Print and put this on one of your Hymenoptera cabinets for future generations.Feel free to add to or edit and re-share.Cheers,MikeOn Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 2:58 PM David Redei <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Also: does the directionality of the symbol matter? It seems well agreed that ♀ means "female." But if the symbol is turned upwards like so: ♁, does it mean "male" or "female" ?Yes, it matters. The "reverse female symbol" (a "+" on top of a circle) generally means male. So, if something is directed upwards, or obliquely upwards, either a little arrow, or a cross, that is generally male. Sometimes you can see some other solutions as well, e.g. consider this: https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/96704#page/750/mode/1up In vol. 15, p. 264 for both Harpactor dudae and Edocla albipennis (and for many other spp. in the same article) you will see a small cross (x) placed obliquely right upwards to a circle. It superficially looks similar to a standard male symbol (Mars' spear, where the spear is directed obliquely upwards), but the spear/arrow itself is replaced by an "x" -- or if you have a careful look you will see that the "x" is in fact rather a "+" rotated by 45 degrees. This most certainly means a male (I studied all specimens mentioned in this paper, and all individuals referred to with this unusual symbol were turned out to be males). These strange solutions were usually used for technical reasons -- note that in the above linked issue the standard, arrow-like male symbol occurs abundantly in the first several pages up to p. 256, but from that point they were fully replaced by the "circle and x" male symbols up to the end of the issue. The printing company apparently did not have enough metal letters (so-called sorts or types, cf. "typesetting") for the male symbol (a rather unusual, rarely used symbol, which was however needed in a big amount for taxonomic publications like this one), therefore after he ran out of the available sorts, the typesetter replaced it with a circle and a closely placed "+" (rotated by 45 degrees) sort on the printing form.With best regards, David RedeiOn Tue, 21 Apr 2020 at 01:38, Rachel Hawkins <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Also: does the directionality of the symbol matter? It seems well agreed that ♀ means "female." But if the symbol is turned upwards like so: ♁, does it mean "male" or "female" ?On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 12:59 PM Rachel Hawkins <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Aha! Jason, this is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to find.The entry on "sex" is also illuminating:"Sex: as a number, six: the physical difference between male and female: usually indicated by the sign of Mars (♂) for male, and Venus (♀) for female ; workers or undeveloped females have the sign of Venus without the cross line ..., or a combination of the two others ( ☿ )."On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 12:53 PM Jason Gibbs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Smith (1906) Explanation of terms used in entomology. Brooklyn Entomological Society, page 88.
Under ‘neuter’ includes the mercury symbol (with the little horns) and an imperfect Venus symbol (missing the horizontal line of the cross) to represent workers.
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I would love to get an actual reference for this as well. We have many bee specimens at INHS with the “☿” symbol that I had to double check was “worker/non-reproductive female”. As a coleopterist, when I started at INHS, it was first time coming across the symbol, and it will doubtless be unfamiliar to many students and volunteers who work in the collection, or with people who are transcribing determination labels.
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On Apr 20, 2020, at 11:10 AM, Rachel Hawkins <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Does anyone have a good reference source on the different types of sex determination symbols or caste determination symbols that are used in entomological collections? We've come across some older variations and want to make sure we are interpreting them consistently.
For example: does this refer to male or female? ♁
I know there are some specific conventions in social insects as well and would be interested to hear from those folks as well.
To be clear, I'm asking about symbols like ♂, ♀, ☿, ♃, etc. (many of which can also be found depicted here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_symbols)
Rachel L. Hawkins
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Museum of Comparative Zoology
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--Rachel L. HawkinsCuratorial AssistantEntomology Dept. and Pierce LabMuseum of Comparative ZoologyHarvard University26 Oxford St.Cambridge MA 02138
--Rachel L. HawkinsCuratorial AssistantEntomology Dept. and Pierce LabMuseum of Comparative ZoologyHarvard University26 Oxford St.Cambridge MA 02138--Michael L. Ferro
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https://sites.google.com/site/clemsonarthropodcollection/Subject Editor: The Coleopterists Bulletin; Insecta Mundi