Andrew Meeds Curator

Joined: Apr 28, 2018 Last Active: Feb 22, 2024 iNaturalist Monthly Supporter since December 2020

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1506-1450

I'm very interested in stink bugs (Pentatomidae) and Scutelleridae in North America (and elsewhere, but not so familiar). I provide a lot of IDs and don't always leave an explanation, but if you want to know how I arrived at an ID or think I made a mistake, feel free to ask and I'll be happy to explain my reasoning. Please feel free to tag me in observations where you think I may be able to help.

I'm also very interested in the role of insects in decomposition ecology and I work in forensic entomology. I work with blow flies (Calliphoridae) and do some IDs on them occasionally. My knowledge on this topic is more specific to Arizona and some blow flies are tricky for me to ID from photos, but if you have observations of carrion-associated insects, feel free to tag me! I would love to see them!

If that's not enough, I'm also very interested in all aspects of the arthropod fauna of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

About me: I am currently working as a lab manager at Arizona State University West Valley campus for Dr. Lauren Weidner's forensic entomology lab (see lab website here: https://sites.google.com/a/asu.edu/fewl/home ). I also teach the lab component of a forensic entomology class for forensic science undergrads as a faculty associate.

Prior to working at ASU, I've worked on Western Corn Rootworm as an agricultural pest. This work came as an undergrad in Dr. Bruce Hibbard's research lab and as an early professional under Dr. Chitvan Khajuria. Throughout my undergrad years, I also worked in a USDA ARS lab under Dr. Thomas Coudron. This was a research lab focused on biological control of insect pests. I mostly worked with Podisus maculiventris in this lab and the experience can certainly be blamed for my continued interest in stink bugs. During those years, I majored in Plant Sciences at University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with an emphasis in plant protection. While I've always been focused on the insect side of things, that experience did get me very interested in plant-insect interactions.

Voucher Specimens: I'm working to build some reference material, so I am happy to accept specimens of US Pentatomidae and Calliphoridae for identification. Especially interested in Arizona/southwestern specimens and in members of the pentatomid genus Chlorochroa (especially subgenus Rhytidolomia). Contact me if interested.

I am a contributing editor over on BugGuide where I started posting when I was about 14 and am eternally thankful to all of the awesome and incredibly patient people on there that helped me grow my passion in entomology.

If you are looking for ways to improve your observations to make species ID more possible, the best way is to provide multiple angles! A good dorsal shot (top-down view) is almost essential, but for many species, we also need a clear view of the ventral surface (the underside). If you can, a lateral view (side) can also be helpful.

Additionally, if you observe insects in association with plants, those associations can be very useful. Linking observations of plants to the insects that were on them gives us some great biological information.

Guide to rearing stink bug nymphs to adulthood:
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/ameeds/26981-rearing-stink-bug-nymphs-to-adulthood

Feel free to connect with me on these other platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ameeds11/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ameeds11

I've had a lot of folks help me out over the years and would certainly not be in this field without their mentorship. I love opportunities to return the favor. If you are interested in groups or regions that I have experience with, please don't hesitate to reach out. I truly enjoy few things more than interacting with folks who are interested in the same things that I am.

I'm also prone to sensory overload, particularly auditory. Nature is my happy place where everything quiets down and I love talking with other people that find their peace within it. iNaturalist is an incredible way for me to preserve memories of travels and good times outdoors. I really enjoy interacting and collaborating with other neurodivergent folks as well, so again, please don't hesitate to reach out.

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