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

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  • 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 1 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


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              Sent by: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com

              11/05/2009 07:22 AM


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      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 2 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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      |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@...>


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      abraham@h
      amptonu.e
      du> (Embedded image moved to file:
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      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:
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      Subject
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      RE: [beemonitoring] On the
      use of the word "metallic"
      in descriptions of bees


      (Embedded image moved to file:
      pic18367.gif)
      (Embedded image moved to
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      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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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.

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