front row (from left): Mike Brattain, Carly Morris, Gareth Powell, Julie Speelman, Clare Scott, Tim Anderson
back row (from left): Greg Curler, Jen Zaspel, Jeff Holland, Luke Jacobus
Located in the east basement of Smith Hall, PERC is an integral part of the Department of Entomology at Purdue. Specimens housed in the collection are the basis for research in systematic entomology at Purdue and by specialists worldwide. The PERC also serves as a reference to facilitate the accurate and timely identification of insects for extension and teaching needs. Approximately 1, 800,000 specimens are held, representing more than 140,000 species. This includes mainly dry-mounted pinned material as well as many specimens stored in liquid preservative or mounted on slides.
With approximately 60% of material in the collection representing the Indiana insect fauna, the PERC is one of the most substantial resources for information pertaining to the insects of Indiana. Other notable components include the type collection comprised of more than 2,500 specimens, the Blatchley collection of Coleoptera and the Ephemeroptera collection, which is widely regarded as the largest and most comprehensive collection of mayflies in the world.
November 2013: Dr. Gino Nearns, USDA Postdoctoral Research Associate, National Museum of National History visited the PERC! Gino is an expert on Cerambycidae (longhorned beetles) systematics and taxonomy.
Dr. Jennifer Zaspel and her postdoc Clare Scott recently attended the Entomological Collections Network and Entomological Society of America meetings in Austin, TX. Dr. Zaspel presented two posters: “Geographic distribution and differential feeding behaviors of the fruit-piercing and skin-piercing moth, Calyptra thalictri Borkhausen (Lepidoptera: Erebidae)” and “Morphological assessment of tymbal microstructure in relation to acoustic communication in tiger moths (Lepidoptera: Erebiae: Arctiinae)”. She was also an author on three talks. Clare gave a talk on the study of the metabolomics and transcriptomics of the lichen moth tribe, which is being conducted at Purdue, entitled “Preliminary study of the transcriptomes and metabolite profiles of the lichen moth tribe Lithosiini (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae).”
Clare Scott’s paper “A preliminary molecular phylogenetic assessment of the lichen moths (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae: Lithosiini) with comments on palatability and chemical sequestration” is In Press at Systematic Entomology.
November 13-14, 2013: Andrew Bentley, Specify Software Usability Lead and Manager of the Ichthyology Collection the KU Biodiversity Institute (University of Kansas) conducted a workshop instructing Purdue Entomology and Botany staff and students on maximizing the utility of Specify 6, a relational database platform used by PERC staff to manage data pertaining to the research collection.
November 10, 2013: Paulo Vilela Cruz (Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil) visits the PERC to study the collection of South American Ephemeroptera.
August 4, 2013: Greg Curler traveled to Costa Rica to participate in the Diptera Blitz collecting event for the NSF-funded ZADBI project.
July 8, 2013: Tim Anderson traveled to the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, AZ to collect insect specimens for phylogenetic research.
June 4, 2013: Jen Zaspel traveled to Thailand to collect specimens of Calyptra and other Lepidoptera.
June 1, 2013: PERC launched Specify 6 as the collection database.
May 17, 2013: Greg Curler traveled to Mississippi State University to attend a North American Dipterists Society meeting and visited the Mississippi Entomological Museum.
May 13, 2013: Tim Anderson traveled to the American Museum of Natural History to attend a biological specimen informatics course.
May 8, 2013: Tim Anderson attended the Specimen Bioinformatics Course at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, NY.
March 25, 2013: Greg Curler traveled to Washington D.C. to visit the Smithsonian Institution and assist with curating the USNM Psychodidae.
March 4, 2013: Jen Zaspel traveled to the University of Kansas to attend a workshop on the digitization of wet collections.
February 24, 2013: Tim Anderson traveled to the Illinois Natural History Survey to attend a Species File Software workshop.