Invertebrate Zoology

John E. Rawlins, Director, Center for Biodiversity & Ecosystems and Curator of Invertebrate ZoologyJohn Rawlins 

412.688.8670 (fax)

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Academic Training 

PhD, Cornell University, 1982
BS, Oregon State University, 1972


Primary responsibility for collections, services, research, exhibition, staff, and activities involving non fossil invertebrates at Carnegie Museum. Currently, 25% of activity is devoted to general management and supervision of NSF facilities improvement grant with emphasis on Lepidoptera (DBI-9987522).

General Research Interests 

Primary research interests are the systematics and phylogeny of Lepidoptera with emphasis on Noctuoidea, Geometroidea, and Bombycoidea. Other interests include field-oriented studies on the natural history of insects, including insect-plant interactions, larval morphology and ontogeny; physiological and behavioral aspects of phylogenetically informative features of Lepidoptera; systematic and evolutionary studies, especially historical biogeography and evolution of caterpillars; conservation biology and biodiversity research emphasizing insect-plant interactions.

Research Emphases 

Current research projects include revisions of various moth genera, including Melese, Hyperthaema, Calidota,Empyreuma, Lymire, Drasteriini, Melanchroia, Crambidia, world Pantheidae and Acronictinae; faunistic studies on Lepidoptera of Pennsylvania, Macroheterocera of West Virginia and northern Utah; biogeography and systematics of Heterocera of the Caribbean; revisionary work on genera of Neotropical Lymantriidae (with C.W. Young); synoptic work on macrolepidopterous larvae of eastern North America (with C.W. Young).

Selected Funding 

  • 2002 Understanding Vanishing Endemism: Survey of Invertebrates and Plants from Threatened Montane Habitats in Hispaniola. National Science Foundation, Biotic Surveys and Inventories. (Amounted requested: $553,014; with P. Acevedo, R.L. Davidson, B. Farrell, C.W. Young).
  • 2000 Renovation of the Lepidoptera Collection at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology, Program for Research Collections in Systematics and Ecology. (Award amount: $378,661; with R.L. Davidson and C.W. Young).
  • 1998 Pennsylvania Invertebrate Inventory: Barrens Habitat Survey. Year 3. Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Fund, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission, and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Award amount: $12,299; with C. Bier, A. Davis, R. Davidson, S. Thompson, and C. Young).
  • 1998 Understanding and Documenting Biotic Communities of Allegheny County's New Botanical Garden to Facilitate Strategic Planning, Phase 1 and Phase 2. Horticultural Society of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Award amount: $28,213; with S.A. Thompson).
  • 1998 Documenting Biodiversity of Non-target Arthropods Potentially Affected by Spraying of Microbial Insecticides during Gypsy Moth Eradication Projects on Wasatch-Cache and Uinta National Forests, Utah. Forest Health Protection, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Ogden, Utah. (Award amount: $27,000; with R.L. Davidson, C.W. Young, S.A. Thompson).
  • 1995-1998 Renovation of Entomological Collections at Carnegie Museum of Natural History with Emphasis on Lepidoptera. National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology, Program for Research Collections in Systematics and Ecology (Award amount: $899,251; with R. Davidson and C. Young).

Selected Publications 

  • 2001 Temporal and Spatial Inventory of Non-target Macrolepidoptera and Other Insects in Gypsy Moth Susceptible Forests, Wasatch-Cache and Uinta National Forests, Utah. Final Report to United States Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, Ogden, Utah. 541 pp. (with J.E. Rawlins, S.A. Thompson, R.F. Rockwell, R.L. Davidson, R.A. Androw, C.W. Young).
  • 1999 Superfamily Noctuoidea. Pages 355-401 in Kristensen, N.P. (ed.), Handbuch der Zoologie. Band 4 (Arthropoda), Hälfte 2 (Insecta), Teilband 35: Lepidoptera. Moths and Butterflies. Volume 1. Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin. x + 494 pp. (with I.J. Kitching).
  • 1998 Invertebrates: Review of Status in Pennsylvania. Pp. 85-120 in Hassinger, J.D., R.J. Hill, G.L. Storm, and R.H. Yahner (eds.), Inventory and Monitoring of Biotic Resources in Pennsylvania. Current Ecological and Landscape Topics, Volume 1. Pennsylvania Biological Survey, c/o Center for Biodiversity Research, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. xiv + 220 pp. (with C.W. Bier).
  • 1998 Description of a new Perigonia from the Dominican Republic (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae). Lambillionea, 98:613-619. (with J.-M. Cadiou).
  • 1998 Nine Mile Run Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan. Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Program, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg, 191 pp. (with J.S. Blaustein, T. Collins, D. Dzombak, K. Tamminga, S.A. Thompson).
  • 1997 Study of Nocturnal Macrolepidoptera in Forest Ecosystems Associated with Population Outbreaks of the Elm Spanworm on the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania. Report to United States Forest Service, Allegheny National Forest, 414 pp. (with R. Androw, C. Bier, R. Davidson, S. Thompson, and C. Young).
  • 1997 A Survey of Odonata (Insecta) and Unionidae (Mollusca) Associated with Streams in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania. Report to United States Forest Service, Allegheny National Forest, 133 pp. (with C. Bier, R. Davidson, and D. Koenig).
  • 1997 Only caterpillars know some moth secrets. Carnegie Magazine, September/October: 38-39.
  • 1994 Bibliography and Species Citation Index of World Literature on Rotifera in the John G. Gallagher Collection. Special Publication of Carnegie Museum of Natural History No. 19, 132 pp. (with J.J. and A.H. Gallagher).
  • 1993 Calophya triozomima Schwarz, a sumac-feeding psyllid new to the eastern United States (Homoptera: Psylloidea: Calophyidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 95:99-106 (with A.G. Wheeler, Jr.).
  • 1992 Life history and systematics of the West Andean moth Aucula franclemonti with description of a new species from Ecuador (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Agaristinae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 100(2):286-310.
  • 1987 Host-related antennal variation in the polyphagous egg parasite Telenomus alsophilae (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae). Systematic Entomology, 12:437-447 (with N.F. Johnson and D.M. Pavuk).
  • 1984 Mycophagy in Lepidoptera. Chapter 15, pp. 382-423 in Wheeler, Q., and M. Blackwell (eds.). Fungus/Insect Relationships: Perspectives in Ecology and Evolution. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • 1981 Developmental influences of thermal behavior on monarch caterpillars (Danaus plexippus): an adaptation for migration (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Danainae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 54:387-408 (with R.C. Lederhouse).
  • 1980 Thermoregulation by the black swallowtail butterfly, Papilio polyxenes (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Ecology, 61(2):345-357.
  • 1979 Distribution of orb-weavers (Araneidae: Araneae) in homogeneous old-field vegetation. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 81(2):234-247 (with O.D. Sholes).
  • 1978 The influence of environmental factors on roosting in the black swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes asterius Stoll (Papilionidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 32(3):145-159 (with R.C. Lederhouse).