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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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image of a beetle
Diamphidia nigroomata, the Poison Arrow Flea Beetle. (photo by M. Moffet)

David Furth, Collections Manager

  David Furth
  • Phone:   202-633-0990
  • Fax:   202-786-2894
  • E-mail Address:   furthd@si.edu

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 165
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    10th St. & Constitution Ave., NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0165

  • Education:
    BA Miami
    MS Ohio State
    PhD Cornell

Duties and Interests
Synopsis:

Entomological Collections Management:
Departmental/institutional collections management policies; pest control, especially low-temperature, monitoring; conservation and materials interactions; international permitting regulations; collections-related data basing; collections storage, moving and logistics; entomological archives, including scientific illustrations.

Entomological Research:
The systematics, morphology, natural history, food plant relationships, biogeography, phylogeny and other evolutionary aspects of Chrysomelidae, especially Alticinae (Flea Beetles).

Details:

Collections Management:
As Collections Manager of the Department I coordinated the preparation and implementation of two moves between 1998-2002 of our collections and staff offices from several isolated areas of the old Natural History Museum Building (NHB) into four floors of the new East Court Building (ECB) and the renovated 5th floor of the East Wing of the NHB. The ECB has three floors with new cabinets and electric compactors which I helped to design and it is the state-of-the-art facility in the world. The ECB also has a walk-in freezer and other freezers for pest control and tracking of incoming specimen packages as well for cold storage of research specimens. There are new facilities for chemical storage, archives, backlog, sorting center, and a modern stockroom with electric compactors. I have developed a pest control monitoring program using sticky and UV traps and we have more than 10 years of data on a spread sheet that was very useful in planning the "clean" move to our new facilities. I supervise some Smithsonian collections management staff as well as volunteers, interns, and contractors. I serve on several departmental committees (e.g., Collections, Space, Supervisory, Library, etc.) as well as occasionally on museum-wide and institutional committees. I am responsible for approving all specimen transactions, including reviewing and signing the paperwork associated with these.  I was integrally involved in organizing the new Latin American and Caribbean Collections Management Training Program that will continue in 2009 and hopefully beyond.  I have been an active participant at all the meetings of the Entomology Collections Network.

Research:
Since the early 1990s I have been working on the Alticinae fauna and diversity of Costa Rica in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio) and the Arthropods of La Selva (ALAS) Project (see publication list below).  Also in the early 1990s I began constructing a set of keys to the ca. 250 Neotropical genera of Flea Beetles (Alticinae) that will be a revision of Scherer's 1962/1983 treatment – this project is continuing. More recently I have been working on the Alticinae diversity of Mexico (see publication list below), especially using data from various collections as well as from my field work there since the early 1990s.  Within Mexico I have been concentrating for the past 5 years on the Alticinae diversity in the Sierra Tarahumara (Chihuahua) as part of a bio-cultural diversity project from this Museum. I also continue to work on the systematics of the ca.16 genera worldwide which share a similar adult and larval morphology and biology with Blepharida. I am continuing my studies on the metafemoral spring morphology of Alticinae worldwide. I am interested in the Flea Beetle fauna and diversity of Mexico.

I was the Organizer and Proceedings Editor/Co-Editor of 5 International Symposia on the Chrysomelidae (Hamburg, 1984; Vancouver, 1988; Beijing, 1992; Firenze, 1996; Iguacu , 2000) as well as a participant in Bonn (2004) and Durban (2008) - held in conjunction with the International Congresses of Entomology (except 2004). I was President of the Entomological Society of Washington and I am still very active in that Society. I am the Chair of the Youth Incentive Award Program (small grants) of The Coleopterists Society. I am on the Editorial Board of: Elytron (Association of European Coleoptera); Serangga (Malaysia); Entomotropica (Sociedad Venezolana de Entomología), Efflatounia (Egypt), and Belgian Journal of Entomology. I am an active member of more than 14 professional societies.

Previous Positions
(selected):

  • Curatorial Associate, Department of Entomology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (1989-1993)
  • Collections Manager, Division of Entomology, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 1981-1989
  • Postdoctoral Fellow and Entomological Consultant, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1977-1981
  • Lecturer, Department of Biology, Yale University, 1975-1977
  • Museum Assistant, Peabody Museum, Yale University 1974-1975
  • Curator, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, 1972-1974

Publications:

Szczepanowska, H., F.W. Shockley, D.G. Furth, P. Gentili, D. Bell, P.T. DePriest, M. Mecklenburg, and C. Hawks. 2013.  Effectiveness of entomological collection storage cabinets in maintaining stable relative humidity in a historic museum building.  Collection Forum 27(1): 43-53.

Furth, D. G. 2013. Diversity of Alticinae in Oaxaca, Mexico:
A preliminary study (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae). Zookeys 332:1-32. pdf

Szczepanowska, H., Shockley, F.W., Furth, D.G., Gentili, P., Bell, D., DePriest, P.T., Mecklenburg, M.F. and Hawks, C. 2013. Effectiveness of entomological collection storage cabinets in maintaining stable relative humidity in a historic museum building. Collection Forum, 27(1-2): 43-53.

Furth, D.G.. 2011. Secondary Sexual Characteristics in the Galerucinae (Sensu Stricto) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). ISRN Zoology, vol. 2011, Article ID 328670. web link: http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/zoology/2011/328670/

Furth, D.G. and K. M. Zhaurova. 2010. Two new flea beetle genera: Alasia alpina gen. et sp. nov. from a Costa Rican cloud forest and Pseudostenophyma gen. nov. from Brazil (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Zootaxa 2679:32-50. pdf

Furth, D.G. 2009. Flea beetle diversity of the Sierra Tarahumara, Copper Canyon, Mexico (Chrysomelidae: Alticinae), pp. 131–151,. In: P. Jolivet, M. Schmitt, and J. Santiago-Blay (Eds.). Research on  Chrysomelidae, Volume 2. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden. pdf

Savini, V., D.G. Furth, and L.J. Joly. 2009. Bubiscus, un género nuevo neotropical (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Alticinae). Boletin Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa 44:53-61. pdf

Savini, V., H.E. Escalona, & D.G. Furth. 2008 Descripción de Chrysomila gen. n. y diez especies nuevas para el neotrópico (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Entomotropica 23(1): 1-36. pdf

Furth, D.G. 2007. Longitarsus warchalowskianus, a new species from Chihuahua, Mexico (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Genus 18 (4):623-630. pdf

Furth, D.G. 2007. A new genus and species of flea beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomleidae: Alticinae) from the rainforest canopy in Costa Rica. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 109(1):90­101. PDF

Furth, D.G. 2006. The current status of knowledge of the Alticinae of Mexico (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Proceedings of the Sixth International Sym-posium on the Chrysomelide. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 54(4):197-225. pdf

Rehn, A. & D.G. Furth. 2005. Recovery of a Lost Dragonfly Collection and the Holotype of Tanypteryx hageni (Selys) – or – Tanypteryx Meets Sasquatch: The Perry Turner Story. Argia 17(3):34-37. pdf

Savini, V. & D.G. Furth. 2005. Dos especies nuevas del género Gioia Bechyné (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae) para América Central. Entomotropica 20(1): 23-27. pdf

Savini, V. & D.G. Furth.  2004. Teratología en Coleoptera: un caso en Gioia bicolor (Blake, 1969) (Chrysomelidae, Alticinae) de Jamaica. Entomotropica 19(3):165-167.

Furth, D.G. 2004. Fun with Flea Beetle Feces. Chrysomela No. 43:10 pdf

Furth, D.G.  2004. Alticinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), pp.  669-684. In: Biodiversidad, Taxonomía y Biogeografía de Artrópodos de México: Hacia una síntesis de su conocimiento. Volumen IV.  J. Llorente B., J. J. Morrone, O. Yáñez & I. Vargas, (Eds.).  Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, D. F.

Santiago-Blay, J. A., V. Savini, D. G. Furth, P. R. Craig & G. O. Poinar. 2004. Wanderbiltiana wawasita: A new species of flea beetle (Alticinae) from Dominican amber (Lower Oligocene to Lower Miocene), pp. 275-277. In: New Developments on the Biology of Chrysomelidae (P. Jolivet, J. A. Santiago-Blay, M. Schmitt, Eds.). SPB Academic Publ., The Hague, The Netherlands. pdf

Furth, D. G. (Editor). 2003. Special Topics in Leaf Beetle Biology: Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on the Chrysomelidae. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow. 339 pp.

Furth, D. G., J. T. Longino, & M. Paniagua. 2003. Survey and quantitative assessment of flea beetle diversity in a Costa Rican rainforest (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae), pp. 1-23.  In: Special Topics in Leaf Beetle Biology: Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on the Chrysomelidae. (D. G. Furth, Editor). Pensoft Publishers, Sofia-Moscow. pdf

Savini, V. & D. G. Furth. 2001. Dos géneros nuevos de Alticinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).  Oral presentation at XVII Congresso Venezolano de Entomología, 1-5 Julio 2001. Resúmenes, p. 120.

Savini, V. & D. G. Furth. 2001. The status of Heikertingerella, Monotalla, Pseudodibolia, and Sphaeroderma (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae) in the New World. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 103(4):903-912.pdf

Savini, V., D. G. Furth, & S. Niño-Maldonado. 2001. Una nueva especie de Gioia (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Folia Entomologia Mexicana 40(1):11-15. pdf

Furth, D. G. & J. E. Lee. 2000. Similarity of the Blepharida-group genera using larval and adult characters (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 108(1-2):26-51. pdf

Lee, J. E. & D. G. Furth. 2000. Larval biology and morphology of a North American and an Israeli Altica Geoffroy species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Florida Entomologist 83(3):276­284. pdf

Furth, D. G. 2000. Institutional sharing of collections: The Off-site Enhancement Program. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, Newsletter 14(2):1, 8-9. pdf

Savini, V. & D. G. Furth. 2000 (1999). Revisión del género Gioia Bechyné, 1955 (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae) de Las Antillas. Elytron 13:19-34 pdf

Furth, D. G. & K. Suzuki. 1998. Studies on Oriental and Australian Alticinae genera, based on the comparative morphology of the metafemoral spring, genitalia, and hind wing venation. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on the Chrysomelidae. M. Biondi. M. Daccordi and D. Furth (Eds.). Atti Museo Regionale Scienze Naturali Torino 1998:91-124. pdf

Furth, D. G. & V. Savini. 1998. Corrections, clarifications, and additions to the 1996 checklist of the Alticinae of Central America, including Mexico (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Insecta Mundi 12 (1-2):133-138. pdf

Furth, D. G. 1998. Revision of the New World Blepharida (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington 21:1-109 pdf

Furth, D. G. 1997. Alticinae of Israel and adjacent areas: Smaller genera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 31:1-26.
pdf

Savini, V. and D. G. Furth. 1997. Chaetocnema seriata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae): A new combination. The Coleopterists Bulletin 51(2):198.

Savini, V. and D. G. Furth. 1996. Nuevas combinaciones, designacion de lectotipo y redescripciones en Gioia Bechyne (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Alticinae). Boletín de Entomologia Venezolana 11(2):191-198. [in Spanish] pdf

Furth, D. G. and V. Savini. 1996. Checklist of the Alticinae of Central America, including Mexico (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Insecta Mundi 10(1-4):45-68. pdf

Furth, D. 1995. An Asian odyssey: Six months of entomological experiences. Insect Collection News No. 10:13-16

Furth, D. 1995. Pest control in entomological collections. Insect Collection News No. 10:5-7.

Furth, D. G. 1994. A new case of parthenogenesis in beetles: Longitarsus melanurus Melsheimer (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society. 102(3):310-317. pdf

Furth, D. G. 1994. The Alticinae. INBIO field guide to the insects of Costa Rica. http://www.inbio.ac.cr/papers/insectoscr/Insectcr.html . (in Spanish)

Furth, D. G. (Editor). 1994. Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on the Chrysomelidae, Beijing, 1992. Universal Book Services, Leiden. 150pp.

Furth, D. and K. Suzuki. 1994. Character correlation studies of problematic genera of Alticinae in relation to Galerucinae. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). In: D. G. Furth (ed.) Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on the Chrysomelidae, Beijing, 1992. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden. pp.116-135. pdf

Furth, D. 1994. Frank Morton Carpenter, 1902-1994: Academic biography and publications. Psyche 101(1-2):127-144

Furth, D., I. Askevold, and C. Duckett. 1994. Discovery and designation of type specimens of  Chrysomelidae from Argentina described by E. von Harold in 1875 (Coleoptera). Psyche 101(1-2):19-32 pdf

Suzuki, K. and D. Furth. 1994. Jumping insects. Insectarium, Tokyo 31(2):40-49. (in Japanese)

Hawkeswood, T. J. and D. G. Furth. 1994. New host plant records for some Australian Alticinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Spixiana 17(1):43-49. pdf

R. W. Flowers, D. G. Furth, and M. C. Thomas. 1994. Notes on the distribution and biology of some Florida Leaf Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Coleopterists Bulletin 48(1):79-89. pdf

Furth, D. G. 1993. Hula Lake Leaf Beetles revisited. Israel Journal of Entomology 27:25-30. pdf

Suzuki, K. and D. Furth. 1992. What is a classification? A case study in insect systematics: Potential confusion before order. Zoological Science 9(6):1113-1126. pdf

Furth, D. and K. Suzuki. 1992. The independent evolution of the metafemoral spring in Coleoptera. Systematic Entomology 17(4):341-349.
pdf

Furth, D. 1992. The new world Blepharida group, with a key to genera and description of a new species   (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 100(2):399-414. pdf

Furth, D. 1992. Recent activity in the Department of Entomology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. Insect Collection News No. 7:20-21.

Furth, D. 1991. Obituary: A tribute to G. Evelyn Hutchinson. Wings 16(1):13.

Furth, D. 1991. Beetlemania. Wings 16(1):3-12.

Suzuki, K. and D. Furth. 1990. What is a natural classification? A case study in insect systematics: potential confusion before order. Part I. "Seibutsu Kagaku" (= Biological Sciences) 42(3):123-133. (in Japanese)

Suzuki, K. and D. Furth. 1990. What is a natural classification? A case study in insect systematics: potential confusion before order. Part II. "Seibutsu Kagaku" (= Biological Sciences) 42(4):201­209. (in Japanese)

Furth, D. and K. Suzuki. 1990. Comparative morphological studies of the tibial flexor and extensor tendons in insects. Systematic Entomology 15:433-441. pdf

Furth, D. and K. Suzuki. 1990. The metatibial extensor and flexor tendons in Coleoptera. Systematic Entomology 15:443-448.

Furth, D. 1989. Gyrinidae and Chrysomelidae. In: Plants and Animals of the Land of Israel: An illustrated  encyclopedia. Insects. J. Kugler (Ed.). Vol. 3, pp. 170 and 201-204. Society for Protection of Nature, Israel. (in Hebrew)

Furth, D. and T. Seeno (Eds.) 1989. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Chrysomelidae.  Entomography 6:342-552.

Furth, D. 1989. Metafemoral spring studies of some Neotropical genera of Alticinae. In: D. Furth and T. Seeno (Eds.). Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Chrysomelidae.  Entomography 6:497-510. pdf

Furth, D. 1989. Book Review: Y. Yom-Tov & E. Tchernov (Eds.) 1988. The zoogeography of Israel: Distribution and abundance at a zoogeographical crossroad. Dr. W. Junk Publishers, Boston. American Scientist 77:592-593.

Balick, M., A. Henderson, and D. Furth. 1988. Reproductive biology, Chapter 8. In: Oenocarpus-Jessinia: neotropical oil palms worthy of domestication. FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 88, 191 pp. FAO, Rome.

Furth, D. 1988. The jumping apparatus of Flea Beetles - the metafemoral spring. Chapter 17. In: Biology of Chrysomelidae, P. Jolivet, E. Petitpierre and T. Hsiao (Eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers,  Dordrecht, The Netherlands. pdf

Furth, D. and C. Brivio. 1988. Dissemination of the second P.I.M.E. Entomological Museum. The Coleopterists Bulletin 42(2):193-201. pdf

Furth, D and D. Young. 1988. Relationships of herbivore feeding and plant flavonoids (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae and Anacardiaceae: Rhus). Oecologia 74(4):496-500. pdf

Howard, D. and D. Furth. 1986. Review of the Allonemobius fasciatus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) complex with the description of two new species, using electrophoresis, songs, and morphometrics. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 79(3):472-481. pdf 

Furth, D. 1986. Alticinae of Israel: Chaetocnema (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 19(1985):67-83. pdf

Furth, D. and T. Seeno (Eds.) 1985. Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Chrysomelidae.  Entomography 3:371-504.

Furth, D. 1985. Book review of: Thornhill, R. & J. Alcock 1983. The evolution of insect mating systems. Harvard Press, Cambridge.  Bulletin of the Entomological Society of America 31(3):33-35.

Furth, D. 1985. Relationships of Palearctic and Nearctic Genera of Alticinae. In: Furth, D. and T. Seeno (Eds.) Proceedings, First International Symposium on Chrysomelidae. Entomography 3:375-392. pdf

Furth, D. 1985. Some flea beetles and their foodplants from Kenya (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Coleopterists Bulletin 39(3):259-263. pdf

Furth, D. 1985. The natural history of a Sumac tree; with an emphasis on the entomofauna. Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 46:137-237. pdf

Furth, D. 1984. Alticinae of Israel: Psylliodes (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 17:37-58. pdf

Furth, D., Y. Ben-Dov, U. Gerson. 1984. A new species of Peliococcus (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) from the Judean Desert. Israel Journal of Entomology 17:105-108.

Furth, D. 1983. Dytiscidae, Gyrinidae and Hydrophilidae. In: Plants and Animals of the Land of Israel: An illustrated encyclopedia. Aquatic Life. L. Fishelson (Ed.). Vol. 4, pp. 277-279. Society for Protection of Nature, Israel. (in Hebrew)

Furth, D. 1983. Aquatic entomofauna of a Dead Sea oasis. Hydrobiologia 102:3-25. pdf

Furth, D., W. Traub, and I. Harpaz. 1983. What makes Blepharida jump? A structural study of the metafemoral spring of a flea beetle. The Journal of Experimental Zoology 227:43-47.


Furth, D. 1982. The metafemoral spring of flea beetles (Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Spixiana, Suppl. 7:11-27. PDF

Furth, D. 1982. Blepharida biology, as demonstrated by the Sacred Sumac Flea Beetle B. sacra (Weise)) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Spixiana, Suppl. 7:43-52. pdf

Furth, D. 1980. Altica of Israel (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Israel Journal of Entomology 14:55-66. pdf

Furth, D. 1980. Inter-generic differences in the metafemoral apodeme of flea beetles (Chrysomelidae: Alticinae). Systematic Entomology 5:263-271.

Furth, D. & J. Halperin. 1980. Observations of the phenology and biogeography of Thaumetopoea jordana (Staudinger) (Lepidoptera: Thaumetopoeidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 13:1-11. pdf

Furth, D. 1980. Zoogeography and host plants of Longitarsus in Israel, with descriptions of six new species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 13:79-124. pdf

Furth, D. 1980. Wing polymorphism, host plant ecology, and biogeography of  Longitarsus in Israel (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 13:125-148. pdf

Furth, D. 1979. Zoogeography and host plant ecology of the Alticinae of Israel, especially Phyllotreta: with descriptions of three new species (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Israel Journal of Zoology 28(1):1-37. pdf

Furth, D. 1978. A fossil Flea Beetle from Lake Huleh, Israel (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 12(1978):41-49. pdf

Balick, M., D. Furth, and G. Cooper-Driver. 1978. Biochemical and evolutionary aspects of arthropod predation on ferns. Oecologia (Berlin) 35:55-89. pdf

Furth, D., R. Albrecht, K. Muraszko, and G. Evelyn Hutchinson. 1978. Scanning electron microscope study of the palar pegs of three species of Corixidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Systematic Entomology 3:147-152. pdf

Furth, D. 1976. The Huleh and its lost aquatic leaf beetle. Atala 4:4-9. pdf

Furth, D. 1975. Israel, a great biogeographic crossroads. Discovery 11(1):2-13. pdf

Furth, D. 1974. Stink Bugs of Ohio (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Bulletin of the Ohio Biological Survey N.S. 5(1):1­60. pdf

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