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American Museum of Natural History

Acronym: 
AMNH

Address

Institute name: 
American Museum of Natural History
University: 
Division of Invertebrates
Department: 
Department of Entomology
Street: 
Central Park West at 79th Street
City: 
New York
Postcode/zip code: 
10024-5192
State/Province: 
NY
Country: 
United States

Contact

Contact: 
Dr. Randall T. Schuh
Telephone voice: 
212-769-5610
Email: 
schuh@amnh.org
Web pages: 

Collection details

Phthiraptera collection: 

The chewing lice are in slide boxes. The total collection is probably less than 3,000 slides, with most slides having multiple specimens. The majority of the specimens were prepared by E. W. Stafford, who as Carriker (1955) has stated with characteristic bluntness, was not a particularly good technician. The specimens are mounted in Canada Balsam, however, they were not macerated in potassium hydroxide, thus internal structures remain and make identifications particularly difficult. This does, however, present a wonderful opportunity for examining the gut contents of many hundreds of specimens.

Material mounted by Stafford or Francis Wilson typically has one or two labels with 'Cornell University' printed, and 'E.W.S.' or 'F.H.W.' in ink. Locations and host names are frequently misspelled and require verification. It appears as though Stafford and Wilson 'collected' the lice from skins (primarily marine and coastal bird species) at the American Museum of Natural History, and as a consequence split the collection between the two institutions. There are about an equal number of slides and specimens deposited in both the AMNH and Cornell collections. For a complete review of a series it is necessary to look at both collections.

Types of some of the species described by Robert Edwards in his review of the lice of the Procellariiformes are deposited at the AMNH.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith