Louis N. Sorkin



Research Interests

Collection Responsibility: Araneae

Louis Sorkin began his career in arachnid studies during his graduate work at the University of Connecticut where he researched arthropod parasites of spiders and mite work. In 1978, Lou began work on spider and other arachnid collections working under Dr. Norman Platnick, Curator, in what was named the Department of Entomology at the American Museum of Natural History. Over the years he has sorted through many spider collections and labeled thousands of vials and has worked with many arachnologists, some visiting and examining the museum’s collection and sometimes at other institutions during his visits or on excursions from arachnology meetings. 

He fields many public inquiries regarding insects and other arthropods. His interest in entomophagy and forensic entomology (the latter includes stored products, urban, and medico-legal studies) began many years ago. Some of the cases and investigations have been aired online, on television and radio and in the print media. At present, some of his studies include investigations on the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) due to the relatively recent increase in infestations of many homes, business, hotels, by this insect and for which he receives inquiries on their natural history and biology and management. He keeps a few bed bug colonies for study and for educational purposes. 

Collection Responsibility: Araneae


Norman I. Platnick, Mohammad U. Shadab, and Louis N. Sorkin. 2005. On the Chilean spiders of the family Prodidomidae (Araneae, Gnaphosoidea), with a revision of the genus Moreno Mello-Leitao. American Museum Novitates No. 3499, 31 pages, 94 figures.

D. Z. Altschuler, M. Crutcher, N. Dulceanu, B. A. Cervantes, C. Terinte and L. N. Sorkin. 2004. Collembola (Springtails) (Arthropoda: Hexapoda: Entognatha) found in scrapings from individuals diagnosed with delusory parasitosis. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 112(1): 87-95.

Ristenbatt, III, R. R., Pizzola, P. A., Shaler, R. C., Sorkin, L. N. 2005. Commentary on: Mark Benecke and Larry Barksdale. Distinction of bloodstain patterns from fly artifacts. Forensic Science International (2003) 137: 152-159. Forensic Science International (May 10, 2005) 149(2-3): 293-294.

Richard C. Robbins, Louis N. Sorkin, and François Vuilleumier. 2001. First Report of Ixodes auritulus (Acari: Ixodida: Ixodidae) from the Blackish Cinclodes, Cinclodes antarcticus, with Additional Records of Parasitization of Cinclodes by this Tick Species. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 103(2): 265-268.

R. R. Ristenbatt, III, L. N. Sorkin, M. Dorokhov, G. Montenegro, L. Quarino, and R. C. Shaler. 1997. Crime Scene Artifacts: Cockroach Contributions. Paper and Poster Session at 49th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, New York, NY, February 17-22, 1997.

G. Montenegro, R. R. Ristenbatt, III, L. N. Sorkin, M. Dorokhov, L. Quarino, and R. C. Shaler. 1996. Crime Scene Artifacts: Cockroach Contributions. Paper and Poster Session at 22nd Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, Pocono Manor, PA, October 3-5, 1996.

H. B. Freye, M.D., R. E. Esch, Ph.D., C. M. Litwin, R.N., and L. Sorkin, R.P.E. 1996. Anaphylaxis to the Ingestion and Inhalation of Tenebrio molitor (Mealworm) and Zophobas morio (Superworm). Allergy and Asthma Proceedings 17(4): 215-219.

Alan Cady, Robin Leech, Louis Sorkin, Gail Stratton and Michael Caldwell. 1993. Acrocerid (Insecta: Diptera) Life Histories, Behaviors, Host Spiders (Arachnida: Araneida), and Distribution Records. The Canadian Entomologist 125: 931-944.