Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Insects of the Pacific Rim

J. Linsley Gressitt (and here) was an incredibly productive (some might say workaholic) man. I've heard stories of him typing up manuscripts on military aircraft that weren't the quietest or smoothest of rides. He was passionate about the insect fauna of the Asia-Pacific region and published a lot on the taxonomy and biogeography of several groups, and established the Wau Ecology Institute which has been an important centre for much research on the natural history of PNG.

It is fitting then that one of the finest collections of South Pacific insects is named after the man. The J. L. Gressitt Centre for Research in Entomology is housed at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii and houses over 14 million specimens, many of which were collected by the man himself. They've recently got themselves an automontage facility, and have begun putting spectacular photos of South Pacific insects online (such as the PNG brentid weevil above). Check out the Solomon Island staphylinids as well... They say they're going to put up something new each week. I really hope they do, because the photos are pretty cool.

No comments: