Paige Carithers (331 Funchess Hall, Auburn Univ., Auburn Alabama 36849-3414. email@example.com) writes, "I am a graduate student at Auburn University in Alabama. I am currently working with Isodontia mexicana where it nests in the tubular leaves of pitcher plants. I also have a parasitoid wasp emerging from some of the Isodontia pupae which Dr. Robert Matthews (Univ. of Georgia) has provisionally identified as some sort of pteromalid."
Julio Cesae Rodrigues Fontenelle (Laboratorio de Ecologia e Comportamento de Insectos, Depto. Biologia Geral, Inst. Ciências Biológicas, Univ. Federal de Minas Gerais, Caixa Postal 2486, Cep 30.161-970, Belo Horizonte M.G., Brasil) writes, "I'm a Msc. Ecology and Management of Wild Life student starting my research on the wasp Rubrica nasuta with special regard to its prey. This is part of a long term project on wasps and bees under the supervision of Dr. R. P. Martins at the university's ecological station."
Jean Leclercq (rue de Bois-de-Breux 190, B 4020 Jupille, Belgium) celebrated his 75th year on April 26. His revision of Eupliloides has just been published, and one on Anacrabro is in press. Also to appear soon is his paper Rhopalum, and Jean has submitted a paper for publication on the African and Asian Entomognathus. Currently Jean is busy with the Asian species of Ectemnius, subgenus Cameronitus.
Arnold Menke (1429 Franklin Street, Bisbee, Arizona 85603 after September, 1996) has several papers in press: Claves ilustradas para las subfamilias, tribus y géneros de esfécidos neotropicales (in collaboration with Fernando Fernández, includes an English version); The Ammophilini of Costa Rica, an identification guide; Phenology of ammophiline wasps in a premontane wet forest in Costa Rica (with Frank Parker); A new Ammoplanus from San Clemente I., California; and Neotropical Mellinus: a review. In addition, Arnold and Woj Pulawski are completing their manuscript titled "A review of the palearctic Sphex of the flavipennis group". Progress has been made on Arnold's Revision of the New World Ammophila but the completion of this humongous project will have to be done at the Ammophila Research Institute in Bisbee, Arizona.
Enrico Negrisolo (Via Conselvana 192, 35020 Maser (PD) Italy) recently started work on a PhD. He originally wanted to go to the University of Kansas but was unable to get a scholarship. So he applied to Padua University instead. There was a fierce public competition for only 6 PhD thesis slots in evolutionary biology, but out of 65 applications, Enrico came in third! It is difficult to obtain a thesis position in systematics, so he was forced to temporarily switch to another field. He is sequencing the molecule of extracellular hemoglobin of a marine worm (Polycheata), and part of his work will be to produce a cladistic analysis based on the hemoglobin sequences combined with morphological characters.
In April of 1995, his father died of a stroke at only 62. Enrico was deeply affected and his research was temporarily interrupted. But in late summer, he took an intensive course in systematic biology at Reading University (near London) organized by the European Community, where he studied techniques of cladistic analysis.
Meanwhile, he has been trying to complete a manuscript on the sphecid wasps of Italy with Guido Pagliano. They were expecting to finish it by the end of 1995 and publish it this year. They have been working on this project since 1991.
All of these activities have left Enrico little time to work on his Liris revision but he hopes to finish it in 1997. He says he loves these wasps and has worked through over one third of the material he has on loan.
Colin Vardy (Yarina, Springwell Lane, Harefield, Middx. UB9 6PG U.K.) is working on a multi-part revision of the genus Pepsis (Pompilidae) and is nearly ready to submit Part 1 for publication. He says, "Part 2 is also complete except for slight amendments. Included in it were 2 males without females (both from southeast Brazil); as one of these species was not very distinct from a described species, despite there being two specimens of it, I was not entirely happy about it. Southeast Brazil has emerged as the area of much of the highest endemism for this genus in the whole neotropical area; several of these endemics are new to Science and most are rare in collections. I had been told that there was extensive material in the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro which I had not been able to get by post, and this was the only collection likely to contain the missing sexes. All these facts together made us decide to sport the money and go there.
"We found two more males of the `doubtful' species, plus a female; and the `missing' female of the other species, too. A further male without female (belonging to a subsequent part of the publication) has remained without female, but it is very distinct. However, I found a further two males, each representing a new species..........! Fortunately, they are both very distinctive and fall in parts subsequent to part 2. As for these other parts, before going to Brazil I completed all the figures as well as taxonomy and descriptions. The phylogenetics is proving a real headache as expected. When the character reversals reach 50% of the total characters, you're in trouble. I'm trying hard not to leave too many unresolved polytomies because it makes the biogeography so difficult. Some of the remaining species groups are proving hard to define, so I'm changing my approach and first aggregating the terminal clusters of species with plenty of apomorphies, then will try to see how they link with each other. The grand total for the genus is now about 133 species, of which 23 are new. Nearly half are treated in parts 1 and 2 together.
"The first two parts of Pepsis together cover just under half the genus, so there are several more parts to come. There are too many difficulties with publishing in one part, desirable though this might be. Currently I'm working on the phylogenetics, it's like trying to run through syrup."
E-MAIL ADDRESSESYvan Barbier, Mons, Belgium: firstname.lastname@example.org
FAX NUMBERSEduardas Budrys, Vilnius, Lithuania: (370) 2-729257
MISSING PERSONSKumar Ghorpade, Bangalore, India
PEOPLE IN THE NEWSKarl V. Krombein - A Festschrift, honoring Karl and his stature as the dean of American wasp workers, has just been published (see announcement on page 33). Karl celebrated his 84th birthday on May 26. He comes to the museum daily to work on various projects and his research output continues undiminished.
Dr. Stefan Schödl is now curator of the Hymenoptera collection of the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.