Specimens from Carnegie Museum of Natural History are frequently cited in the research papers of scientists from all over the world. For researchers, access to these vital materials comes through the assistance of museum staff who are familiar with the physical organization of the collections, and this routine service is generally recognized in the “Acknowledgements” section of any resulting publications. A far rarer form of “thank you” occurred this month when German entomologist Ulf Eitschberger, the first author of a 200-page paper revising a species complex of a sphinx moth known from multiple localities across southeast Asia, named one of the resulting new species for Vanessa Verdecia, Scientific Preparator in the CMNH Section of Invertebrate Zoology.
Vanessa assisted Ulf in his study of the Marumba saishiuana species complex by taking images of specimens from the museum’s collection and sharing them with him via email. This process involved searching for and verifying many relevant type specimens in the IZ collection because Ulf needed to view images of numerous moths within the Marumba genus for his research.
The type locality for Marumba verdeciae is Qingchenhou Shan, in Sichuan, China. There were an additional 52 male specimens collected at the same site, between May and June of 2005, which need to be studied further. The new publication makes no mention of M. verdeciae collected at other sites, and at this time the female of the species is unknown.
Vanessa is pleased with the recognition. As she explains, “I feel honored to have this beautiful species dedicated to me as the Sphingidae are one of my favorite groups of moths and a part of the collection I enjoy working in. It was my pleasure to search for these specimens and provide the images necessary for this revision and ongoing work by this researcher.”
For reference the full citation of the publication is below:
“Erster Schritt zur Revision des Marumba saishiuana auct. Artenkomplexes (nec Okamoto, 1924) (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae)”
[TRANSLATION: “First step in revising the Marumba saishiuana species complex (Okamoto, 1924) (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae)”]
Authors: Ulf Eitschberger & Hoa Binh Nguyen
Journal: Neue Entomologische Nachrichten 75: 123-327, Marktleuthen (Februar 2021)
Patrick McShea works in the Education and Visitor Experience department of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Museum employees are encouraged to blog about their unique experiences and knowledge gained from working at the museum.
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