July 19th, 2008

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Dept. of Unusual Jobs

Bob Merz was appointed the North American Regional Studbook Keeper for the American Burying Beetle by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  This document will maintain a genetic record of the beetle populations held in North America.

Did you know beetles had studbooks?  I didn't.   But if the population's very small, and you're trying to bring it back and maintain all the available genetic diversity, I guess you'd need one. 

The beetle in question, in case you're suddenly struck with unbearable curiosity, has the scientific name of
Nicrophorus americanus. 

 http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12204-32983--,00.html

http://www.texasento.net/ABB.htm

I'm now on the lookout for this handsome beetle (but don't expect to find it here.  It needs a regular supply of corpses to bury.)