Hiking at Don Robinson State Park

Don Robinson State Park comprises and protects much of the upper watershed of LaBarque Creek in northwestern Jefferson Co.—one of east-central Missouri’s most pristine and ecologically significant watersheds. The St. Peter’s sandstone bedrock underlying the area features box canyons, shelter caves, cliffs, and glades amidst high-quality upland and lowland deciduous forests. The property was originally purchased in the 1960s by businessman Don Robinson, who’s dream was to have a personal sanctuary as large as New York’s Central Park. Through his generosity, the property was bequeathed to the state to become part of Missouri’s state park system following his death a half-century later. The park opened to the public in 2017 and offers some of the highest-quality hiking trails within an hour’s drive from St. Louis. For those interested in more detail regarding the watershed’s geology, ecology, and conservation, an excellent summary can be found in the recently issued LaBarque Creek Watershed Conservation Plan by Friends of LaBarque Creek Watershed.

Here are a few photos from along the Sandstone Canyon Trail.

Rich photographs a box canyon on the Sandstone Canyon Trail.
Box canyon on the Sandstone Canyon Trail.
Box canyon on the Sandstone Canyon Trail.
Box canyon on the Sandstone Canyon Trail.
Box canyon on the Sandstone Canyon Trail.
Sandstone bluffs on the Sandstone Canyon Trail.
Sandstone bluffs on the Sandstone Canyon Trail.
Armillaria gallica (bulbous honey mushroom)? Growing from woodpecker damage on living Ostrya virginiana (hop hornbeam) in mesic upland deciduous forest.
I’ve never seen a mushroom growing out of a woodpecker hole.
This fungus lives as a saprobe or opportunistic parasite in weakened tree hosts and can cause root or butt rot.

The flora along the riparian corridor inside the box canyons was of particular interest to me, as it contained nice stands of three tree species of note: Betula nigra (river birch), Ostrya virginiana (eastern hop hornbeam), and Carpinus caroliniana (blue beech, musclewood, American hornbeam). All three species belong to the family Betulaceae and have been associated with some interesting woodboring beetle species in Missouri. I have reared large series of Anthaxia (Haplanthaxia) cyanella from fallen branches of B. nigra (both blue and bronze color forms—see MacRae 2006), and in the course of doing so I also reared a series of an Agrilus species that turned out to be undescribed (to which I later gave the name Agrilus betulanigrae—see MacRae 2003). From O. virginiana, I have reared two specimens of Agrilus champlaini from galls on living trees (still the only known Missouri specimens of this species—see MacRae 1991). Finally, from dead branches of C. caroliniana, I have reared Agrilus ohioensis (see Nelson & MacRae 1990), and from a larger, punkier dead branch I reared a single Trachysida mutabilis—this also still the only known specimen from Missouri (see MacRae & Rice 2007). I think I’ll go back in late winter to early spring and see if I can find dead branches of each to place in rearing boxes or perhaps girdle some branches to leave in situ for a season before retrieving and placing in rearing boxes. Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky with additional new finds.


MacRae, T. C. 1991. The Buprestidae (Coleoptera) of Missouri. Insecta Mundi 5(2):101–126.

MacRae, T. C. 2003. Agrilus (s. str.) betulanigrae MacRae (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), a new species from North America, with comments on subgeneric placement and a key to the otiosus species-group in North America. Zootaxa 380:1–9.

MacRae, T. C. 2006. Distributional and biological notes on North American Buprestidae (Coleoptera), with comments on variation in Anthaxia (Haplanthaxia) cyanella Gory and A. (H.) viridifrons Gory. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 82(2):166–199.

MacRae, T. C. & M. E. Rice. 2007. Biological and distributional observations on North American Cerambycidae (Coleoptera). The Coleopterists Bulletin 61(2):227–263.

Nelson, G. H. & T. C. MacRae. 1990. Additional notes on the biology and distribution of Buprestidae (Coleoptera) in North America, Part III. The Coleopterists Bulletin 44:349–354.

©️ Ted C. MacRae 2021

Cover Photo—The Coleopterists Bulletin 71(4)

The December 2017 issue of The Coleopterists Bulletin (vol. 71, no. 4) is hitting mailboxes now, and once again I have the honor of providing the cover photo. This one features an adult of the cactus beetle, Moneilema armata (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) on its host, cholla (Opuntia imbricata). I photographed this beetle in June 2014 near Vogel Canyon in Otero Co., Colorado. Cactus beetles are notorious for hiding deep within the mass of spiny stems and branches of their hosts, making long forceps an absolute necessity for collecting them. Occasionally, however, they venture out onto more exposed parts of the plant—in this case, up near the tip of a stem and onto a nearly open flower bud, and the value contrast between the black beetle, green stem, pink flower, gold spines, and blue sky made for a truly lovely composition. If I have only one regret about the photo, it was the stiff southerly wind that kept blowing the beetle’s left antenna and preventing it from matching the perfectly symmetrical arc of the right antenna—a small complaint.

This is another example of the flash-illuminated subject with natural blue sky background technique that I have become so fond of, at least for diurnal insects resting on flowers and foliage. I learned this technique from John Abbott a few years earlier at the inaugural BugShot Workshop in Gray Summit, Missouri (just 15 miles from my home), and it has since become my default background and part of my signature style.

This is the fourth issue of The Coleopterists Bulletin to feature one of my photographs on the cover. The first was the June 2013 (vol. 67, no. 2) issue, featuring the stunning green weevil Eurhinus cf. adonis, and the very next issue (September 2013, vol. 67, no. 3) featured the jewel beetle Chrysobothris octocola. Two years later I had a photo on the cover of the March 2015 (vol. 69, no. 1) issue, a striking red and black longhorned beetle Crossidius coralinus fulgidus.

If you’re not one already, consider becoming a member of The Coleopterists Society (I’ve been one for 36 years now!). Their flagship journal, The Coleopterists Bulletin, is your one-stop shop for all things beetley—a quarterly fix of pure elytral ecstacy! Membership also includes online access to archives of past issues via JSTOR and BioOne.

© Ted C. MacRae 2018

New paper: Buprestidae from El Limón de Cuauchichinola, Mexico

A new paper (of which I am a co-author), published in the latest issue of The Pan-Pacific Entomologist, gives the results of a systematic survey of Buprestidae in a tropical deciduous forest at El Limón de Cuauchichinola, municipality of Tepalcingo, in Morelos, Mexico. Four subfamilies, 12 tribes, 19 genera, and 73 species were recorded, with the genera Agrilus Curtis, 1825, Chrysobothris Eschescholtz, 1829, and Acmaeodera Eschscholtz, 1829 having the greatest number of species. We estimate that only 68% of buprestid species occurring in the forest were recorded. An appendix lists the species, of which eight represent new records for the Sierra de Huautla Biosphere Reserve and two represent new records for the state of Morelos.

Corona-López, A. M., Reza-Pérez, E. V., V. H. Toledo-Hernández, A. Flores-Palacios, T. C. MacRae, R. L. Westcott, H. A. Hespenheide & C. L. Bellamy. 2017. Diversity of Buprestidae (Coleoptera) from El Limón de Cuauchichinola, Tepalcingo, Morelos, Mexico. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 93(2):71–83 [pdf].

© Ted C. MacRae 2017

Cover Photo—The Coleopterists Bulletin 69(1)


The March 2015 issue of The Coleopterists Bulletin (vol. 69, no. 1) is out now (I got mine yesterday), and while I’m always happy to see the latest issue of this journal in my mailbox I am especially pleased with this one because it features my photograph of an adult female Crossidius coralinus fulgidus on flowers of gray rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa). I photographed this beetle in September 2011 near Vernal, Utah at the beginning of a trip with Jeff Huether to find and photograph endemic sand dune tiger beetles across the western U.S. We had just visited the dunes near Maybell, Colorado and were on our way to Idaho to visit the St. Anthony and Bruneau Sand Dune systems before dropping south to Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Utah and the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. I was still a “Crossidius virgin” at that point—my first real Crossidius collecting trip would not come until two years later when Jeff and I visited the Great Basin and surrounding areas in a dedicated effort to find as many species/subspecies of Crossidius as possible (we succeeded in finding 12 of 14 targeted taxa). Having never seen C. coralinus before, you can imagine my excitement at seeing the spectacularly colored adults sitting atop flowers of their rabbitbrush host plants. I am especially fond of this photo, however, because it actually represents one of my earliest attempts to combine a natural blue sky background with a flash-illuminated subject—a technique I had learned from John Abbott just a few weeks earlier at the inaugural BugShot Workshop in Gray Summit, Missouri (just 15 miles from my home). I didn’t quite get the shade of blue I was looking for in this particular shot, but it’s close enough and the subject depth-of-field couldn’t be better. I have worked a lot on this technique since then and now consider blue sky background as part of my signature style.

This is the third issue of The Coleopterists Bulletin to feature one of my photographs on the cover. The first was the June 2013 issue (vol. 67, no. 2), which featured a beautiful, metallic green weevil, Eurhinus cf. adonis (2nd photo) that I photographed on flowers of Chilean goldenrod (Solidago chilensis) in northern Argentina, and the very next issue (September 2013, vol. 67, no. 3) featured my photograph of Chrysobothris octocola on dead mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) in western Oklahoma (and a new state record).

If you’re not one already, consider becoming a member of The Coleopterists Society (I’ve been one for 33 years now!). Their flagship journal, The Coleopterists Bulletin, is your one-stop shop for all things beetley—a quarterly fix of pure elytral ecstacy! In addition to the latest issues of the journal, your membership also gives you online access to archives of past issues via JSTOR and BioOne.

© Ted C. MacRae

Guest Post: Burrow Hole Blues

For today’s post, I am pleased to introduce nature writer and guest blogger Sharman Apt Russell. Epitomizing the increasingly important role of citizen scientists in conservation and natural history study, Sharman recently engaged in a year-long study of the Western red-bellied tiger beetle. Her experiences studying this little-known insect form the basis of her latest book, Diary of a Citizen Scientist. Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World. With writing that is both humorous and whimsical, Sharman highlights the extraordinary scientific contributions being made by ordinary people. Of course, tiger beetles and citizen science are two subjects right up my own alley, so I’m avidly reading my own copy right now. I hope you’ll pick up a copy too (see ordering information below). The following excerpt from the book was kindly provided by the author.

When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and when you’re looking for the larval burrow hole of a Western red-bellied tiger beetle or Cicindela sedecimpunctata,  you see a surprising number of holes you’ve never seen before. Usually they are not the right size or shape, but you think about them anyway because suddenly you are curious: who lives inside all these holes?

Western Red-bellied Tiger Beetle adult. Photo by Cary Kerst.

Western red-bellied tiger beetle adult. Photo by Cary Kerst.

In Arizona and New Mexico, the Western red-bellied tiger beetle is a common and abundant species that comes out in June, before the summer rains, to congregate around ponds and ditches and river banks. For the last few years, as a citizen scientist, I have been trying to fill in what we don’t know about this insect, which includes what kind of habitat the females lay their eggs. Once these tiger beetle eggs hatch, the tiny larvae start digging vertical burrows, the entrance almost perfect circles in the dirt that increase in size (1-3 millimeters) as the larva goes through three stages or instars and enlarges the burrow. But where are those blankety-blank burrows? Does this beetle oviposit close to water or as much as a half mile away, like Cicindela marutha, the aridland tiger beetle? What kind of soil do Western red-bellies prefer?

Western Red-bellied Tiger Beetle larva. Photo used with permission.

Western red-bellied tiger beetle larva. Photo used with permission.

My entomologist-mentors David Pearson and Barry Knisley, coauthors of A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of  the United States and Canada, want to know the answers to these questions, and I’ve promised them that I would find out. So far, for three years, I’ve broken that promise, looking up and down the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico without success. About this time, in late fall, I start to give up, thinking that the larvae have closed their tunnels in order to overwinter.

On one last walk along the Gila River, a few holes remain to tempt me.

A number of almost-perfect circles in the dirt, eighty feet from the riverbank where I have seen hundreds of adult Western red-bellied tiger beetles congregate in the summer, are too large but still irresistible. Hole after hole, nothing lives there now. Instead something probably emerged months ago.

Tiny perfect circles in the dry upland grass are promising. Tiny ants are passing by, and I can see how the fiercely predacious tiger beetle larvae might lunge from such a hole to catch one of these ants. Then I notice how often the ants are marching into these holes, which are obviously their nests.

Other holes near the trail I am walking have turrets or small mud chimneys. I don’t bother to look inside these, knowing they were not built by the Western red-bellied tiger beetle—whom I have reared up in terrariums. (Yes, I have seen their larval burrow holes, just not in the wild.) Possibly these are the old nests of digger bees whose turrets prevent parasitic flies from flipping their eggs into the burrow to hatch and devour the bee larvae. Similarly, Williston tiger beetles construct turrets like this on salt lake beds in eastern New Mexico.

Closer to the Gila River, in dry cliffs that once marked the river’s channel, I see lots of cicada emergence holes and what I think is the home of a tarantula. Tarantulas start their burrows as spiderlings and live there a lifetime, as long as ten years if male and twenty-five if female. This entrance is over an inch in diameter and covered with a light veil of silk that keeps in humidity and carries vibrations down into the foot-long tunnel with its J-shaped chamber. About three inches long, fully-grown tarantulas hunt beetles and grasshoppers and other small prey at night. Their defense against the foxes and coyotes and raccoons who like to eat them are irritating abdominal hairs that fall off easily and get into a predator’s eyes or nasal passages. (Coatis have learned to dislodge those hairs by vigorously rolling the spider back and forth along the ground.) Most people who walk around the Southwest become fond of tarantulas and think of them as lucky, much like having a roadrunner cross your path. I always give a glad mental shout—hey, neat! a tarantula!

Along the river now are signs of beaver chewing on tree trunks; perhaps a den is nearby. Southwestern beavers tend to make bank dens rather than lodges, a bank den having several entry tunnels with one above the high water mark. Its single inside chamber is about two by three by three feet. Other holes I’ll see on this walk might be made by gophers or ground squirrels, pocket mice or grasshopper mice. Collared lizards and whiptails use the holes made by other animals but occasionally dig their own burrows with a half-inch, half-moon shaped entrance. Wintering snakes also borrow someone else’s hole and sometimes den communally, rattlesnakes and bull snakes and whipsnakes all together. Burrowing owls modify the holes they find by lining the interior with feathers, food debris, and horse and cow dung. A Field Guide to Desert Holes says blandly, “This may be to disguise their scent to predators or as decoration.” Similarly, skunks borrow burrows or make their own, decorating them with a strong musky odor. Coyotes only use dens when birthing and raising pups, often on a hillside or bank, the hole taller than wide. There are a few large mysterious holes near my house that I like to think were made by a badger, a prodigious and powerful digger.

I guess we just see the top half of life. Somewhere, I know, the larvae of the Western red-bellied tiger beetle are bedding down now at the bottom of their tunnels (at least 15 centimeters deep), quiescent, waiting for winter to pass. In the spring, they’ll emerge again to catch prey. Eventually they will pupate into adults, congregating in June along the Gila River. Their life cycle is still a bit of a mystery. Maybe I’ll solve that mystery next year—or the next or the next.  In the meantime, I could be doing worse things with my life than looking for holes.

Western Red-bellied Tiger Beetles mating. Photo by Mike Lewinski.

Western red-bellied tiger beetles mating. Photo by Mike Lewinski.

About the author
Sharman Apt Russell lives in the Gila Valley of southwestern New Mexico and teaches at Western New Mexico University and Antioch University in Los Angeles. Her books related to entomology include Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World (Oregon State University Press, 2014) and An Obsession with Butterflies: Our Long Love Affair with a Singular Insect (Basic Books, 2005). Her work has been widely anthologized and translated into over ten languages. For more information, please go to her website and consider signing up for her infrequent newsletters www.sharmanaptrussell.com.

Ordering Information
Title: Diary of a Citizen Scientist
Author: Sharman Apt Russell
Publication Date: October 2014
Price: $18.95 paperback
Description: 224 pp., 6×9 inches
ISBN: 978-0-87071-752-9
Ordering: Available in bookstores or by calling 1-800-426-3797. Order online at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/press

© Sharman Apt Russell 2014

Introducing Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi

Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi MacRae, 2014 | Atascosa Mountains, Arizona

Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi MacRae, 2014 | Holotype female (scale bar = 1 mm) (MacRae 2014: Fig. 1).

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

Review of North American Chalcophora

The latest issue of The Coleopterists Bulletin arrived in my mailbox recently, and among the several papers of interest to me is a review of the North American species of the jewel beetle genus Chalcophora¹ (family Buprestidae). This genus contains some of the largest jewel beetles in North America and, due to their surface sculpturing and strict association with pine trees, are commonly referred to as “sculptured pine borers.” Four of the five species occur in the eastern U.S. and Canada, while only one, C. angulicollis, is found in the western states and provinces.

¹ I’d be interested to know how people pronounce this name. I’ve always pronounced it “kal-koh-FOR-uh”, but I’ve heard others use “kal-KAW-for-uh” or even “chal-KAW-for-uh.”

The review, authored by Crystal Maier and Mike Ivie at Montana State University, should put to rest a long-standing debate on the validity of the single western species. The four eastern species are distinct and easily distinguished from each other by virtue of color, presence/absence of ridges on the front legs, presence/absence of spines at the elytral apices, and, of course, male genitalia. Chalcophora angulicollis, on the other hand, has drifted in and out of synonymy under C. virginiensis, the most widespread of the four eastern species. The most recent changes in status were Bright (1987), who regarded C. angulicollis a synonym and treated all Canadian populations as C. virginiensis, followed by Nelson et al. (2008), who reinstated the former as a valid species. Neither of these actions were supported by any discussion of characters or detailed justification.

Chalcophora spp. (Maier & Ivie 2013)

Figs. 1–5. Chalcophora species, habitus. 1) C. virginiensis, Arkansas; 2) C. angulicollis, Idaho; 3) C. liberta, Wisconsin; 4) C. georgiana, Florida; 5) C. fortis, New York. Source: Maier & Ivie (2013).

My impression has always been that the two species are distinct, and I have maintained specimens separately in my collection despite Bright’s synonymy. Chalcophora angulicollis always seemed to me a little more cupreous in coloration and a little more robust. I know that these are weak characters, and they can easily be a result of geographical variability within a species. However, considering the wide and nearly complete disjunction between the distributions of these two species across the nearly treeless Great Plains, it seemed to me prudent to consider them distinct until conclusively proven otherwise. I was therefore pleased to find out that my suspicions were correct when I visited Mike Ivie in Bozeman, Montana this past summer and learned of this manuscript in progress. Mike and his graduate student Crystal had found a morphological difference in the mouthparts that consistently distinguished the two species—C. angulicollis with the penultimate maxillary palpomere flattened and relatively shorter, while in C. virginiensis this structure is cylindrical and relatively longer. Correlated with these structural differences in the mouthparts are the relatively wider male genitalia of C. angulicollis (<3.3 times as long as wide, versus >3.9 times as long as wide for C. virginiensis) and its weakly serrate to crenulate posterolateral elytral margin (weakly to strongly serrate in C. virginiensis).

In addition to reevaluating the status of C. angulicollis and C. virginiensis, the paper provides high quality images of the dorsal habitus (see figure above), elytral apices, and male genitalia for all five North American species, a revised key to the species, and an updated distribution map showing locality/state records for the two aforementioned species in the context of forest cover in North America. Type material also was examined for all species, each of which is redescribed and annotated with abbreviated taxonomic synonymy (complete synonymies are available in other recent publications), notes on variation, comparisons with other species, and recorded hosts and distributions.


Bright, D. E. 1987. The Metallic Wood-Boring Beetles of Canada and Alaska. Coleóptera. Buprestidae. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada, Part 15. Agriculture Canada Publication 1810, NRC Research Press, Ottawa, 335 pp. [pdf].

Maier, C. A. & M. A. Ivie. 2013. Reevaluation of Chalcophora angulicollis (LeConte) and Chalcophora virginiensis (Drury) with a review and key to the North American species of Chalcophora Dejean (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 67(4):457–469 [abstract].

Nelson, G. H., G. C. Walters, Jr., R. D. Haines, & C. L. Bellamy.  2008.  A Catalogue and Bibliography of the Buprestoidea of American North of Mexico.  Coleopterists Society Special Publication No. 4, The Coleopterists Society, North Potomac, Maryland, 274 pp. [description].

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2014

Cover Photo—The Coleopterists Bulletin 67(3)

cso67-3co14.inddI hope you’ll all take note of the cover photo on the September 2013 issue of The Coleopterists Bulletin (vol. 67, no. 3), which just arrived in my mailbox. It features the adult jewel beetle, Chrysobothris octocola, that I found in September of last year at Gloss Mountains State Park (Woodward Co., Oklahoma) on a dead branch of mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). That was a significant find, as it proved to be a new state record for Oklahoma. This is the second straight issue of the journal to feature one of my photos (the  featured the beautiful, metallic green weevil, Eurhinus cf. adonis, which I photographed in Argentina on flowers of Chilean goldenrod (Solidago chilensis).

Ironically, there are no articles in this issue about jewel beetles, but there are two articles covering my other main group of interest, the longhorned beetles, including a generic revision of Prionacalus by Antonio Santos-Silva and colleagues and a preliminary checklist of the Cerambycidae and Disteniidae of Alabama by Brian Holt. The Prionacalus revision appears to be everything we have come to expect from a modern taxonomic revision, complete with detailed taxonomic history and descriptions, key to species, and all species figured by line drawings and high quality photographs (including many of the primary types). Like most taxonomic works, it suffers from a lack of associated natural history information—not a fault of the authors, as such information is almost always lacking for all but the commonest of species in the Neotropics. The situation is a little better for Nearctic species, and the Holt checklist, happily, includes basic host plant associations for most of the species found within the state. I’ll be busily updating my database of distributional and host plant records for North American Cerambycidae from this work over the next week.

If you are not already a member of The Coleopterists Society, consider becoming a member. Not only is The Coleopterists Bulletin included with your membership, but you will also gain online access to archival and recent issues of the journal via JSTOR and BioOne.


Holt, B. D. 2013. A preliminary checklist of the Cerambycidae and Disteniidae (Coleoptera) of Alabama. The Coleopterists Bulletin 67(3):241–256 [abstract & references].

Santos-Silva, A., Z. Komiya & E. H. Nearns. 2013. Revision of the genus Prionacalus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Prioninae: Prionini). The Coleopterists Bulletin 67(3):201–240 [abstract & references].

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2013