We made it up to 37,000 bees identified to at least genus, with 18,800 of those identified to species. We are slowly creeping towards our goal.
Not quite bees:
Occasionally, some non-bee wasps got past my sorting efforts and ended up getting pinned. Interestingly, it seems that cleptoparasitic wasps were more often accidentally pinned. These wasps look very similar to the cleptoparasitic bees, but they are actually in the family Crabronidae.
Between the undergraduate student and our intern, we have made good progress on the hover fly project! We have around 8,000 specimens, with 7,300 of those now identified in the genus Toxomerus. The second most abundant genus was Eumerus with under 200 specimens. The larvae of the genus Eumerus are considered pests of allium and similar plants. Meanwhile, larvae of Toxomerus are considered beneficial since they eat aphids and other soft bodied insects.
We have about 400 hover fly specimens that still need identified to genus, so Eumerus could have it’s second place spot usurped by one of the other genera.
Bored? Want to help out in the lab?
Email MaLisa to visit the Newark lab and help with various tasks. We have simple things like trimming labels to more challenging things, like identifying Ceratina bees or learning harder taxa. Just let me know when and how you would like to help.
All for now,