In our times of a biodiversity crisis, when abundance and species numbers decline worldwide, documenting the species we are sharing the planet with becomes an increasingly important and urgent task. The science of describing and naming new and reviewing already known species is called taxonomy. Our senior curator of entomology, Frank T. Krell, PhD, is a taxonomist and expert of the beetle group Scarabaeoidea, the scarab beetles in the widest sense, comprising June bugs, stag beetles, dung beetles, flower chafers, rhinoceros beetles, and the like. About 35,0000 species of scarabaeoid beetles have been described in the scientific literature, a few of them by Dr. Krell. But we can expect probably an equally high number still to be discovered, be it in Colorado or in the forests of the Amazon. Dr. Krell is actively engaged in species discovery and is currently preparing descriptions of new species of dung beetles from West and Southern Africa. Discovering a species nobody has ever seen or recognized before is one of the most exciting moments in the life of a taxonomist.
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