David Curator

Joined: Aug 8, 2017 Last Active: Jul 16, 2024 iNaturalist

I am a botanist and entomologist, and have worked for over 26 years as a curator at the Rio Grande Botanic Garden in Albuquerque, New Mexico - retired in June, 2021. Before that I've worked as a field entomologist for USDA APHIS, as a mechanic, a roofer, I built greenhouses, I ran a small nursery, and did assorted other things. I majored in entomology when in college at Colorado State University. I'm interested in pretty much everything that grows or moves, so it's hard to outline interests. What's at the top of the list shifts with time, but probably always near the top are field study of wild populations of certain groups of Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, Cactaceae, Portulacaceae [senus latu], and Iridaceae. For many years I have focused most intently on the Band-wing Grasshoppers, Opuntia, Talinum, and Phemeranthus. I am an amateur photographer and also a collector, and grow a large variety plants, favoring succulent plants and Iris. I have collected insects and cacti on and off for around 55 years (has it really been that long - wow!). I have written assorted papers and been involved with a few different books and web sites, but I'll not list them all here now.

I have spent a bit over 50 years closely studying the genus Opuntia and Band-wing Grasshoppers (Oedipodinae) in particular (although I am probably what might be called "obsessed" with several other groups too), and have made a project out of tracking down original descriptions, studying type specimens, and observing those found living at type localities of the many assorted and confusing names; and, as well, studying plants and insects in the wild, their population limits, behavior, and have enjoyed raising them and observing them in "captivity". [The number of Opuntia plants I have growing now is way down - probably about 1200.]

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