Of the many entomology journals I subscribe to, there are few that I await with as much anticipation as The Coleopterists Bulletin. Focusing exclusively on the largest order of life on earth, it’s a quarterly dose of elytral ecstasy that no beetle enthusiast should be without. I awaited the March 2014 issue, however, with special anticipation, as this was the issue that would honor my late friend and colleague, Chuck Bellamy. Last week, the issue arrived in my mailbox, and it did not disappoint!
The issue begins with an In Memorium, spearheaded by fellow buprestophile Rick Westcott and containing contributions and photos from many of Chuck’s contemporaries (including me) (Westcott et al. 2014). This is followed by an especially touching remembrance of Chuck by his longtime friend Art Evans (with whom Chuck co-authored An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles), after which come 11 scientific papers with descriptions of new beetle taxa named in Chuck’s honor. These include nine new species of jewel beetles (family Buprestidae) from Mexico, Central America, China, Kenya, Europe, Peru, and Arizona, a new seed beetle (family Bruchidae) from Mexico, and two new checkered beetles (family Cleridae) from Mexico. For my part, I described one of the jewel beetles, a member of the genus Acmaeodera known from but a single specimen¹ collected in southeastern Arizona which I dedicated to Chuck with the name “Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi MacRae, 2014″. Last but not least, the Fall family provides some remembrances of Chuck and his association with BioQuip Products, Inc.
¹ It is generally not advisable to describe a new species based on a single specimen. However, in this case multiple attempts to recollect the species were unsuccessful, and eventually the type locality was significantly altered in 2009 by the Murphy Fire. It is possible (and indeed likely) that the species still exists in similar nearby habitats (especially further south in Mexico), but the circumstances mentioned above make it unlikely that additional material will become available for the foreseeable future. In such cases, it is, in my opinion, better to name the species so that it can be made available to the broader scientific community.
In all, 12 new beetle taxa are named in Chuck’s honor, bringing the total number of patronyms honoring him to six genus-group names and 31 species-group names—a fitting legacy and testament to the breadth of his impact in the taxonomic community. The issue can be found online at BioOne—abstracts are freely available, but membership in The Coleopterists Society is required to access full-text and pdfs. For those who are not society members, I offer below pdf versions of the two papers that I authored or co-authored.
Westcott, R. L., S. Bílý, A. R. Cline, S. D. Gaimari, H. Hespenheide, T. C. MacRae, M. G. Volkovitsh, S. G. Wellso & G. Williams. 2014. In Memoriam: Charles Lawrence Bellamy (1951–2013). The Coleopterists Bulletin 68(1):1–13 [pdf].
MacRae, T. C. 2014. Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi MacRae (Coleoptera: Buprestidae: Acmaeoderini), a new species from Arizona, USA. The Coleopterists Bulletin 68(1):50–52 [pdf].
© Ted C. MacRae 2014