What’s in a name?

In scientific circles, names of species are often used to honor the people involved in their discovery. Biology Professor Marty Condon and her colleague Allen Norrbom of the Systematic Entomology Laboratory of the U.S.D.A. were grateful for financial support from Cornell and named a new species after the college. They also named several new species of tropical fly in recognition of the work Cornell students did to help identify the flies.

The names, first published in a 2010 monograph, are:

Taina Litwak in the 2010 monograph Zootaxa
Taina Litwak in the 2010 monograph Zootaxa.

Blepharoneura cornelli

Named for Cornell College, an innovative liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, that supports collaborative research between students and faculty.

Blepharoneura macwilliamsae

Named for Trinity Tisue McWilliams ’00, who captured an adult of this species when it was on the terminal meristem of a branch of Sechium pittieri.

Blepharoneura mikenoltei

Named for Mike Nolte, the brother of Matt Nolte ’07, who helped score and homologize wing pattern characters. Matt Nolte was a philosophy major who did research on the nature of species, and who helped discover new species in Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.

Blepharoneura osmundsonae

Named for Erika Osmundson ’98, who devoted a summer to sketch the male terminalia of numerous species. Osmundson spent a summer at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History learning techniques of scientific illustration