VMNH Publications

Scientific Publications from the Virginia Museum of Natural History

Special Publications

Special Publications consist of unique contributions, usually book length, either single-subject or the proceedings of a symposium or multi-disciplinary project in which the papers reflect a common theme.  To date, fifteen volumes have been published in this series. Available volumes may be purchased from the VMNH Museum Store.


Special Publication #1

SP1 Cover

Proceedings of the Second Symposium on Southeastern Fox Squirrels, Sciurus niger

Nancy D. Moncrief, John W. Edwards, and Philip A. Tappe, editors
published 1993

Proceedings of the Second Symposium on Southeastern Fox Squirrels, Sciurus niger, is a collection of peer-reviewed manuscripts that provides a comprehensive overview of southeastern fox squirrel biology. The subject areas are diverse, ranging from nomenclature to aging techniques, and reflect the diverse interests of the study group.

ISNB 0-962580-16-3


Special Publication #2

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Amphibians and Reptiles of Assateague and Chincoteague Islands

Joseph C. Mitchell and John M. Anderson
published 1994

Assateague and Chincoteague islands are among the best-known barrier islands off the Atlantic coast of North America. Millions of people visit them every year for recreation. Most visitors are well acquainted with the famous Assateague ponies, but few know that these islands are home to unique assemblages of plants and animals.

This book provides information on some of the islands’ most secretive inhabitants, the amphibians and reptiles. Each of the seven species of amphibians and eighteen species of reptiles can be readily identified using the keys, color photographs, and descriptions in this book. Many interesting aspects of their biology are summarized in highly readable form.

Within these pages we discover why the islands are inhabited by far fewer species than are known to occupy the Delmarva mainland. We also learn about measures proposed to insure their long-term conservation, and how to observe these animals in their natural habitats. This book is the only source available that provides a window into the biology and ecology of two fascinating groups of animals on these barrier islands.

ISBN 1-884549-00-4


Special Publication #3

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Scale Insects of Northeastern North America: Identification, Biology, and Distribution

Michael Kosztarab
published 1996

Scale insects are among the major pest in orchards and nurseries, on trees in parks and forest, and on home garden ornamentals and house plants. Economic losses from scale insects in the United States reach an estimated 500 million dollars annually.

Both adult sexes and immature stages are described for all of the 254 species of this group occurring from Virginia to Newfoundland and west to the Mississippi River, with information on general biology, host plants and parasite/predator species. Four separate indices provide quick access to both the insects and their host plants. Introductory chapters discuss collection and preparation of material for study, and suggestions for control of economically important species.

ISBN 1-884549-01-2


Special Publication #4

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Developing Staff Resources
for Managing Collections

Paisley S. Cato, R. Robert Waller, Llyn Sharp, John Simmons, and Stephen L. William, editors
published 1996

Institutions are facing increased pressures to provide services with decreasing resources and increasing accountability. Similarly, pressures and trends both within institutions and society are causing the field of collections management to evolve rapidly. To meet their responsibilities for collections management, institutions must plan strategically for professional development of staff involved in the collection management system.

Recognizing this, the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Virginia Museum of Natural History implemented a project to establish a framework for developing staff resources for collections management. The result of this project as reported in this publication include a clarification of the knowledge and skills required for collection management as well as recommendations to address professional development needs of the institution and its staff.

ISBN 1-884549-04-7


Special Publication #5

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The Biology of Tiger Beetles
and a Guide to the Species
of the South Atlantic States

C. Barry Kinsley and Tom Schultz
published 1997

Tiger beetles, with their colorful appearance, interesting habits, and amazing diversity, have long attracted the attention of amateur naturalists and professional biologists. In the last 20 years, tiger beetles have become one of the best-studied groups of non-pest insects and are increasingly chosen as indicator species or “poster insects” for efforts to preserve natural habitats.

This richly illustrated book provides a comprehensive review of research on the natural history, systematics, behavior, physiology, ecology, and conservation of tiger beetles. The authors draw upon past and recent studies and their own extensive research experience to provide a synthesis of current knowledge on tiger beetle biology. Moreover, they apply this knowledge to a detailed description of the rich fauna of the south Atlantic coastal states (Delaware to Georgia); a region where tiger beetle populations have been little studied but heavily affected by change.

Accounts of 30 species include descriptions (with color photos), adult and larval habitats, distributions (with maps and county records), and extensive summaries of what is known about the biology of each species. A key to the species is provided as well as methods for collecting, preserving, studying, and caring for both larval and adult tiger beetles.

ISBN 1-884549-07-1


Special Publication #6

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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
of Tree Squirrels

Michael A. Steele, Joseph F. Merritt, and David A. Zegers, editors
published 1998

The comprehensive proceedings of the International Colloquium on the Ecology of Tree Squirrels held at Powdermill Biological Station in 1994.  Contents include chapters on population biology; reproduction and mating; diet, habitat selection, and space use; evolutionary biology and biogeography; squirrel-plant interactions; and conservation and management.

ISBN 1-884549-09-8


Special Publication #7

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Proceedings of the Appalachian
Biogeography Symposium

Ralph P. Eckerlin, editor
published 1999

Twenty-five chapters describing the distribution, ecology, and evolution of plants and animals in the Appalachian mountains. The Symposium was held at Virginia Polytechnic and State University in June, 1995. Building on the foundation provided by a series of symposia convened 1969-1976 on the Distributional History of the Biota of the Southern Appalachians, these contributions provided new knowledge of the flora and fauna of this region as well as new information gained from the recent application of methodologies not included in the previous volumes.

Download a sample chapter.

ISBN 1-884549-10-1


Special Publication #8

SP8 Cover

Checklist of the Millipeds
of North and Middle America

Richard Hoffman
published 1999

Neglected for decades by all but a small number of taxonomists, millipeds are gradually becoming recognized as important members of the soil and litter biotopes around the world. Aside from their role in soil formation, these animals provide exceptionally valuable materials in the study of biogeography and evolution. Since probably less than 20 percent of the actual world fauna has yet been described, basic taxonomy will merit the highest priority for many years to come.

Checklist of the Millipeds of North and Middle America by VMNH Curator of Recent Invertebrates Dr. Richard Hoffman, provides a complete summary of 2,167 species considered valid. It not only incorporates the numerous taxonomic innovations of the past 30 years, but presents complete bibliographic information on the nearly equal number of names provisionally considered to be invalid synonyms. Each entry encapsulates data about original description, major subsequent changes in status or affiliation, location of type material, brief statements of distribution, and references to published maps. Those species of still-uncertain status are grouped under specific categories, often with hints concerning their possible identities.

ISBN 1-884549-12-8


Special Publication #9

Special Publication #9 has not yet been published.


Special Publication #10

SP10 Cover

Identification of Waterfowl Breastbones
and Avian Osteology (Sterna)
of North American Anseriformes

David W. Oates, Ed D. Boyd,
and Jennifer S. Ramaekers
published 2003

Morphological features of duck breastbones provide a means for identification to genus, and certain measurements and observations may allow for further identification to the species level. In an attempt to identify duck breastbones, observations were made on over 2,300 specimens, of which 1,350 were actually measured and morphological characteristics tables created. To assist field and museum personnel, a dichotomus key, along with an identification table, were prepared.

ISBN 1-884549-16-0


Special Publication #11

SP11 Cover

A Classification and Checklist
of the Genus Psudanophthalmus Jeannel
(Coleoptera: Carabidae: Trechinae)

Thomas C. Barr, Jr.
published 2004

Predaceous carabid beetles are important elements in the fragile ecosystems of caves worldwide, and provide valuable insights into the mechanisms of post-glacial dispersal and evolution especially in eastern North America where the cave beetle fauna is dominated by species of the endemic genus Pseudanophthalmus. The present treatment provides a comprehensive overview of the 145 species and subspecies considered to be valid, with a new classification recognizing 26 species-groups and a complete listing of relevant taxonomic literature. The annotated checklist emphasizes distribution and relationships, and a concluding appendix summarizes distribution by state and county. This information-packed account by the leading authority on cave beetles will prove essential for speleobiologists as well as coleopterists interested in the family Carabidae.

ISBN 1-884549-20-9


Special Publication #12

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Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America

Charles V. Covell, Jr.
reprinted with revisions 2005

In North America, north of the Mexican border, there are about 765 species of butterflies; this is approximately equal to the number of birds, if we exclude the accidentals. Moths, their nocturnal cousins, outnumber butterflies 14 to 1 with a total of nearly 10,500 known species. Of this galaxy, over 1300 species are treated in this Field Guide, which has been prepared with such loving care and scholarship by Charles V. Covell, Jr.

ISBN 1-884549-21-7


Special Publication #13

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The Hispine Beetles of America North of Mexico (Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae)

C. L. Staines
published 2006

A key is presented to the 14 genera and 74 species and subspecies of hispines (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) known to occur in America north of Mexico. Each genus and species is described and illustrated. The known larvae are described and the known biology is summarized. Baliosus ferrugineus from Arizona and Microrhopala inermis from British Columbia, Montana, and Oregon, are described as new. Sumitrosis arnetti Butte is synonymized with S. inaequalis (Weber);  Microrhopala rubrolineata signaticollis LeConte, M. rubrolineata militaris Van Dyke, and M. rubrolineata vulnerata Horn are synonymized under M. rubrolineata (Mannerheim). The holotype of Platocthispa lateritia (Smith) has been located making the neotype designation of Staines (1997) invalid. Pentispa morio (Fabricius) is reported from the United States for the first time.

ISBN 1-884549-24-1


Special Publication #14

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Geology and Paleontology of the Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina, IV

Clayton E. Ray, David J. Bohaska,
Irina A. Koretsky, Lauck W. Ward,
and Lawrence G. Barnes, editors
published 2008

The Lee Creek series of four volumes describes the spectacular array of fossils found at that site. Lee Creek I illustrates the microfossils; Lee Creek II addresses the larger invertebrates; and Lee Creek III is a study of the lower vertebrates, fish, sharks, and reptiles. Lee Creek IV is a study by ten different authors of marine and terrestrial mammals found at the site. Included are the whales, porpoises, walruses, seals, and land mammals such as cats, bears, camels, tapirs, horses, and mastodons. This work consists of eight chapters with hundreds of illustrations of these vertebrates. One chapter includes an illustrated key to the index invertebrates that enable the age of the vertebrates to be determined. A chart illustrating all of the 12 fossil-bearing strata in the pit in their stratigraphic (age) order is included. No paleontological site on the Atlantic Coastal Plain or east of the Mississippi has received as much study and attention as the Lee Creek Mine near Aurora, North Carolina.


Special Publication #15

SP15 Cover

Proceedings of the 14th International Bryozoology Association Conference,
Boone, North Carolina, July 1-8, 2007

Steven J. Hageman, Marcus M. Key Jr.,
and Judith E. Winston, editors
published 2008

This volume contains thirty-six papers from the presentations at the 14th International Conference of the International Bryozoology Association, held at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, July 1-6, 2007.

ISBN 1-884549-30-6


Special Publication #16

SP16 Cover

A Lifetime of Contributions to Myriapodology
and the Natural History of Virginia:
A Festschrift in Honor of
Richard L. Hoffman’s 80th Birthday

Steven M. Roble and Joseph C. Mitchell, editors
published 2009

Richard Hoffman is a native Virginian who has devoted most of his life to the natural history of Virginia and the southern Appalachians, while also earning an international reputation as the leading authority on the world’s milliped fauna. He has published 485 scholarly papers and books, and more than 50 popular articles on such diverse taxa as millipeds, amphibians, reptiles, worms, mollusks, arachnids, beetles, and true bugs. He has described more than 600 new taxa and has had nearly 50 taxa named in his honor.

Prior to his retirement on April 1, 2009, Dr. Hoffman served as the Curator of Recent Invertebrates at the Virginia Museum of Natural History for 20 years. In celebration of his 80th birthday and career achievements, numerous colleagues, coworkers, friends, and family participated in a symposium and banquet at the museum on September 22, 2007. This collection of 32 papers from 41 authors on four continents is representative of Hoffman’s broad taxonomic interests, and includes species ranging from salamanders, millipeds, centipeds, and crustaceans to insects, plants, and fossil mammals. Descriptions are presented for one new genus and 32 new species, 11 of which are named in honor of Hoffman. Several of these species occupy highly threatened habitats and are potentially threatened with extinction.

ISBN 1-884549-31-4


This page was last updated 3 October 2013.

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