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31 December 2015 Melanoplus foxi Hebard, 1923 (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae): Rediscovered After Almost 60 Years Using Historical Field Notes Connected to Curated Specimens
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Abstract

Melanoplus foxi Hebard, 1923 (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae) is a flightless and morphologicallydistinct member of the Puer Group of grasshoppers that is endemic to sandhills in the state of Georgia, U.S.A. This species had not been collected in almost 60 years despite our combined eight years of independently searching for it in and around all known localities. Thus, the species was thought to possibly be extinct until our rediscovery of a combined total of 33 specimens of M. foxi in May of 2015 in three locations: Seminole State Park and Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge, which are protected areas, and along the road just outside of the latter. The discovery of a large number of specimens of M. foxi among the unidentified grasshoppers in the collection of the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology's Insect Division and the subsequent examination of the collectors' digitized field notes (linked to the specimens via a code system) led directly to the discovery of these extant populations. This rediscovery highlights the need for detailed field notes and retaining their link to the specimens they describe, often an arduous task, but one which some institutions are embracing by converting field notebooks into digital form either via wholesale scanning, transcription, or a combination of both, and allowing the public to access them on the internet. Such data are invaluable and should be recorded by field explorers and made available to others whenever possible. In addition, absence or negative data, largely unreported in natural history publications, also played a role in the rediscovery of this unique species because it gave us the ability to keep track of investigated sites, and these are reported here to assist in planning future field trips to discover new locations harboring M. foxi.

Derek A. Woller and JoVonn G. Hill "Melanoplus foxi Hebard, 1923 (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplinae): Rediscovered After Almost 60 Years Using Historical Field Notes Connected to Curated Specimens," Transactions of the American Entomological Society 141(3), 545-574, (31 December 2015). https://doi.org/10.3157/061.141.0301
Published: 31 December 2015
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