Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Charles Darwin - being interested in evolution and entomology he's quite a role model of mine.
On this special day, I want to share a little connection I've had with Darwin recently.
I had heard rumors that the Lyman museum holds a beetle specimen collected on the voyage of the Beagle, possibly by Darwin himself. Since he was extremely fond of beetles, the chances are very likely that he indeed collected and pinned it himself. However, nobody was sure where the specimen was!
Part of my project for school has involved me going through all the drawers of beetles, reading their labels. So it was inevitable that I'd come across it - however the thought had totally left my mind until one day there it was, in the middle of a drawer.
My heart skipped a beat as I read the label... I was in awe. I ever so carefully touched the top of the pin, wondering if Darwin himself had touched it.
And then I wanted to get a closer look at the beetle. It's in the family Anthicidae (known as the ant-like flower beetles), genus Notoxus. It doesn't appear to be identified to species. It's a fairly tiny beetle, but with a fascinating extended pronotum.
So happy birthday Darwin, we're still inspired by you after all these years.