common insect extinct
Chris J. Durden
drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Wed Jul 21 02:47:27 EDT 1999
anyone has been able to splice genes from frozen fossils from the
Grasshopper Glaciers of Montana into its closest relative, and resurrect it.
A lot of beetles and a few butterflies were described from North America
before the twentieth century and have not been seen in the last 100 years.
They were not common species.
A few species have been described as extinct Pleistocene fossils and then
subsequently discovered as rare living species in remote places. There is
an *Heliophorus* - MUSKEG BEETLE of the Canadian Arctic that fits this
All these extinctions seem to have been by natural causes or by habitat
modification not directed against the species in question.
Does anyone know of a list or registry of historically extinct North
American insect species, with documentation?
At 10:51 21/07/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Sorry, Jacob, but I could not even begin to agree that Dr. Brower's
>suggestion that releasing smallpox virus within the human population is an
>appropriate analogy to the effects of Ophryocystis electroschirra in
>Once again, individuals who (IMHO) should know better are attempting to
>weld patterns of disease pathology (and migration) from the vertebrate
>world to the invertebrate world. The comparison is, quite simply, specious.
>The idea, I gather, is to use an example the average, marginally educated
>human can relate to (smallpox/passenger pigeons) and then to say with
>alarmist intonation: "Look! This could happen to the butterflies!!"
>I say, "Ptoeey. Give us a break--and quit insulting our intelligence."
>What I'd really like to see is the entomologists and population
>statisticians comparing apples to apples for a change: What's the success
>rate of eliminating the gypsy moth? the cabbage white? the various
>"cutworms" of the Lepidoptera order in our orchards and fields? Locusts??
>Cockroaches?? Termites??? My buddleia are covered in microlep larvae, and
>for the third year in a row the plants are unable to flower. What viral
>pathogen can I release to eliminate these beasties and not harm any other
>Certainly, populations of restricted range, geographically isolated, and/or
>specialist feeding species can be easily eliminated with habitat
>destruction (Xerces Blue), etc.
>Serious question for the entomologists here: Has there ever been a single
>species of widely distributed, generalist feeding insect eliminated
><sheri at butterflywings.com>
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