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RE: [beemonitoring] Metallic summary and suggestions

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  • barbara.abraham@hamptonu.edu
    Sam, Upon pondering further, I remember that in the course you taught this spring, while I was using the Discover Life keys for the first time, I found it
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 10, 2009
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      Upon pondering further, I remember that in the course you taught this spring, while I was using the Discover Life keys for the first time, I found it difficult to see metallic color on some bees that appeared mostly black.  So I agree that for those (can’t remember which they were!), it would be helpful if something like “black, with metallic blue” (etc.) overtone, highlights, whatever were used…I still think the term “metallic” is clearly different from just “shiny” or  its synomyms.


      Great discussion!




      Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.

      Associate Professor

      SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor

      Department of Biological Sciences

      Hampton University

      Hampton, VA  23668




      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Sam Droege
      Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 7:55 AM
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Metallic summary and suggestions




      I have enjoyed both the on and off list discussions of the use of the term "metallic" and thank everyone for responding.  There seems to be a partial bifurcation between those with and without experience, here.  With most experience practitioners of the art of bee identification feeling like the term metallic is fine, as is, and that some inexperienced folks feeling like they are at times unsure.  I would suppose this would be expected as with any community of people the more you share information and work with other members of the group the more you synchronize your practices, language, and terminology (or you are sent off the island!).  In any case, I am now thinking that some more judicious use of the term metallic and its reflective relatives is warranted.

      Below are my current thoughts on that and related terms based on these discussions.

      The following colors seem to be the primary metallic colors:

      Gold, Silver,Bronze, Brass, Red, Blue, Purple, Green

      And these the primary nonmetalic colors:

      Black, Yellow, White, Tan, Gray, Brown, Amber, Burnt Umber (just kidding)

      So, for Discoverlife Guides (which are designed to be used both by the bee taxonomist and for those with only a general knowledge of insect identification, thus the longer wording and less bee taxonomically correct terminology):

      When referring to something that has metallic reflections, Augochlorella aurata, for example, it would be useful not to call A. aurata "metallic green" (even though to the expert that immediately calls up a specific mind image), but more accurately as bright glossy green with strong metallic reflections.  And for a slightly more subtly colored species, like Osmia pumila males, described them as dark green, blue or blue-green, dulled partially with inscribed microscopic lines, with moderate metallic reflections.

      When referring to nonmetalic colors that have iridescent or metallic overtones then it would be useful to do something similar.  So, commonly, you can have a bee with a black abdomen with subtle iridescent green or blue overtones….so a description like: abdomen glossy black with often strong dark green iridescent overtones in the centers of the tergites would be appropriate.

      That’s the thinking right now…any additions or other thoughts?  Thanks.


      now, more importantly, what poem would best go with this topic?
      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

      Each Small Gleam Was a Voice

      Each small gleam was a voice,
      A lantern voice --
      In little songs of carmine, violet, green, gold.
      A chorus of colours came over the water;
      The wondrous leaf-shadow no longer wavered,
      No pines crooned on the hills,
      The blue night was elsewhere a silence,
      When the chorus of colours came over the water,
      Little songs of carmine, violet, green, gold.

      Small glowing pebbles
      Thrown on the dark plane of evening
      Sing good ballads of God
      And eternity, with soul's rest.
      Little priests, little holy fathers,
      None can doubt the truth of your hymning,
      When the marvellous chorus comes over the water,
      Songs of carmine, violet, green, gold.

      - Stephen Crane

      The Colors of the Rain

      The rain falls outside the glass
      Thoughts do not want this weather to pass.
      Umbrellas awake from their cornered sleep
      Rolling winds set leaves a sweep.
      Clouds hit clouds that make a thunder
      Overturned umbrellas cause a blunder.
      Jumping puddles make a splash
      Lightning sparks and makes a crash.
      Waiting for a rainbow.

      What are the colors of the rain?
      Blues and silvers of golden train
      Vastly spreads along the plain.
      Its beauty cannot be captured with words
      Perhaps we should converse with the birds?
      But what would they say to our simple minds
      Would they answer our questions or give us more finds?
      The birds give no answers they give no replies.

      So back to the window where the rain now falls lightly
      And the thunder now storms slightly.
      Umbrellas are shut and laid next to the door
      Wet shoes and wet socks are on the floor.
      It is still raining but no ones outside
      People are warm and inside dried.
      A fire completes this winter night.

      An arc of color widely spreads throughout the sky
      After the rain it reaches high.
      Perhaps a pot of gold beside it lay
      We may search along the way.

      - Megan McDonald

      this is the garden:colours come and go,

      this is the garden:colours come and go,
      frail azures fluttering from night's outer wing
      strong silent greens silently lingering,
      absolute lights like baths of golden snow.
      This is the garden:pursed lips do blow
      upon cool flutes within wide glooms,and sing
      (of harps celestial to the quivering string)
      invisible faces hauntingly and slow.

      This is the garden. Time shall surely reap
      and on Death's blade lie many a flower curled,
      in other lands where other songs be sung;
      yet stand They here enraptured,as among
      the slow deep trees perpetual of sleep
      some silver-fingered fountain steals the world.

           - by: e.e. cummings

      P Bees are not optional.

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