Open House crowd and several more weeks after the event to return the place to its regular state. In order to create a safe and spacious exhibit area for Open House visitors, we move all our computers, microscopes, and other equipment out of the way. Our work tables and counters become stands for display and activities.  This year the final set-up of the displays (partial view below) took a solid week. But we were pleased with the results.

Partial view of the exhibit area in the Triplehorn Insect Collection the day before Open House.

Almost ready for prime time! Partial view of the exhibit area in the Triplehorn Insect Collection the day before Open House.

We started planning our displays and activities for the 2015 event back in November 2014.  We prepared several new display drawers, including one with colorful flower chafers, another with exotic rhinoceros beetles, another with an amazing diversity of cicadas, plus a totally revamped “Oh, My!” drawer.

Display drawer of scarabs in the family Cetoniinae, commonly called chafers.

Young visitor examines a display drawer of scarabs in the subfamily Cetoniinae, commonly called chafers.

On the theme-specific front – this year the theme was “Toxic!” – we had various drawers with venomous and poisonous insects, such as bullet ants, hornets, bees, bombardier beetles, and monarch butterflies, each coupled with large color prints of representative specimens, plus information on their chemical weaponry.  Hymenoptera (the bees, wasps, & ants) venom and the pain associated with their sting generated a lot of questions for our expert volunteers. Visitors were introduced to the Schmidt Pain Index, a ranking system for insect stings developed by our friend and fellow entomologist Justin Schmidt. A greatly magnified bee sting displayed on a computer screen, was also a topic of much discussion and questions.

Magnified bee sting.

Magnified view of a bee sting shown on a computer screen. part of this year’s theme-related displays in the Triplehorn collection.

Also new this year was a display of live aquatic insects, organized by Jon Bossley, a PhD candidate in the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program at Ohio State, with support throughout the day from his fellow graduate students in the Department of Entomology.  Jon collected samples from the creek at nearby Waterman Farm early that frigid February morning. Visitors had the very exciting opportunity to look through the samples (a mix of snow, water, soil, and vegetation placed in plastic trays) in search of insects and to examine their live “catch” (yes, live!) under the microscope.

Learning about aquatic insect ecology at the Triplehorn Insect Collection.

Learning about aquatic insect ecology at the Triplehorn Insect Collection.

Besides our treasured pinned insect display drawers, we are always looking for ways to provide our visitors with engaging and fulfilling experiences. Hands-on activities allow for visitors to have fun while learning about nature and biodiversity. However, in an insect collection, hands-on can be very tricky:  dry insect specimens are too fragile to be handled, and let’s not even talk about specimens in glass jars.  To find a way around that, in 2007 we started putting specimens in clear plastic vials filled with sanitizing gel so visitors could pick up insect specimens, move them around, see them from all angles, and even drop them on the floor without major consequences. That was a total hit!  The next year, *Bugs in Goo*, where visitors can add their own specimen to gel and take it home, became an official regular Open House hands-on activity.


*Bugs-in-Goo*, started as a way to allow visitors to safely handle insect specimens, and now is one of the permanent children activities at the Museum Open House.

At the insect collection, we doodle a lot, for work and for fun. It’s part of our mode of communication. To us, art and science make natural partners. So in 2009 we introduced the *Bug Drawing Station* to our Open House activities.  From the get-go bug drawing was a super hit with visitors of all ages, an opportunity for families to exchange impressions about what they were seeing at Open House. Some people take their drawings home, but the majority graciously leave the drawings on our wall, as a gift. As a result, each year we have a collection of beautiful insect drawings that are scanned and archived. Here are some of the most striking insect drawings of 2015.

Ladybug, an insect drawing  from the 2015 Open House.

Ladybug, an insect drawing from the 2015 Open House.


This year we introduced another artistic activity: origami butterflies. To our delight, visitors embraced it. From the moment the doors were open, our volunteers worked one-on-one with visitors, helping them with their paper folding creations. By the end of the event more than 600 origami butterflies had been produced (not counting the ones in our origami butterfly mobile) and taken home as souvenirs by proud visitors. Many parents (and teachers!) tell us they engage in the artistic activities and ask lots of questions, so they can later try it with their children (or class). A win-win situation! Thanks and hugs to the talented and adorable group of volunteers who kept the bug drawing and the origami activities lively and fun the whole day!

For the people who unfortunately could not be here on the day of the event, but wanted to connect with us, we kept social media outlets, like Twitter, alive with photos and commentary. Our unique, hand-painted, plastic jewel-encrusted ‘selfie’ masks (below) were a blast to play with and were crowd favorites!!

Sample of the unique art produced by students and staff of the Triplehorn Insect Collection, plus an artistic view of our origami butterfly mobile, and a visitor folding her own paper butterfly.

Sample of the unique art produced by students and staff of the Triplehorn Insect Collection, plus an artistic view of our origami butterfly mobile, and a visitor folding her own paper butterfly.

Over the years our audience has expanded significantly.  This year 2,812 people came to visit the Museum Open House, an increase of about 25% over the previous record-setting year.  A large number of our visitors are young children. This is a great pleasure and also a great responsibility. We at the Triplehorn Insect Collection want to continue providing exciting experiences to our visitors, while fostering curiosity and learning. That’s our challenge. Suggestions on how we can improve our offerings would be greatly appreciated. Drop us a note here! Otherwise, we look forward to meeting you at Open House next year. Thank you for your interest and support!

Future biologists learn how to make origami butterflies with the excellent Wendy Klooster Bethel.

Future biologists learn how to make origami butterflies with the excellent Wendy Klooster Bethel.

Last, but not least, a big shout-out to all the volunteers who joined us this year, particularly the young people, the students (from middle school to grad school!) and the young professionals who lent us their energy and passion for science, education, and service to the community. You made the day a success, but more than that, you are awesome role models for our young visitors. In alphabetical order by last name: Elizabeth Alvarez, Carol Anelli, Katherine Beigel, Amber Bellamy, Wendy Bethel, Jon Bossley, Travis Calkins, Huayan Chen, Sylvia Chordas, Joe Cora, Brian Crenshaw, Molly Dieterich, Matt Elder, Carlos Esquivel, Kelsey Fultz, Josh Gibson, Riley Gott, Sara Hemly, Dave Horn, Zach Hurley, Norman Johnson, Andrea Kautz, Kim Landsbergen, Luciana Musetti, Katherine Nesheim, Erin O’Brien, Jared Palazza, Chris Riley, Issac Rockwell, MaLisa Spring, Chuck Triplehorn, Liv Vincent, Liu Yang, August Young, Tyler Zeller. Volunteers, you’re amazing! Final word: THANKS!