Sunday, 31 May 2009

Proc. Roy. Soc. special issue on the Solomons

While searching for a paper on insect distribution on the Solomon Islands, I came across the 1969 special issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society A on aspects of the biology and geology of what was then known as the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. It's an eclectic mix - articles include details on the soil, vegetation, fungi, Collembola, molluscs and shoreline ecology of the islands.

Unfortunately though, the articles aren't available for the general public - articles are only available with a subscription, or if you want to fork out some hard-earned cash to see the article. The latter option may or may not be too bad, but they don't make it easy to find out exactly what it'll cost you to see each article. Experience with previous journals would suggest it could be rather excessive - I've seen some which try and charge $25-30 USD for a 10-page article... Not my idea of a bargain.

It's great this issue is online. It is rather unadvertised and unknown (at least... I've never come across it before...), but it is a shame that it's not freely available. Oh well.....

Friday, 15 May 2009

Japanese Weevil database

As some might have guessed from reading other articles on the blog, I have a rather soft spot for the Curculionoidea. Weevils with their snouts and their amazing variety of shapes and sizes are incredibly cool. Funnily enough though, they remain comparatively neglected by biologists. It's good to see that the excellent Japanese curculiologists Katsura Morimoto and Hiroaki Kojima are adressing this problem with the Japanese Weevil Database. All the navigation is in Japanese, but it's pretty easy to find your way around even if your knowledge of Japanese leaves a lot to be desired. I'm mainly impressed by the scope of the site and the pretty pictures...

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


I have recently been getting more interested in morphometric analysis, in particular shape and colour analysis. Turns out that they teach a course on this stuff at Imperial College and the Natural History Museum in London. Not only that, but they put all their teaching material online. It's good stuff. Good stuff that is if you like seeing lots of mathematical formulas and multivariate statistics....

Update: I've just come across this site which is maintained by James Rohlf, one of the big names in morphometrics. Rather useful!