As I wrote several months ago, we received funding from NSF, as part of the Terrestrial Parasite Tracker TCN, to digitize the parasites in our collection – and we have a LOT of them. Our two digitizers will start next week, and up first are our ethanol-preserved collections of ticks (mainly Ixodidae) and bot flies (Oestridae). It’ll be a slow process initially, as we have a lot of curation issues to deal with: substandard containers, low or diluted preservative, etc.
We also have thousands of scanned slides – mostly of lice (Anoplura and related groups) and fleas (Siphonaptera) – that will be getting the slice and transcribe treatment. More on this process and results soon!
In the meantime, if you haven’t already, you should sign up for our seasonal newsletter. The first issue went out this month to much acclaim!