Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Beetle mania

If you've never seen E.O.Wilson in action, enthusing about the abundance and diversity of life on earth, then take a look at his TED acceptance speech last year. His inquisitiveness is infectious. Without getting into numbers, which are big and speculative, there is a lot out there that we don't know about and haven't yet named. But that's what he wants to do in 'The Encyclopedia of Life'.
Like, there are lots of beetles - apparently 1 in 4 animals is one. And they keep finding more. As I mentioned before, one was discovered by Michael's cousin Werner. Very often they can only be differentiated by their unique genitalia. Hmm, well I don't know what I was doing (darning my socks?) but I missed hearing that one day back in 2005, Quentin Walker, chief entomologist at the Natural History Museum sorted through some goolies and discovered three new species. Of slime-mould consuming beetles. So he named them for his three favourite Republicans - Agathidium bushi, A. cheneyi, and A. rumsfeldi. So I've just taken the trouble to update this handy diagram.

The Correct Method of Pinning Common Insects

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's brilliant. I would've thought the one nearest A.Cheneyi would've had its face blown off.