Aggregation of Carabidologists in Pittsburgh, PA

Thomas Barr

Thomas Barr

Hanging out and doing museum work with a bunch of carabidologist at the Carnegie Museum was great fun and very rewarding, even in the face of our largely grim purpose. We gathered to help with the posthumous curation of Tom Barr’s  collection and loans.

I was joined by Dave Kavanaugh, Wendy Moore, Jim Liebherr, David Maddison, Terry Erwin, Meghan Culpepper , Jason Schaller, Antonio Gomez, Robert Davidson and the rest of the wonderful CMNH staff .


Bob Davidson, David Maddison, Meghan Culpepper and Jason Schaller talking shop.

Our task was to sort and salvage, for loan returns as much of the material that we could, locate types, associate dissected parts and figure out the status of Barr’s unpublished manuscripts on Scaphinotus and Rhadine.


A very sad find of some hugely dermestid eaten boxes.

Though it was a huge task with many disappointing discoveries, we did accomplish a great deal and had a lot of fun in the process.


Awesome! We re-associated these of important syntypes.

Aside from hard work during the day we had evening research meetings to get Nebriated in the wet lab and ate some great lunches and dinners. We hatched all kinds of projects and made plans for future aggregations.

Terry and Bob moved mountains of boxes, finding many loans to return

Terry and Bob moved mountains of boxes, finding many loans to return



Of the places we ate, two of my favorites were the Cuban sandwich at the Black Bean.

And Café Sam,  which was a spectacular dinner (I had duck).


About Kip Will

I'm an insect systematist with expertise in carabid beetles, who is always happiest in the bush.
This entry was posted in Carabids, Coleoptera, Entomology. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Aggregation of Carabidologists in Pittsburgh, PA

  1. Mike says:

    Oh, My! that photo of the dermestid damage actually made my chest hurt! Did you find my loans?

    • Kip Will says:

      You can imagine that our drinking in the evening was not just for comradery, but also a necessary therapy after a day of opening boxes like that. As for specific loans, you’ll need to contact the CMNH. Though we intend to follow through with research on both Scaphinotus and Rhadine, we decided that it would be best to have all the material that remains returned and loan accounts clear. We will then be asking for loans from you and other collections. I hope your specimens are there and intact. We all lost some material, though.

  2. Jon Quist says:

    Harsh. My cousin once gave me permission to go through his old insect collection and keep what I wanted. About 90% was damaged by Dermestids and about 70% was damaged beyond saving. There were a great deal of Central American Bycids in there, only a few were salvageable. Luckily, the Ground beetles weren’t their first choice of food (as they wouldn’t be mine). I even came out with a undamaged species of Amblycheila cylindriformis. Over all, very depressing…

  3. Pingback: The mysterious Bembidion ulkei | The Subulate Palpomere

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