DATABASE: Virtual Bug Collection

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Science  05 Dec 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5651, pp. 1635
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5651.1635e

This entomology site from Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology can make life easier for insect taxonomists trying to identify a mysterious species and anyone else who needs to scrutinize an array of specimens. Instead of traveling to Cambridge, they can now scan records of the museum's more than 28,000 type specimens, the original samples used to describe the species. Over 4000 entries include images, including an iridescent Amazonian jewel beetle; photos of all specimens will be pinned up within 3 years, says entomologist Brian Farrell. Curators who want to go digital can download collection software and a tutorial.

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