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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Light, Marilyn [1], Doubt, Jennifer [2], MacConaill, Michael [1].

Herbivores, hosts, and herbaria: Finding and documenting links for biodiversity research.

Using field and herbarium evidence to search for hosts of insect herbivores can be daunting because of disjunct disciplinary knowledge, data deficiency, and inherent limitations to voucher collection. Natural history understanding of host-herbivore relationships must be pursued using disparate resources in order to identify each link in complex networks of interspecific interactions. Given the challenge, these links must be well-documented to properly facilitate future work. In the case of the plant host Neottia sp. (syn. Listera): Orchidaceae, and a leafmining fly, clues were found in four distinct places: a Québec bog, an entomological collection (CNC Ottawa), a British website (, and several large herbarium collections. We first studied evidence of a host-herbivore relationship in populations of Cypripedium parviflorum and C. reginae during a longitudinal study in Gatineau Park QC, where we found, and subsequently reared, a leaf-mining fly that was identified by Richard Vockeroth (CNC Ottawa) as Parallelomma vittatum Meigen (Diptera: Scathophagidae). Examination of curated specimens at CNC Ottawa revealed that G.C.D. Griffiths had reared this leaf-mining fly from Neottia cordata (as Listera cordata) collected in Alaska in 1969. The website provided a list of known hosts including Neottia (as Listera ) in Europe. Subsequent examination of 859 specimens in four herbaria (CAN, DAO, MT, OAC) revealed that 26 specimens representing four of six species of Neottia (N. auriculata, N. banksiana, N. borealis, and N. cordata) from five Canadian provinces and one territory included eggs, mines, or mine-bound larvae still present from the time of collection. Visual, taxonomical, geographical, and temporal data from the herbarium specimens can now guide herbarium- and field-based searches for additional specimens as herbivory and barcoding vouchers. Judicious annotation and documentation will help to preserve the interdisciplinary relationships associated with these specimens. Beyond the exploration of herbivores and hosts, digital indexing of collections offers the opportunity to document increasingly diverse connections between data sources and fields of study, to achieve a better understanding and more efficient investigation of biodiversity.

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1 - 174 Jolicoeur Street, Gatineau, QC, J8Z 1C9, Canada
2 - Canadian Museum of Nature, PO Box 3443 Stn D, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6P4, Canada

herbarium records

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 35
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 35001
Abstract ID:369
Candidate for Awards:None

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