« PreviousContinue »
H. S. Swarth, and E. R. Hall; to George E. Mason, London, England, and to the University of Rochester School of Medicine for Dr. F. F. Snyder. Bird skins were borrowed as follows: By the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, for Dr. J. Dwight and Messrs. Miller and Griscom; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, for E. G. Holt and W. E. Clyde Todd; Colorado Museum of Natural History, Denver, Colo., for A. M. Mailey; Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, to assist Dr. C. E. Hellmayr in the preparation of his Catalog of Birds of the Americas; Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, Cambridge, Mass., for O. Bangs and J. L. Peters; also to the following ornithologists: Donald R. Dickey, Pasadena, Calif.; Real Admiral Hubert Lynes, London, England; and Arthur T. Wayne, Mount Pleasant, S. C. Two alcoholic specimens of birds were lent to Dr. Malcolm Smith, London, England. Specimens of reptiles or amphibians were loaned to John Paul Jones, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Dr. Thomas Barbour and Dr. Afranio do Amaral, Museum of Comparative Zoology; Dr. Karl P. Schmidt, Field Museum of Natural History; Dr. E. R. Dunn, Smith College; Dr. F. N. Blanchard, University of Michigan; Dr. A. I. Ortenburger, University of Oklahoma; and the University of Kansas. Dr. A. R. Cahn, Oconomowoc, Wis., and Dr. Henry W. Fowler, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, borrowed a number of fishes.
Of the more than 10,000 insects sent out during the year, 5,638 were lent to specialists in this country for study in connection with various investigations. Important collections of Foraminifera were forwarded to Dr. Joseph A. Cushman, Sharon, Mass., in connection with his monographic studies of these organisms. To M. W. deLaubenfels, Hopkins Marine Laboratory, California, there were sent 39 lots of West Indian sponges. Some crustaceans were lent to Robert Gurney, Norwich, England, and to Miss Belle A. Stevens. Seattle, Wash.; Bryozoa to Prof. Raymond C. Osborn, of the University of Ohio, in connection with his report on the Gulf of California Bryozoa.
The botanical material lent to institutions or to individuals outside of Washington consists of 4,985 specimens comprised in 94 lots, while 8 investigators connected with the Department of Agriculture have borrowed for study 70 lots of plants, amounting to 3,076 specimens. The local herbarium of plants from the District of Columbia has been consulted frequently by persons interested in the flora of this region. The more important sendings were as follows: University of Illinois, 756 specimens; Botanical Garden and Museum, BerlinDahlem, Germany, 464 specimens; Edwin B. Bartram, Bushkill, Pa., 431 mosses; Dr. E. D. Merrill, Berkeley, Calif., 415 shrubs; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, 354 specimens; Stanford University, California, 280 specimens of Arabis; Pomona College,
Claremont, Calif., 266 specimens; University of California, 243 plants; Oakes Ames, Boston, 220 orchids; Prof. Hugo Glück, Heidelberg, Germany, 197 aquatic plants; Gray Herbarium of Harvard University, 186 specimens; Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria, 184 Lobeliaceae; and New York Botanical Garden, 175 specimens of various genera.
ASSISTANCE BY MEMBERS OF STAFF TO OTHER GOVERNMENT BUREAUS AND PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS.
Much time on the part of the staff is taken up by replies to inquiries of a scientific nature from various Government offices or private individuals and the identification of material of all kinds submitted for determination and investigation. Questions relating to the preservation of specimens, museum technique, references to literature sometimes amounting to requests for complete bibliographies, advice regarding contemplated expeditions, inquiries about the hoopsnake, the age of whales, double eggs and other malformations, how to make a living by catching butterflies, requests for the addresses of dealers in rattlesnake oil, may be mentioned as among the daily routine which is attended to properly and promptly. In addition personal inquiries by visitors to the Museum require careful and courteous attention. Trivial as many of the questions may appear, their proper answer is nevertheless an important part of the function of the institution in the diffusion of knowledge among men. Problems submitted may be of considerable importance and may require the research of specialists for a number of days.
In the division of mammals, in addition to the usual miscellaneous inquiries, 26 lots of specimens, containing about 130 individuals, were submitted for examination and report. The staff of the division of birds gave frequent assistance to members of the Biological Survey and occasionally to the authorities of the National Zoological Park in the identification of specimens. Data on shore birds were furnished A. C. Bent for use in the preparation of a bulletin on life histories of the species of this group. B. H. Swales spent some time in compiling data on the migration of Michigan birds for Mrs. U. S. Funk for a book on the birds of the Mississippi Valley. Instructions in preparing field specimens were given to Dr. E. Menzel, about to visit India, and to Rev. D. C. Graham, who expects to take up work again in western China in 1927. Eleven lots of birds or fragments of birds, comprising about 386 specimens, and a collection of eggs were received for identification. In the division of reptiles and batrachians Miss D. R. Cochran identified a number of lizards and frogs taken by the Federal Horticultural Board at points of entry for foreign plants, and also specimens for the Bu
reau of Fisheries. Written reports on 34 separate lots of material were submitted on material sent in for determination. In the division of fishes three lots were similarly determined. Doctor Aldrich, acting as specialist in Diptera for the Bureau of Entomology, identified most of the adult flies submitted for examination, while C. T. Greene determined those in the larval stages. Doctor Aldrich also identified material for the entomological department of the Federated Malay States and for the entomological branch, Department of Agriculture, Canada, besides many shipments for individual investigators in this country and abroad, comprising in all 136 lots. While in Guatemala during the spring of 1926 he assisted the Government of that country in an investigation of the parasites of the migratory locust. In the other sections of the division of insects, 5,534 lots of material have been identified, involving 9,414 identifications. In addition much assistance was rendered outside specialists by correspondence. A detailed report of these activities would fill many pages.
In the division of marine invertebrates, assistance has been rendered members of the scientific staff of the Biological Survey in the identification of invertebrate remains, chiefly crustacea, found in stomachs of animals whose food habits are being investigated; the Bureau of Fisheries, in the determination and furnishing of information relative to marine and aquatic invertebrates; the Bureau of Entomology in naming miscellaneous invertebrates collected in the course of their field operations; and the Federal Horticultural Board in identifying invertebrates found associated with various plant importations. Dr. M. J. Rathbun made numerous determinations of fossil crustacea for the Geological Survey. Considerable assistance was given university professors and students in research and thesis work, either in the form of references or information, or by furnishing authoritative identifications of the material upon which their studies are based. Such assistance was rendered a large number of institutions of learning in our own country, and to universities, museums and government bureaus in Mexico, Hawaii, Japan, China, Australia, Italy, and elsewhere. For private individuals in various parts of the world 18 lots, comprising 389 specimens, were identified. Altogether more than 3,700 identifications were made. The curator of the division of mollusks reports that from the Federal Horticultural Board came 74 lots of material, intercepted at various ports in connection with their inspection work and sent to us for determination and advice. The curator, with Mrs. Mary Quick Bowman, an instructor at George Washington University, prepared a minute account of the anatomy and habits of Zonitoides arboreus Say, which was found to be responsible for the initial lesions causing sugar cane wilt disease in Louisiana, resulting in losses of millions of dollars annually. The
positive determination of the organism in question required the minute study to which it was subjected. Studies and reports were made on other mollusks held responsble for similar ravages in Hawaii and Cuba. The Bureau of Fisheries was assisted in the critical determination of material, as were various members of the Geological Survey in determining the relationship between recent and fossil forms. In addition a vast number of mollusks included in 3,031 lots was determined for other institutions and individuals during the year.
Austin H. Clark, in his capacity as curator of echinoderms, discussed informally the starfish problem with authorities of the Bureau of Fisheries concerned with oyster investigations. Fourteen lots of material were received for identification in this division, among them two of considerable size, one from Canada, the other from Brazil.
The members of the staff of the National Herbarium gave help continually to many individuals and to scientific and educational institutions, by furnishing advice and information with regard to such botanical matters as herbarium management, economic uses of plants, plant distribution, botanical literature, and above all in the identification of collections. This last phase of the work has attained large proportions. The records indicate 290 lots of plants, consisting of 13,535 specimens, which were determined during the past year, but the actual number is considerably greater. These collections have come from individuals and also from numerous scientific and educational institutions. While the larger part of the material has been of American origin, there have been identified small lots from remote regions. The quantity of material received has been so great that it has been very difficult to dispose of it promptly. Numerous lots of plants have been identified for the United States Department of Agriculture, especially the Bureaus of Plant Industry and Biological Survey, and a few specimens have been received from other departments. Many specimens came from the American Nature Association, and almost daily during the summer months plants are brought to the herbarium by private individuals, with a request for their names. Several large collections have been received for determination during the past year. Some were sent by botanical institutions in the United States, and others from similar establishments in Europe. Material has been identified for many private individuals and governmental institutions in Mexico, the West Indies, and Central and South America. In most cases the material forwarded for determination is retained for incorporation in the National Herbarium, and it is thus that many of the most valuable additions to the herbarium are received. Doctor Maxon has identified many collections of ferns, and Mr. Standley numerous lots of flowering
plants from the western United States, Mexico, and Central America. Flowering plants from South America have been determined by E. P. Killip and Dr. S. F. Blake, and those from the West Indies and southern United States by E. C. Leonard. Doctor Rose has named Caesalpiniaceae, Cactaceae, and various other groups, and Dr. A. S. Hitchcock and Mrs. Agnes Chase the grasses.
VISITS TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS OR PLACES ON OFFICIAL WORK
Lack of funds available has been responsible for the fact that travel on the part of the staff for attendance at meetings or work at other institutions has been at personal expense. Drs. A. Wetmore and C. W. Richmond, incidental to the meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union in New York City in November, 1925, examined various birds in the American Museum of Natural History. William B. Marshall, assistant curator of mollusks, paid a short visit to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, to make critical comparisons of material. During the summer of 1925 Ellsworth P. Killip, of the division of plants, spent several weeks in Europe, visiting the important herbaria of Paris, Geneva, Berlin, and London. Many specimens from the United States National Herbarium were compared with type material in the historic South American collections of those herbaria, and photographs of many type specimens were made for deposit in the National Herbarium. Mr. Killip examined in particular the collections of Passifloraceae, in connection with his monographic studies of that family. Dr. J. N. Rose spent 10 days at the New York Botanical Garden, working in collaboration with Dr. N. L. Britton on the family Caesalpiniaceae. Austin H. Clark, curator of echinoderms, was detailed for one month during the summer of 1925, for work in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Mass., in connection with the manuscript of the forthcoming part of his monograph of the existing Crinoids.
Dr. W. Schaus, honorary assistant curator in the division of insects, went to France during the summer to pack and ship the Dognin collection of Lepidoptera, and while in Europe, spent considerable time studying material in the British Museum of Natural History.
All traveling expenses were borne personally by the members of the staff that have been mentioned.
DISTRIBUTION AND EXCHANGE OF SPECIMENS
Duplicates distributed to high schools, colleges, and other similar institutions aggregated 2,471, of which 894 consisted of mollusks in 6 prepared sets and 571 fishes in 7 sets.
Exchanges to the number of 31,390 were sent out, of which 2,675 were zoological specimens. Of the 28,715 plants thus distributed,