Saturday, May 24, 2014

Now Available: Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide

E-Flora Fungi Editor, photographer and photo reviewer Michael Beug is co-author (along with Arleen Bessette and Alan E. Bassette) of the recently published Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide (University of Texas Press).  According to the Press, this is the first book in over sixty years that focuses on the Ascomycetes.  Along with the Basidiomycetes, the Ascomycetes are commonly called sac fungi. They include fungi such as truffles, ergot, yeasts, powdery mildews, candida, and mammalian lung fungi. 

In describing the book, the publisher says:

"Approximately 75 percent of all fungi that have been described to date belong to the phylum Ascomycota. They are usually referred to as Ascomycetes and are commonly found and collected by mushroom enthusiasts. Ascomycetes exhibit a remarkable range of biodiversity, are beautiful and visually complex, and some, including morels and truffles, are highly prized for their edibility. Many play significant roles in plant ecology because of the mycorrhizal associations that they form. Thus it is remarkable that no book dedicated to describing and illustrating the North American Ascomycetes has been published in over sixty years."

Read Michael's introduction to the macrofungi of British Columbia on E-Flora BC here.
View Michael's fungi photos on E-Flora BC here

"Michael W. Beug is a mycologist, environmental chemist, and Professor Emeritus at Evergreen State College. He is on the editorial board of Fungi magazine, and his mushroom photographs have appeared in over thirty books and articles. He is coauthor of MatchMaker, a free online mushroom identification program covering over 4,000 taxa of fungi. He lives in Husum, Washington" (University of Texas Press 2014).

Just Published: Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide

Bumble bee identification on E-Fauna BC is handled by bumble bee expert Robbin Thorp, professor emeritus of entomology at the University of California, Davis.  Now Robbin is co-author of an exciting new bumble bee book, published in May 2014.  Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide is authored by Paul Williams, Robbin W. Thorp, Lief L. Richardson and Sheila R. Colla. It is a must have for anyone in British Columbia interested in learning about bumble bees, their identification, and photographing them in the field.

The publisher, Princeton University Press, says:

"More than ever before, there is widespread interest in studying bumble bees and the critical role they play in our ecosystems. Bumble Bees of North America is the first comprehensive guide to North American bumble bees to be published in more than a century. Richly illustrated with color photographs, diagrams, range maps, and graphs of seasonal activity patterns, this guide allows amateur and professional naturalists to identify all 46 bumble bee species found north of Mexico and to understand their ecology and changing geographic distributions."

Bumble Bees of North America includes several photos by E-Fauna photographers Heinz Baum, Curtis Bjork, Werner Eigelsreiter, Brian Klinkenberg, and Rosemary Taylor.

Friday, May 23, 2014

New 2014 Spiders of British Columbia Checklist Now Available

Western Black Widow (Lactrodectus hesperus), photo by Sean McCann

The new 2014 Checklist of the Spiders of British Columbia, prepared by Robb Bennett, David Blades, Don Buckle, Claudia Copley, Darren Copley, Charles Dondale, and Rick C. West, is now posted on E-Fauna BC.  In this update to the ongoing documentation of spider fauna of British Columbia, the authors report a total 781 species for the province, with more than 50 new species this year.  

The authors say: "We believe there are more than 1000 species of spiders (Araneae) in British Columbia. Although only 781 have been recorded so far, many regions of the province have never been sampled...The long-term goal of this project is to produce a comprehensive field guide to the spiders of British Columbia. This goal is being achieved through our documentation of the spider fauna of the province, emphasizing species that are rare or threatened, in threatened habitats, introduced or invasive, in need of taxonomic clarification (including undescribed species), endemic to BC or have much of their geographical range in BC, in poorly sampled parts of BC, and/or illuminate historical changes in the province's biogeography."

In his Introduction to the Spiders of British Columbia on E-Fauna BC, Robb Bennett says: ". . . spiders are ruthless storm troops in the matriarchal anarchy that is the arthropod world: theirs is the most diverse, female-dominated, entirely predatory order on the face of the earth. As such, spiders are key components of all ecosystems in which they live.” (Bennett 1999).  Learn more about the spiders of British Columbia and where they are found in the province by browsing the E-Fauna spider atlas pages.  

Browse the new checklist, with species annotations, here.
Read Robb Bennett's Introduction to the Spiders of British Columbia here.