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UW Prof’s Grasshopper Collection Cataloged

January 3, 2005

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) _ An extensive collection of grasshoppers, gathered over a 60-year career by a university professor, has found a sanctuary.

The 221 species that professor emeritus Robert Pfadt labored to collect are now cataloged and immortalized in their own boxed nests.

Colleagues of the world-famous entomologist gathered recently to dedicate the Robert Pfadt Grasshopper Collection in Room 7 of the College of Agriculture Building and unveil a plaque in his honor.

Pfadt, 90, was unable to attend, but his Department of Renewable Resources friends videotaped the celebration to send to the ``founding father″ of entomology in Wyoming.

Jeff Lockwood, a professor of natural science and humanities, called Pfadt’s Field Guide to Common Western Grasshoppers ``one of the most important, enduring, comprehensive and authoritative entomological publications in the last 25 years.″

Lockwood noted that Pfadt’s collection, which includes grasshoppers more than a century old, ``is a tremendous asset to research, extension and teaching. These specimens are a gold mine for ecologists, taxonomists and evolutionary biologists.″

Pfadt was born in Erie, Pa., in 1915 and attended UW in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He joined the faculty and began maintaining the UW Insect Museum in 1943.

Besides his field guide, he wrote scores of articles along with books, including a children’s guide to grasshoppers.

Although he retired in 1984, Pfadt, who now lives in Powell, has continued to seek his favorite insects and document their diet, behavioral traits and habitats.

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