Introducing Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi

Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi MacRae, 2014 | Atascosa Mountains, Arizona

Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi MacRae, 2014 | Holotype female (scale bar = 1 mm) (MacRae 2014: Fig. 1).

Of the many entomology journals I subscribe to, there are few that I await with as much anticipation as The Coleopterists Bulletin. Focusing exclusively on the largest order of life on earth, it’s a quarterly dose of elytral ecstasy that no beetle enthusiast should be without. I awaited the March 2014 issue, however, with special anticipation, as this was the issue that would honor my late friend and colleague, Chuck Bellamy. Last week, the issue arrived in my mailbox, and it did not disappoint!

The issue begins with an In Memorium, spearheaded by fellow buprestophile Rick Westcott and containing contributions and photos from many of Chuck’s contemporaries (including me) (Westcott et al. 2014). This is followed by an especially touching remembrance of Chuck by his longtime friend Art Evans (with whom Chuck co-authored An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles), after which come 11 scientific papers with descriptions of new beetle taxa named in Chuck’s honor. These include nine new species of jewel beetles (family Buprestidae) from Mexico, Central America, China, Kenya, Europe, Peru, and Arizona, a new seed beetle (family Bruchidae) from Mexico, and two new checkered beetles (family Cleridae) from Mexico. For my part, I described one of the jewel beetles, a member of the genus Acmaeodera known from but a single specimen¹ collected in southeastern Arizona which I dedicated to Chuck with the name “Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi MacRae, 2014″. Last but not least, the Fall family provides some remembrances of Chuck and his association with BioQuip Products, Inc.

¹ It is generally not advisable to describe a new species based on a single specimen. However, in this case multiple attempts to recollect the species were unsuccessful, and eventually the type locality was significantly altered in 2009 by the Murphy Fire. It is possible (and indeed likely) that the species still exists in similar nearby habitats (especially further south in Mexico), but the circumstances mentioned above make it unlikely that additional material will become available for the foreseeable future. In such cases, it is, in my opinion, better to name the species so that it can be made available to the broader scientific community.

In all, 12 new beetle taxa are named in Chuck’s honor, bringing the total number of patronyms honoring him to six genus-group names and 31 species-group names—a fitting legacy and testament to the breadth of his impact in the taxonomic community. The issue can be found online at BioOne—abstracts are freely available, but membership in The Coleopterists Society is required to access full-text and pdfs. For those who are not society members, I offer below pdf versions of the two papers that I authored or co-authored.

REFERENCES:

Westcott, R. L., S. Bílý, A. R. Cline, S. D. Gaimari, H. Hespenheide, T. C. MacRae, M. G. Volkovitsh, S. G. Wellso & G. Williams. 2014. In Memoriam: Charles Lawrence Bellamy (1951–2013). The Coleopterists Bulletin 68(1):1–13 [pdf].

MacRae, T. C. 2014. Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi MacRae (Coleoptera: Buprestidae: Acmaeoderini), a new species from Arizona, USA. The Coleopterists Bulletin 68(1):50–52 [pdf].

© Ted C. MacRae 2014

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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7 Responses to Introducing Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi

  1. Rose says:

    Hi Ted ,

    Timing is everything, it just so happened that I was having trouble getting to sleep last Sunday night so I decided to google Chuck’s name, which brought me to Coleoptera, to where I then added society which brought me to the latest issue. I was able to read all of the memorial tributes and I must admit I am truly at a loss for words. I am looking forward to getting a hard copy which both Rick and Art are kindly arranging for me.

    Art had also told me a few weeks ago that Louise Fall had paid for the color proofs. I have her details so I will contacting her to thank her for the contribution.

    Acmaeodera chuckbellamyi, what an honor. Thank you for doing that. I am still very emotional in all things concerning him so please forgive me.

    Thank you again for all you have done for him, past and present.

    Rose

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Rose – it was my distinct pleasure to honor Chuck in this way. I think Rick mentioned trying to get a hard copy of the issue for you. If that doesn’t happen let me know and we’ll get it done.

      I admire the strength you have shown—both during Chuck’s long illness and now with the love of your life gone. It’s a tough loss for everybody that knew him, but for you more than anybody. Thanks for sharing him with me for a while!🙂

  2. George Sims says:

    It is, indeed, a wonderful issue. I’d heard so much about Chuck that I’d assumed he was a very old man; however, he was exactly MY age!!!

    By the way, I’m back in Missouri for an indefinite period, as our (unsold) house here in Douglas County was extensively damaged by a burst waterpipe. I must oversee the repairs and inhabit the house until it’s sold. Should you and young Fothergill plan an expedition into the Ozarks, I’ll gladly serve as Sherpa and waterbearer.

    • Chuck accomplished a great deal in a very short amount of time. He was certainly taken from us far too soon.

      I’ll let you know should I happen to head down that way. Right now my collecting plans have me going east (TN, GA) at the end of May, west (KS, OK) at the end of June, and south (FL) sometime in late July or early August.

  3. “a quarterly dose of elytral ecstasy”…what a great line! Nice post, and very interesting…as always.

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