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Finding specimens of crickets and katydids in FSCA

All pinned specimens of Ensifera are in Room 118 of the Doyle Conner Building (AKA the “Old Collection Room”). In this room the Orthoptera are in movable racks of Cornell drawers that are close to the offices of the curators. The TJW-curated Cornell drawers with pinned Ensifera specimens in unit pinning trays number 145. Of these, 19 are isolated as a Caribbean study collection made up mostly of specimens collected by TJW and associates on seven extended field trips to the Caribbean (Caribbean studies). These drawers are labeled T-1 to T-8 and G-1 to G-11 (for katydids and crickets respectively). In the locked type cabinet in Room 118 are more than 60 holotypes of species of Caribbean Ensifera that Otte and Perez-Gelabert described from FSCA specimens in their 2009 monograph, Caribbean Crickets. Many of these specimens are also “audiotypes” with their songs archived in the Macaulay Library of Natural sounds (MLNS).

The main pinned Ensifera collection is in Cornell drawers numbered 1 to 126. The katydids (in drawers 1-82) precede the crickets (in drawers 83-126). The sequence of higher categories in these drawers follows that of these two online pages: Higher categories of katydids in FSCA and Higher categories of crickets in FSCA.

Some of the alcohol-preserved FSCA collection is currently in an unnumbered room of the “Old Collection Room,” and, in that room, the Ensifera are in a floor-level cabinet labeled “ORTHOPTERA.”

Two spreadsheet catalogs of FSCA Ensifera specimens and how to use them

FSCAEnsiferaHoldings is comprehensive, in that it includes all FSCA holdings of crickets and katydids whether they be in pinning trays (in Cornell drawers) or in alcohol. FSCAAlcoholHoldings enables users of the alcohol collection to locate particular alcohol containers in that collection, but, in order to use that workbook, such users will need a one-page help-sheet (available under drawer G-11) or at this link.

It is best for all those seeking particular species of cricket or katydid to consult FSCAEnsiferaHoldings first, because it catalogs all species and gives the collection(s) in which they are found. Furthermore, in the case of pinned specimens there are two collections that must be distinguished: the Caribbean Collection, which consists of FSCA specimens assembled during TJW’s studies of Caribbean crickets and katydids—especially those from Hispaniola, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rica, St. Croix, Trinidad, and Panama. These 19 drawers, which are labeled T-1 to T-8 (katydids) and G-1 to G-11 (crickets) have drawer labels that are printed on green stock. The labels of the Main Collection of pinned FSCA Ensifera are printed on white stock. Of the white-labeled drawers, those with specimens that are cataloged in FSCAEnsiferaHoldings are in a bank of 126 numbered drawers, with katydids in drawers 1 to 82 and crickets in drawers 83 to 126. The sequence of taxonomic categories above the level of genus in these drawers is that of Higher categories of katydids in FSCA and Higher categories of crickets in FSCA. The sequence of the trays within the drawers is alphabetical by genus and species, starting at upper left and ending at lower right (like the columns in a four-column document).

Beneath Cornell drawer G11 of the Caribbean Collection there is a drawer labeled “1-page handouts”. It contains three envelopes, each labeled with its contents. Two are for the lists of higher categories of katydids and crickets and the third contains How to find alcohol-preserved specimens in FSCA’s cricket and katydid collections.

For columns G-M of the comprehensive catalog, spreadsheet rows that pertain to the Caribbean Collection are in the same shade of green as the drawer labels of that collection. Wherever bright red is used for text or symbols (e.g.,image of red headphones) the information pertains to the alcohol collection. At the bottom of the spreadsheet, in the space defined by B734-L757 is an explanation of the column headings of the 13 columns of the spreadsheet.

The first step in finding FSCA Ensifera preserved in alcohol is to find (below drawer G-11) or print a copy of the one-page document How to find alcohol-preserved specimens in FSCA’s cricket and katydid collections. This sheet describes the four principal types of containers used, the four types of racks used to hold them and how individual containers can be designated in the four types of rack and in the two boxes that contain 12 canning jars. Abbreviations that might otherwise be puzzling are explained. With this sheet in hand, you should be able to find the specimens listed in FSCAalcoholHoldings. To make it easy to correctly follow the rows in this spreadsheet, alternate rows are either orange and white (General Collection) or green and light green (Caribbean Collection). Scrolling down through the spreadsheet reveals an orange section (rows 3-229), a green section (rows 263-354), and a final orange section (rows 263-354). The initial orange section lists only 4-dram vials with specimens in the main collection in either DBR vial racks nos. 1-45 or SPR vial racks nos. 1-20. Caribbean specimens are in SPR vial racks nos. 21-37. The final orange section lists general collection specimens other than those in 4-dram vials. At the bottom of the spreadsheet (A357-C361) is a table that summarizes the numbers of containers of the four standard capacities.

If you are looking for tape recorded specimens and their MLNS catalog numbers, you must physically locate the specimens. To do this you must first find the names of the species and their locations in FSCAEnsiferaHoldings, where you will find the needed information in columns G, H, I, J, K, L, and M. Columns I and L refer exclusively to pinned specimens, and columns J and K refer exclusively to alcohol specimens. With the information in those columns, you should be able to find the pinning trays and vials that have the tape-recorded specimens you are seeking. Pinned tape-recorded specimens will be in pinning trays with blue labels, and the tape-recorded specimens will have blue labels bearing their WTL numbers (=species no. + individual no.; eg., 686-2) on their pins. In rare cases, a label with the MLNS catalog no. will be on the pin as well. Alcohol tape-recorded specimens will have, in their vials, blue labels with their WTL numbers, and, sometimes, with their MLNS numbers as well.

If you have only the WTL number for a specimen, how do you find the MLNS number? In its column AL, tblRecordedSongs lists, in numerical order, the MLNS catalog numbers of its 6460 archived cuts from the Walker Tape Library. Its columns B and C list the year and cut number for each WTL cut. Should you be interested in finding all the MLNS catalog numbers for specified taxa, columns D, E, F may be used. [Should you be unaccustomed to sorting rows in spreadsheets, you should have little trouble finding someone who can help you.]

[If you go to the part of the spreadsheet defined by AP2 and AQ15, you will find why some MLNS catalog numbers are high-lighted with yellow or blue and why the number of MLNS-cataloged cuts is usually stated to be “ca. 6460” rather than “6460”.]

Return to menu of SINA's section on Specimens and Songs of FSCA Ensifera.