|Invertebrate Zoology: Entomology
The insects of California and the Santa Barbara region are very poorly known. A major focus of entomology research is on compiling an inventory of our local insect species.
One group of insects that has received special attention is the beetles (Coleoptera). The state’s beetle fauna comprises about 8000 different species, and new species are being found regularly. An online database of beetle specimen records is available, allowing mapping of distributions. Over 1000 species have now been photographed and may be viewed online. See the California Beetle Project pages for more details.
Other recent projects include a survey of the insects of the UCSB Coal Oil Point Reserve. This project, a collaborative effort with Reserve Director Cristina Sandoval, collected and prepared, and identified specimens of over 500 species of insects occurring in this important protected area. More information on the survey, and an illustrated online guide to the species can be found at: www.sbnature.org/copbugs.