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Generic Revision of Dewdrop Treehoppers Internship


PROJECT TITLE:  Generic revision of dewdrop treehoppers

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Treehoppers are famous for being the most bizarre insects, with their thorax enlarged and expanded up and over the rest of the body in unimaginable ways.  There are 10 described genera of darnine treehoppers that are all very similar, being dewdrop-shaped, resembling a drop of water clinging to a plant after a rainfall, reflecting the green foliage around it. The genera are mainly separated by their wing venation.  Examination of approximately 150 species, more than half new to science, has revealed much new variation in wing venation, suggesting that some of these variants represent new genera and new species requiring description.  To evaluate the relationships among species, analysis of evolutionary relationships is needed, and a prerequisite to that is a data matrix of features and species.

QUALIFICATIONS: An inquisitive mind, an eye for detail, good record-keeping, and fine-motor skills for handing pinned specimens are all that are required.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Learn basic morphological structures variable among Dewdrop treehoppers; compare species to potentially find new variation; fill in data matrix of features and species. If time permits, to work with scientist in cladistic analysis and description of new genera and species. If contribution is significant, intern will be a co-author on the resulting publication.

TIMETABLE: August 1 2017- Dec 31, 2018, with possibility of renewal.


Name: Stuart McKamey

Phone: 202 633 4562