April 23, 2021
April is the time to collect millipedes in Virginia!
On April 21, VMNH Associate Curator of Recent Invertebrates Dr. Kal Ivanov and VMNH Myriapodologist (millipede expert) Dr. Jackson Means traveled to the state's westernmost reaches in hopes to collect two known, but as-of-yet undescribed, species of flat-backed millipedes in the genus Nannaria (a group that Dr. Means recently revised).
Despite the inclement weather forecasted for that day, the duo decided to continue as planned with intended stops at Laurel Bed Lake in Russell County and Hanging Rock Day Use Area in Scott County. The 14 hours of fieldwork that followed may sound like much, but from the beautiful sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains, the steady rain in Saltville, the snow storm at Laurel Bed Lake, to the unexpected discovery of a brand new species of Nannaria on the scenic banks of the Clinch River near Dungannon, they went in a flash.
In total, Drs. Means and Ivanov managed to discover three new species of Nannaria and the trip was a resounding success. It is days like these that remind us of why we love what we do. What will you discover?