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On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees

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  • Sam Droege
    All: In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term metallic is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees. Metallic can be
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
    • 0 Attachment

      All:

      In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term "metallic" is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees.  Metallic can be used to describe the whole bee:  "metallic green bee" is a common phrase or it can be that a bee has "metallic reflections."   Entire groups of bees are often referred to as "metallic" even though some have glossy integuments and are highly reflective and others are so dulled by microscopic lines that they reflect no light.  We have also propagated this term in a similar loose way and it can be found throughout our online guides (http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Apoidea#Identification).  We have had complaints from students that they are confused by the term and wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and "nonmetalic."  After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have begun to wonder ourselves if the term is really that useful.  

      Here is what Merriam-Webster says regarding its use in descriptions:

      3 : resembling metal: as a : having iridescent and reflective properties <metallic paint>

      In other words an adjective referring to reflectance of the surface.

      Because of the confusion and overly broad use of how metallic has been applied, its many connotations in the English language, the images it brings to our minds,  and the loose way it has been deployed in descriptions (ours included and perhaps in particular) what we are  thinking now is that in our online guides we will strike the term "metallic" from the guides and replace it with a more nuanced approach, separating color from reflectance.

      Proposed changes then would be:

      1.  Colors will simply be referred to by their common names.  For example the color of Augochlorella  aurata would be simply "green" not "metallic green."  While the color of Halictus confusus would be along the lines of "dark green often with gold-yellow overtones."  

      2.  For surface reflectance any number of terms will be useful from shiny, mirror-like, glossy but when the surface is dull and reflective, the cause for the dulling should be mentioned (tessellated, imbricate, microscopic lines, rugose, beaded etc).

      3.  For the situation in which reflectance and color are more complicated, then usually it can be described as an "iridescence."   This would be particularly true for situations when a species is black or nearly black but has multicolored, reflective overtones similar to that of a light film of oil on water.  So a description of many of the abdomens of Lasioglossum (Dialictus) would include the basic color (black, dark brown, very dark brown with dark red highlights) and the presence of iridescent dark blue or green reflectance on certain portions of the tergites.   Similarly, many members of Augochloropsis would be green with blue iridescent overtones.

      I am sure that others have thought through and come to similar or better conclusions about this in the past, but before we starting changing the 1500 or so characters we have written for bees in these guides we thought we would post this for comments and suggestions.

      By the way, we are in a general process of updating and consolidating the wording and terms throughout the guides.  Suggestions are helpful as well as complaints about any guide wording.  Complainers are our best friends.  We are also putting together a generically worded blank guide that would have a set of characters to score that could be used as a starting place for anyone putting together a guide to a country or region's bees.

      Thanks

      sam

      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

      Autumn

      Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
      Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
      and on the meadows let the wind go free.


      Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
      grant them a few more warm transparent days,
      urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
      the final sweetness into the heavy wine.


      Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
      Whoever is alone will stay alone,
      will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
      and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
      restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.


                   - Rainer Maria Rilke


       
      P Bees are not optional.
    • barbara.abraham@hamptonu.edu
      Sam, Personally I have never had any trouble telling metallic from non-metallic in general, but I have not used the keys excessively yet for bees. My only
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
      • 0 Attachment

        Sam,

         

        Personally I have never had any trouble telling “metallic” from “non-metallic” in general, but I have not used the keys excessively yet for bees.  My only comment is that we should stick to a one word description instead of a six-seven  word description, when the one word is clear to most users.  Keys are already complicated enough.

         

        I will be interested in what other members of the list say on this topic!

         

        Barb

         

         

        Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.

        Associate Professor

        SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor

        Department of Biological Sciences

        Hampton University

        Hampton, VA  23668

        757-727-5283

        barbara.abraham@...

         

        From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sam Droege
        Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:47 AM
        To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees

         

         


        All:

        In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term "metallic" is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees.  Metallic can be used to describe the whole bee:  "metallic green bee" is a common phrase or it can be that a bee has "metallic reflections."   Entire groups of bees are often referred to as "metallic" even though some have glossy integuments and are highly reflective and others are so dulled by microscopic lines that they reflect no light.  We have also propagated this term in a similar loose way and it can be found throughout our online guides (http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Apoidea#Identification).  We have had complaints from students that they are confused by the term and wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and "nonmetalic."  After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have begun to wonder ourselves if the term is really that useful.  

        Here is what Merriam-Webster says regarding its use in descriptions:

        3 : resembling metal: as a : having iridescent and reflective properties <metallic paint>

        In other words an adjective referring to reflectance of the surface.

        Because of the confusion and overly broad use of how metallic has been applied, its many connotations in the English language, the images it brings to our minds,  and the loose way it has been deployed in descriptions (ours included and perhaps in particular) what we are  thinking now is that in our online guides we will strike the term "metallic" from the guides and replace it with a more nuanced approach, separating color from reflectance.

        Proposed changes then would be:

        1.  Colors will simply be referred to by their common names.  For example the color of Augochlorella  aurata would be simply "green" not "metallic green."  While the color of Halictus confusus would be along the lines of "dark green often with gold-yellow overtones."  

        2.  For surface reflectance any number of terms will be useful from shiny, mirror-like, glossy but when the surface is dull and reflective, the cause for the dulling should be mentioned (tessellated, imbricate, microscopic lines, rugose, beaded etc).

        3.  For the situation in which reflectance and color are more complicated, then usually it can be described as an "iridescence."   This would be particularly true for situations when a species is black or nearly black but has multicolored, reflective overtones similar to that of a light film of oil on water.  So a description of many of the abdomens of Lasioglossum (Dialictus) would include the basic color (black, dark brown, very dark brown with dark red highlights) and the presence of iridescent dark blue or green reflectance on certain portions of the tergites.   Similarly, many members of Augochloropsis would be green with blue iridescent overtones.

        I am sure that others have thought through and come to similar or better conclusions about this in the past, but before we starting changing the 1500 or so characters we have written for bees in these guides we thought we would post this for comments and suggestions.

        By the way, we are in a general process of updating and consolidating the wording and terms throughout the guides.  Suggestions are helpful as well as complaints about any guide wording.  Complainers are our best friends.  We are also putting together a generically worded blank guide that would have a set of characters to score that could be used as a starting place for anyone putting together a guide to a country or region's bees.

        Thanks

        sam


        Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
        w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
        USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
        BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
        Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

        Autumn

        Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
        Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
        and on the meadows let the wind go free.


        Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
        grant them a few more warm transparent days,
        urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
        the final sweetness into the heavy wine.


        Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
        Whoever is alone will stay alone,
        will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
        and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
        restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.


                     - Rainer Maria Rilke


         
        P Bees are not optional.

        The information contained in this message is intended only for the recipient, and may otherwise be privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, please be aware that any dissemination or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer. This footnote also confirms that this email has been scanned for all viruses by the Hampton University Center for Information Technology Enterprise Systems service.
      • Wedge_Watkins@fws.gov
        Since I would have to look up terms like tessellated, imbricate and rugose, I prefer shiny metallic or dull metallic. Wedge Watkins Refuge Biologist Big Muddy
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
        • 0 Attachment

          Since I would have to look up terms like tessellated, imbricate and rugose, I prefer shiny metallic or dull metallic.


          Wedge Watkins
          Refuge Biologist
          Big Muddy NFWR
          U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
          4200 New Haven Road
          Columbia, MO 65201

          Phone: 573-441-2788
          Fax: 573-876-1839

          "Any river is the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as nothing but water, is to ignore the greater part" - Hal Borland


          Inactive hide details for <barbara.abraham@...><barbara.abraham@...>


                  <barbara.abraham@...>
                  Sent by: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com

                  11/05/2009 07:22 AM


          To

          <sdroege@...>, <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>

          cc


          Subject

          RE: [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees

          Sam,

          Personally I have never had any trouble telling “metallic” from “non-metallic” in general, but I have not used the keys excessively yet for bees. My only comment is that we should stick to a one word description instead of a six-seven word description, when the one word is clear to most users. Keys are already complicated enough.

          I will be interested in what other members of the list say on this topic!

          Barb

          Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.

          Associate Professor

          SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor

          Department of Biological Sciences

          Hampton University

          Hampton, VA 23668

          757-727-5283

          barbara.abraham@...

          From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sam Droege
          Sent:
          Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:47 AM
          To:
          beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          Subject:
          [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees


          All:

          In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term "metallic" is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees. Metallic can be used to describe the whole bee: "metallic green bee" is a common phrase or it can be that a bee has "metallic reflections." Entire groups of bees are often referred to as "metallic" even though some have glossy integuments and are highly reflective and others are so dulled by microscopic lines that they reflect no light. We have also propagated this term in a similar loose way and it can be found throughout our online guides (http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Apoidea#Identification). We have had complaints from students that they are confused by the term and wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and "nonmetalic." After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have begun to wonder ourselves if the term is really that useful.

          Here is what Merriam-Webster says regarding its use in descriptions:

          3
          : resembling metal: as a : having iridescent and reflective properties <metallic paint>

          In other words an adjective referring to reflectance of the surface.

          Because of the confusion and overly broad use of how metallic has been applied, its many connotations in the English language, the images it brings to our minds, and the loose way it has been deployed in descriptions (ours included and perhaps in particular) what we are thinking now is that in our online guides we will strike the term "metallic" from the guides and replace it with a more nuanced approach, separating color from reflectance.

          Proposed changes then would be:

          1. Colors will simply be referred to by their common names. For example the color of Augochlorella aurata would be simply "green" not "metallic green." While the color of Halictus confusus would be along the lines of "dark green often with gold-yellow overtones."

          2. For surface reflectance any number of terms will be useful from shiny, mirror-like, glossy but when the surface is dull and reflective, the cause for the dulling should be mentioned (tessellated, imbricate, microscopic lines, rugose, beaded etc).

          3. For the situation in which reflectance and color are more complicated, then usually it can be described as an "iridescence." This would be particularly true for situations when a species is black or nearly black but has multicolored, reflective overtones similar to that of a light film of oil on water. So a description of many of the abdomens of Lasioglossum (Dialictus) would include the basic color (black, dark brown, very dark brown with dark red highlights) and the presence of iridescent dark blue or green reflectance on certain portions of the tergites. Similarly, many members of Augochloropsis would be green with blue iridescent overtones.

          I am sure that others have thought through and come to similar or better conclusions about this in the past, but before we starting changing the 1500 or so characters we have written for bees in these guides we thought we would post this for comments and suggestions.

          By the way, we are in a general process of updating and consolidating the wording and terms throughout the guides. Suggestions are helpful as well as complaints about any guide wording. Complainers are our best friends. We are also putting together a generically worded blank guide that would have a set of characters to score that could be used as a starting place for anyone putting together a guide to a country or region's bees.

          Thanks

          sam


          Sam Droege sdroege@...
          w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
          USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
          BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
          Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

          Autumn

          Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
          Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
          and on the meadows let the wind go free.

          Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
          grant them a few more warm transparent days,
          urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
          the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

          Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
          Whoever is alone will stay alone,
          will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
          and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
          restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

          - Rainer Maria Rilke



          P
          Bees are not optional.

          The information contained in this message is intended only for the recipient, and may otherwise be privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, please be aware that any dissemination or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer. This footnote also confirms that this email has been scanned for all viruses by the Hampton University Center for Information Technology Enterprise Systems service.


        • Crumbling.Deana@epamail.epa.gov
          Perhaps we just need better explanations of terms such as those, along with easily accessible, good pictures of the features. Deana Crumbling, M.S.
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
          Perhaps we just need better explanations of terms such as those, along
          with easily accessible, good pictures of the features.


          Deana Crumbling, M.S.
          Environmental Scientist | Technology Innovation Program
          U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
          MC 5203P | 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW | Washington, DC 20460
          Phone: 703-603-0643  | Fax: 703-603-9135



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          |11/05/2009 09:02 AM |
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          |RE: [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees |
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          Since I would have to look up terms like tessellated, imbricate and
          rugose, I prefer shiny metallic or dull metallic.


          Wedge Watkins
          Refuge Biologist
          Big Muddy NFWR
          U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
          4200 New Haven Road
          Columbia, MO 65201

          Phone: 573-441-2788
          Fax: 573-876-1839

          "Any river is the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as
          nothing but water, is to ignore the greater part" - Hal Borland


          (Embedded image moved to file: pic29045.gif)Inactive hide details for
          <barbara.abraham@...><barbara.abraham@...>


          <barbara.
          abraham@h
          amptonu.e
          du> (Embedded image moved to file:
          Sent by: pic24435.gif)
          beemonito To
          ring@yaho (Embedded image moved to
          ogroups.c file: pic07492.gif)
          om <sdroege@...>,
          <beemonitoring@yahoogroups
          .com>
          11/05/200 (Embedded image moved to file:
          9 07:22 pic05732.gif)
          AM cc
          (Embedded image moved to
          file: pic30076.gif)
          (Embedded image moved to file:
          pic04667.gif)
          Subject
          (Embedded image moved to
          file: pic00403.gif)
          RE: [beemonitoring] On the
          use of the word "metallic"
          in descriptions of bees


          (Embedded image moved to file:
          pic18367.gif)
          (Embedded image moved to
          file: pic18899.gif)







          Sam,


          Personally I have never had any trouble telling “metallic” from
          “non-metallic” in general, but I have not used the keys excessively yet
          for bees. My only comment is that we should stick to a one word
          description instead of a six-seven word description, when the one word
          is clear to most users. Keys are already complicated enough.


          I will be interested in what other members of the list say on this
          topic!


          Barb


          Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.


          Associate Professor


          SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor


          Department of Biological Sciences


          Hampton University


          Hampton, VA 23668


          757-727-5283


          barbara.abraham@...


          From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [
          mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sam Droege
          Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:47 AM
          To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in
          descriptions of bees



          All:

          In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term "metallic"
          is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees.
          Metallic can be used to describe the whole bee: "metallic green bee" is
          a common phrase or it can be that a bee has "metallic reflections."
          Entire groups of bees are often referred to as "metallic" even though
          some have glossy integuments and are highly reflective and others are so
          dulled by microscopic lines that they reflect no light. We have also
          propagated this term in a similar loose way and it can be found
          throughout our online guides (
          http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Apoidea#Identification). We have
          had complaints from students that they are confused by the term and
          wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and "nonmetalic."
          After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have begun to wonder
          ourselves if the term is really that useful.

          Here is what Merriam-Webster says regarding its use in descriptions:

          3 : resembling metal: as a : having iridescent and reflective properties
          <metallic paint>

          In other words an adjective referring to reflectance of the surface.

          Because of the confusion and overly broad use of how metallic has been
          applied, its many connotations in the English language, the images it
          brings to our minds, and the loose way it has been deployed in
          descriptions (ours included and perhaps in particular) what we are
          thinking now is that in our online guides we will strike the term
          "metallic" from the guides and replace it with a more nuanced approach,
          separating color from reflectance.

          Proposed changes then would be:

          1. Colors will simply be referred to by their common names. For example
          the color of Augochlorella aurata would be simply "green" not "metallic
          green." While the color of Halictus confusus would be along the lines of
          "dark green often with gold-yellow overtones."

          2. For surface reflectance any number of terms will be useful from
          shiny, mirror-like, glossy but when the surface is dull and reflective,
          the cause for the dulling should be mentioned (tessellated, imbricate,
          microscopic lines, rugose, beaded etc).

          3. For the situation in which reflectance and color are more
          complicated, then usually it can be described as an "iridescence." This
          would be particularly true for situations when a species is black or
          nearly black but has multicolored, reflective overtones similar to that
          of a light film of oil on water. So a description of many of the
          abdomens of Lasioglossum (Dialictus) would include the basic color
          (black, dark brown, very dark brown with dark red highlights) and the
          presence of iridescent dark blue or green reflectance on certain
          portions of the tergites. Similarly, many members of Augochloropsis
          would be green with blue iridescent overtones.

          I am sure that others have thought through and come to similar or better
          conclusions about this in the past, but before we starting changing the
          1500 or so characters we have written for bees in these guides we
          thought we would post this for comments and suggestions.

          By the way, we are in a general process of updating and consolidating
          the wording and terms throughout the guides. Suggestions are helpful as
          well as complaints about any guide wording. Complainers are our best
          friends. We are also putting together a generically worded blank guide
          that would have a set of characters to score that could be used as a
          starting place for anyone putting together a guide to a country or
          region's bees.

          Thanks

          sam



          Sam Droege sdroege@...
          w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
          USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
          BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
          Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

          Autumn

          Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
          Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
          and on the meadows let the wind go free.

          Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
          grant them a few more warm transparent days,
          urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
          the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

          Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
          Whoever is alone will stay alone,
          will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
          and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
          restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

          - Rainer Maria Rilke



          P Bees are not optional.


          The information contained in this message is intended only for the
          recipient, and may otherwise be privileged and confidential. If the
          reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or
          agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient,
          please be aware that any dissemination or copying of this communication
          is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in
          error, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and
          deleting it from your computer. This footnote also confirms that this
          email has been scanned for all viruses by the Hampton University Center
          for Information Technology Enterprise Systems service.





          [attachment "pic03035.gif" deleted by Deana
          Crumbling/DC/USEPA/US] [attachment "3A444585.gif" deleted by Deana
          Crumbling/DC/USEPA/US] [attachment "3A920390.gif" deleted by Deana
          Crumbling/DC/USEPA/US]
        • Doug Yanega
          ... Don t second-guess. The term is useful, and if students are having trouble with it, then examples should do the trick. The distinction is pretty much the
          Message 5 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            >We have had complaints from students that they are confused by the
            >term and wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and
            >"nonmetalic." After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have
            >begun to wonder ourselves if the term is really that useful.

            Don't second-guess. The term is useful, and if students are having
            trouble with it, then examples should do the trick. The distinction
            is pretty much the same as "reflective", but "reflective" is a MORE
            ambiguous term than "metallic."

            Consider the tail of a Sphecodes: it is polished, and bright red. But
            it is not *metallic*, because the color is a property of the
            integument itself, and not of the light reflected *from* the
            integument. Distinguishing that from, say, the abdomen of a chrysidid
            in the genus Omalus, which might be the same color red, and just as
            polished, but *metallic*, requires the use of the term "metallic", I
            think, because calling one "reflective" and the other
            "non-reflective" is simply not going to be an improvement.
            Iridescence and highlights are similar properties, and the
            distinction between them is pretty subtle and maybe even
            arbitrary...I tend to think of iridescence as just one end of the
            continuum of "highlights" (if a blue highlight on a green bee is
            intense enough, for example, then one calls it "blue iridescence"); a
            "highlight" is weak iridescence, and "iridescence" is an intense
            highlight.

            It would be easier, certainly, if the English language had actual
            names for metallic colors throughout the spectrum; consider the term
            "silver", for example - realistically, it is simply a surface that
            reflects all light, so it is effectively a white reflective surface -
            yet we don't call it "white"! If I said a bee was silver (shining
            silver or dull silver), no one would have any trouble imagining it,
            and adding the adjective "metallic" would be redundant. A few other
            related terms exist, but are a little more ambiguous ("brassy",
            "bronze", "copper") because of lack of familiarity, and there are a
            few (e.g."gold"), for which a non-metallic version of the color could
            also be implied (although it's hard to imagine anyone using the
            phrase "metallic yellow"). It's just a limitation of our language.

            Peace,
            --

            Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
            Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
            phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
            http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
            "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
            is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
          • Anita M Collins, Ph.D.
            Sam, I tend to agree with Barb, that the simpler the terms the better. However, applying metllic to a group, when some are not clearly so, is probably not a
            Message 6 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Sam,
               
              I tend to agree with Barb, that the simpler the terms the better.  However, applying metllic to a group, when some are not clearly so, is probably not a good use of the descriptor, and one of your suggestions would be better.  Something with a broader meaning??
              Anita
              If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
              -Albert Einstein





              Nov 5, 2009 07:23:06 AM, barbara.abraham@... wrote:
               

              Sam,

               

              Personally I have never had any trouble telling “metallic” from “non-metallic” in general, but I have not used the keys excessively yet for bees.  My only comment is that we should stick to a one word description instead of a six-seven  word description, when the one word is clear to most users.  Keys are already complicated enough.

               

              I will be interested in what other members of the list say on this topic!

               

              Barb

               

               

              Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.

              Associate Professor

              SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor

              Department of Biological Sciences

              Hampton University

              Hampton, VA  23668

              757-727-5283

              barbara.abraham@...

               

              From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sam Droege
              Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:47 AM
              To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees

               


              All:

              In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term "metallic" is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees.  Metallic can be used to describe the whole bee:  "metallic green bee" is a common phrase or it can be that a bee has "metallic reflections."   Entire groups of bees are often referred to as "metallic" even though some have glossy integuments and are highly reflective and others are so dulled by microscopic lines that they reflect no light.  We have also propagated this term in a similar loose way and it can be found throughout our online guides (http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Apoidea#Identification).  We have had complaints from students that they are confused by the term and wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and "nonmetalic."  After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have begun to wonder ourselves if the term is really that useful.  

              Here is what Merriam-Webster says regarding its use in descriptions:

              3 : resembling metal: as a : having iridescent and reflective properties

              In other words an adjective referring to reflectance of the surface.

              Because of the confusion and overly broad use of how metallic has been applied, its many connotations in the English language, the images it brings to our minds,  and the loose way it has been deployed in descriptions (ours included and perhaps in particular) what we are  thinking now is that in our online guides we will strike the term "metallic" from the guides and replace it with a more nuanced approach, separating color from reflectance.

              Proposed changes then would be:

              1.  Colors will simply be referred to by their common names.  For example the color of Augochlorella  aurata would be simply "green" not "metallic green."  While the color of Halictus confusus would be along the lines of "dark green often with gold-yellow overtones."  

              2.  For surface reflectance any number of terms will be useful from shiny, mirror-like, glossy but when the surface is dull and reflective, the cause for the dulling should be mentioned (tessellated, imbricate, microscopic lines, rugose, beaded etc).

              3.  For the situation in which reflectance and color are more complicated, then usually it can be described as an "iridescence."   This would be particularly true for situations when a species is black or nearly black but has multicolored, reflective overtones similar to that of a light film of oil on water.  So a description of many of the abdomens of Lasioglossum (Dialictus) would include the basic color (black, dark brown, very dark brown with dark red highlights) and the presence of iridescent dark blue or green reflectance on certain portions of the tergites.   Similarly, many members of Augochloropsis would be green with blue iridescent overtones.

              I am sure that others have thought through and come to similar or better conclusions about this in the past, but before we starting changing the 1500 or so characters we have written for bees in these guides we thought we would post this for comments and suggestions.

              By the way, we are in a general process of updating and consolidating the wording and terms throughout the guides.  Suggestions are helpful as well as complaints about any guide wording.  Complainers are our best friends.  We are also putting together a generically worded blank guide that would have a set of characters to score that could be used as a starting place for anyone putting together a guide to a country or region's bees.

              Thanks

              sam


              Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
              w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
              USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
              BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
              Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov


              Autumn

              Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
              Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
              and on the meadows let the wind go free.


              Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
              grant them a few more warm transparent days,
              urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
              the final sweetness into the heavy wine.


              Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
              Whoever is alone will stay alone,
              will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
              and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
              restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.


                           - Rainer Maria Rilke


               
              P Bees are not optional.

              The information contained in this message is intended only for the recipient, and may otherwise be privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, please be aware that any dissemination or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer. This footnote also confirms that this email has been scanned for all viruses by the Hampton University Center for Information Technology Enterprise Systems service.

            • Anita M Collins, Ph.D.
              Sam, I tend to agree with Barb, that the simpler the terms the better. However, applying metllic to a group, when some are not clearly so, is probably not a
              Message 7 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
              • 0 Attachment

                Sam, I tend to agree with Barb, that the simpler the terms the better.  However, applying metllic to a group, when some are not clearly so, is probably not a good use of the descriptor, and one of your suggestions would be better.  Something with a broader meaning??Anita
                If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
                -Albert Einstein





                Nov 5, 2009 07:23:06 AM, barbara.abraham@... wrote:
                 

                Sam,

                 

                Personally I have never had any trouble telling “metallic” from “non-metallic” in general, but I have not used the keys excessively yet for bees.  My only comment is that we should stick to a one word description instead of a six-seven  word description, when the one word is clear to most users.  Keys are already complicated enough.

                 

                I will be interested in what other members of the list say on this topic!

                 

                Barb

                 

                 

                Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.

                Associate Professor

                SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor

                Department of Biological Sciences

                Hampton University

                Hampton, VA  23668

                757-727-5283

                barbara.abraham@...

                 

                From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sam Droege
                Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:47 AM
                To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees

                 




                All:

                In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term "metallic" is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees.  Metallic can be used to describe the whole bee:  "metallic green bee" is a common phrase or it can be that a bee has "metallic reflections."   Entire groups of bees are often referred to as "metallic" even though some have glossy integuments and are highly reflective and others are so dulled by microscopic lines that they reflect no light.  We have also propagated this term in a similar loose way and it can be found throughout our online guides (http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Apoidea#Identification).  We have had complaints from students that they are confused by the term and wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and "nonmetalic."  After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have begun to wonder ourselves if the term is really that useful.  

                Here is what Merriam-Webster says regarding its use in descriptions:

                3 : resembling metal: as a : having iridescent and reflective properties

                In other words an adjective referring to reflectance of the surface.

                Because of the confusion and overly broad use of how metallic has been applied, its many connotations in the English language, the images it brings to our minds,  and the loose way it has been deployed in descriptions (ours included and perhaps in particular) what we are  thinking now is that in our online guides we will strike the term "metallic" from the guides and replace it with a more nuanced approach, separating color from reflectance.

                Proposed changes then would be:

                1.  Colors will simply be referred to by their common names.  For example the color of Augochlorella  aurata would be simply "green" not "metallic green."  While the color of Halictus confusus would be along the lines of "dark green often with gold-yellow overtones."  

                2.  For surface reflectance any number of terms will be useful from shiny, mirror-like, glossy but when the surface is dull and reflective, the cause for the dulling should be mentioned (tessellated, imbricate, microscopic lines, rugose, beaded etc).

                3.  For the situation in which reflectance and color are more complicated, then usually it can be described as an "iridescence."   This would be particularly true for situations when a species is black or nearly black but has multicolored, reflective overtones similar to that of a light film of oil on water.  So a description of many of the abdomens of Lasioglossum (Dialictus) would include the basic color (black, dark brown, very dark brown with dark red highlights) and the presence of iridescent dark blue or green reflectance on certain portions of the tergites.   Similarly, many members of Augochloropsis would be green with blue iridescent overtones.

                I am sure that others have thought through and come to similar or better conclusions about this in the past, but before we starting changing the 1500 or so characters we have written for bees in these guides we thought we would post this for comments and suggestions.

                By the way, we are in a general process of updating and consolidating the wording and terms throughout the guides.  Suggestions are helpful as well as complaints about any guide wording.  Complainers are our best friends.  We are also putting together a generically worded blank guide that would have a set of characters to score that could be used as a starting place for anyone putting together a guide to a country or region's bees.

                Thanks

                sam


                Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
                w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
                USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
                BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
                Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

                Autumn

                Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
                Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
                and on the meadows let the wind go free.

                Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
                grant them a few more warm transparent days,
                urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
                the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

                Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
                Whoever is alone will stay alone,
                will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
                and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
                restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

                             - Rainer Maria Rilke


                 
                P Bees are not optional.


                The information contained in this message is intended only for the recipient, and may otherwise be privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, please be aware that any dissemination or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer. This footnote also confirms that this email has been scanned for all viruses by the Hampton University Center for Information Technology Enterprise Systems service.


              • Matthias Buck
                Hi Sam, I never found a problem with the term metallic. It seems pretty intuitive to me. I would rather keep it simple. More detailed explanations could be
                Message 8 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Sam,

                  I never found a problem with the term metallic. It seems pretty intuitive to me. I would rather keep it simple. More detailed explanations could be given in a glossary.

                  Cheers,

                            Matthias


                  From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sam Droege
                  Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 6:47 AM
                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees

                   




                  All:

                  In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term "metallic" is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees.  Metallic can be used to describe the whole bee:  "metallic green bee" is a common phrase or it can be that a bee has "metallic reflections."   Entire groups of bees are often referred to as "metallic" even though some have glossy integuments and are highly reflective and others are so dulled by microscopic lines that they reflect no light.  We have also propagated this term in a similar loose way and it can be found throughout our online guides (http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Apoidea#Identification).  We have had complaints from students that they are confused by the term and wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and "nonmetalic."  After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have begun to wonder ourselves if the term is really that useful.  

                  Here is what Merriam-Webster says regarding its use in descriptions:

                  3 : resembling metal: as a : having iridescent and reflective properties

                  In other words an adjective referring to reflectance of the surface.

                  Because of the confusion and overly broad use of how metallic has been applied, its many connotations in the English language, the images it brings to our minds,  and the loose way it has been deployed in descriptions (ours included and perhaps in particular) what we are  thinking now is that in our online guides we will strike the term "metallic" from the guides and replace it with a more nuanced approach, separating color from reflectance.

                  Proposed changes then would be:

                  1.  Colors will simply be referred to by their common names.  For example the color of Augochlorella  aurata would be simply "green" not "metallic green."  While the color of Halictus confusus would be along the lines of "dark green often with gold-yellow overtones."  

                  2.  For surface reflectance any number of terms will be useful from shiny, mirror-like, glossy but when the surface is dull and reflective, the cause for the dulling should be mentioned (tessellated, imbricate, microscopic lines, rugose, beaded etc).

                  3.  For the situation in which reflectance and color are more complicated, then usually it can be described as an "iridescence."   This would be particularly true for situations when a species is black or nearly black but has multicolored, reflective overtones similar to that of a light film of oil on water.  So a description of many of the abdomens of Lasioglossum (Dialictus) would include the basic color (black, dark brown, very dark brown with dark red highlights) and the presence of iridescent dark blue or green reflectance on certain portions of the tergites.   Similarly, many members of Augochloropsis would be green with blue iridescent overtones.

                  I am sure that others have thought through and come to similar or better conclusions about this in the past, but before we starting changing the 1500 or so characters we have written for bees in these guides we thought we would post this for comments and suggestions.

                  By the way, we are in a general process of updating and consolidating the wording and terms throughout the guides.  Suggestions are helpful as well as complaints about any guide wording.  Complainers are our best friends.  We are also putting together a generically worded blank guide that would have a set of characters to score that could be used as a starting place for anyone putting together a guide to a country or region's bees.

                  Thanks

                  sam


                  Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
                  w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
                  USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
                  BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
                  Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

                  Autumn

                  Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
                  Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
                  and on the meadows let the wind go free.

                  Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
                  grant them a few more warm transparent days,
                  urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
                  the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

                  Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
                  Whoever is alone will stay alone,
                  will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
                  and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
                  restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

                               - Rainer Maria Rilke


                   
                  P Bees are not optional.


                  The information contained in this message is intended only for the recipient, and may otherwise be privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, please be aware that any dissemination or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer. This footnote also confirms that this email has been scanned for all viruses by the Hampton University Center for Information Technology Enterprise Systems service.






                  --
                  Dr. Matthias Buck
                  Invertebrate Zoology
                  Royal Alberta Museum
                  12845-102nd Avenue
                  Edmonton, Alberta
                  Canada, T5N 0M6
                  Phone: (780) 453-9122
                  www.royalalbertamuseum.ca
                • Julio A. Genaro
                  I AGREED WITH MATTHIAS. UNTIL I KNOW FOR US, PEOPLE DESCRIBING NEW BEE SPECIES, WRITTING KEYS OF REDESCRIBING OTHER, IT IS INTUITIVE!!! CHEERS JULIO Hi Sam, I
                  Message 9 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I AGREED WITH MATTHIAS. UNTIL I KNOW FOR US, PEOPLE DESCRIBING NEW BEE SPECIES, WRITTING KEYS OF REDESCRIBING OTHER, IT IS INTUITIVE!!!
                     
                    CHEERS
                    JULIO 
                     
                     
                     
                    Hi Sam,

                    I never found a problem with the term metallic. It seems pretty intuitive to me. I would rather keep it simple. More detailed explanations could be given in a glossary.

                    Cheers,

                              Matthias


                    Windows Live: Friends get your Flickr, Yelp, and Digg updates when they e-mail you.
                  • Jack Neff
                    Sam:  I have no problem with the term metallic .  As with some others, it seems fairly intutitive to me and I have no problem with it in keys or
                    Message 10 of 10 , Nov 5, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Sam:  I have no problem with the term "metallic".  As with some others, it seems fairly intutitive to me and I have no problem with it in keys or descriptions.  It may be that some of your guides use it in an overly broad sense (using metallic as a general descriptor for both Augochloropsis and Dialictus without modifiers is highly dubious).
                         I have a  bigger problem with some of the other terms which regularly show up in Discoverlife Keys.  The first abdominal segment is fused with the thorax In the "higher" Hymenoptera, so the first tergite of the apparent abdomen is really the second abdominal tergite. While I assume the people who write these things know the difference, I fear many of the novices do not will not appreciate the difference between thorax and mesosoma and abdomen and metasoma.  Calling it the first abdominal segment may make it easier for novices but it is bad anatomy and bad biology.   Using the terms mesosoma (for the apparent thorax) and metasoma (for the apparent abdomen) allows one to start counting with metasomal tergite one without fomenting more anatomical ignorance. 

                      best

                      Jack

                      John L. Neff
                      Central Texas Melittological Institute
                      7307 Running Rope
                      Austin,TX 78731 USA
                      512-345-7219

                      --- On Thu, 11/5/09, Sam Droege <sdroege@...> wrote:

                      From: Sam Droege <sdroege@...>
                      Subject: [beemonitoring] On the use of the word "metallic" in descriptions of bees
                      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Thursday, November 5, 2009, 5:47 AM

                       


                      All:

                      In the revisions, books, and keys relating to bees the term "metallic" is often used as a descriptor for the integument (skin) of bees.  Metallic can be used to describe the whole bee:  "metallic green bee" is a common phrase or it can be that a bee has "metallic reflections."   Entire groups of bees are often referred to as "metallic" even though some have glossy integuments and are highly reflective and others are so dulled by microscopic lines that they reflect no light.  We have also propagated this term in a similar loose way and it can be found throughout our online guides (http://www.discover life.org/ 20/q?search= Apoidea#Identifi cation).  We have had complaints from students that they are confused by the term and wonder when something should be considered "metallic" and "nonmetalic."  After ignoring those comments for a long-time we have begun to wonder ourselves if the term is really that useful.  

                      Here is what Merriam-Webster says regarding its use in descriptions:

                      3 : resembling metal: as a : having iridescent and reflective properties <metallic paint>

                      In other words an adjective referring to reflectance of the surface.

                      Because of the confusion and overly broad use of how metallic has been applied, its many connotations in the English language, the images it brings to our minds,  and the loose way it has been deployed in descriptions (ours included and perhaps in particular) what we are  thinking now is that in our online guides we will strike the term "metallic" from the guides and replace it with a more nuanced approach, separating color from reflectance.

                      Proposed changes then would be:

                      1.  Colors will simply be referred to by their common names.  For example the color of Augochlorella  aurata would be simply "green" not "metallic green."  While the color of Halictus confusus would be along the lines of "dark green often with gold-yellow overtones."  

                      2.  For surface reflectance any number of terms will be useful from shiny, mirror-like, glossy but when the surface is dull and reflective, the cause for the dulling should be mentioned (tessellated, imbricate, microscopic lines, rugose, beaded etc).

                      3.  For the situation in which reflectance and color are more complicated, then usually it can be described as an "iridescence."   This would be particularly true for situations when a species is black or nearly black but has multicolored, reflective overtones similar to that of a light film of oil on water.  So a description of many of the abdomens of Lasioglossum (Dialictus) would include the basic color (black, dark brown, very dark brown with dark red highlights) and the presence of iridescent dark blue or green reflectance on certain portions of the tergites.   Similarly, many members of Augochloropsis would be green with blue iridescent overtones.

                      I am sure that others have thought through and come to similar or better conclusions about this in the past, but before we starting changing the 1500 or so characters we have written for bees in these guides we thought we would post this for comments and suggestions.

                      By the way, we are in a general process of updating and consolidating the wording and terms throughout the guides.  Suggestions are helpful as well as complaints about any guide wording.  Complainers are our best friends.  We are also putting together a generically worded blank guide that would have a set of characters to score that could be used as a starting place for anyone putting together a guide to a country or region's bees.

                      Thanks

                      sam


                      Sam Droege  sdroege@usgs. gov                      
                      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
                      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
                      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
                      Http://www.pwrc. usgs.gov

                      Autumn

                      Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
                      Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
                      and on the meadows let the wind go free.


                      Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
                      grant them a few more warm transparent days,
                      urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
                      the final sweetness into the heavy wine.


                      Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
                      Whoever is alone will stay alone,
                      will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
                      and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
                      restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.


                                   - Rainer Maria Rilke


                       
                      P Bees are not optional.

                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.