Bog Beetle, Misidentified For 85 Years, Is 'Discovered' At Cornell

f Mexico, including 60 introduced from other parts of the world.

Through study of specimens from museums in the northeastern United States and Canada, Will and Liebherr have found that this beetle's natural range extends from Maine to Ohio and Ontario to Maryland. The earliest collected specimen found so far belongs to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, which was found at Palisades on Hudson, N.Y., on April 2, 1907. The collector was not noted on the specimen label. There are also specimens from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and those are labeled only "Massachusetts" and "Pennsylvania." Liebherr suspects the Harvard specimens may be older than 1907.

This beetle loves bogs. "It lives in habitats that people don't usually get to," Liebherr said. "New York state and the surrounding areas have these things that are unique to our region, and they are worth protecting. We've been here in the Northeast for some 300 years, and we still don't know it all."

The first Platynus indecentis species that Will and Liebherr examined at Cornell was on found at McLean Bog. Other specimens were found in boggy areas at Fall Creek, in Tompkins County.

"It just shows the complexity of the systems surrounding us," Liebherr said. "Sometimes finding these things are serendipitous."


Contact: Blaine Friedlander
Cornell University News Service

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