Collection Database

I provide here a PDF version of the spreadsheet I keep of all the slides in my aphid collection.  This might be useful to other aphid specialists interested in whether I might have found certain rare species, or with an eye toward borrowing material, or perhaps studying the known ranges of species they are interested in. Regarding the latter, for example, I know for a fact that my field work has substantially expanded the known geographical and host ranges of many species.  If you want to borrow material, I am open to requests. That said, I am growing more skeptical of loaning my material because loans are generally not returned. I’ve gotten to the point that if I feel like I’m OK losing the specimens forever, I’ll send them. Otherwise, probably not. One thing I definitely welcome is exchange of specimens.  If I have something of interest to you, perhaps you can find something of interest to me and we can exchange.

The May 2024 release of my slide collection database reflects all ~14,000 slide records in my collection.  As usual, after mounting all my current year samples, I sort my undetermined material, check curation of genera here and there based on need and neglect, update my spreadsheet accordingly, then check the whole thing for lingering errors. A really big task I did this year (2024) was to convert my collection dates to something useable; I had previously used a text format that was convenient for me but was not a real date format in Excel. I went through over 13,000 rows and typed/pasted in actual dates in the month/day/year format. Of course, some errors are always missed. The way this website works, old links will link to the old database.  To make the new database active, you must use the link I provide below.  Or, better yet, simply link to this page.

Some of the Macrosiphum slides.
Some of the Macrosiphum slides.

A few notes about my collection:

  1. Species identifications were completed to the best of my ability at the time I processed the sample and filed the slides in the collection, or when I subsequently conducted collection curation activities during the winter.  Some identifications were inadequately informed and quite probably wrong.  On the other hand, there are some groups that I do not assign species names to, such as some Nasonovia (Kakimia), Hyperomyzus (Neonasonovia), ObtusicaudaEricaphis, etc.; I do this because I think the species-level taxonomy is inadequate and that therefore a species name on a slide means little. If you find a long list of specimens in my collection without species names it is usually because of this issue, or because I know with some confidence that I have an un-described species.
  2. You may notice that in the host plant column I often have only plant genus listed.  This is simply because my plant taxonomy skills are strong at the family and genus level, but I lack the time (or staff) and resources to get species identifications on my host plants (remember, this is my hobby). Also, I live far away from any herbaria or university plant taxonomists.
  3. My collection is old-school. I do not use GPS coordinates when I collect.  I tried this for a while, and found it time consuming, then I left my GPS on the top of my car once and drove off.  It was crushed on the highway.  Also, because I make all my own slides with limited equipment, I hand-write my labels and would rather not write GPS coordinates on them all!

With that said, and more caveats possibly to come, here it is (in Excel format this year — my computer choked trying to make a PDF):

Jensen Aphid Slide Collection as of May 2024

The whole collection as of April 2018 (10-20 boxes added most years). I love the color variation in slide boxes. Color choice reflects the cost of box colors on Amazon over the years.