I’ve been thinking about the class Occlupanida of the phyllum Plasticae all week ever since a friend forwarded me the link to website of the The Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group (HORG). I’ve been pouring over their extensive database of Synthetic Taxonomy with sheer delight! Likely, you’ve interfaced with hundreds of occlupanids in your lifetime and never given them the time of day! You’ve got to check it out by visiting their website here:
The Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group.
I am only an occlupanologist in training, but just this week I have succeeded in identified two specimens from my freezer and refrigerator. They are both of the order “Taxodenta” meaning “curved tooth,” named such because of the “curved processes on the sides of the oral groove, but none in the center. Most species have large palps on their outer sides, giving them a wavey, uneven appearance.” “Occlupanis” itself literally translates to “bread closer.”
This specimen (above) was the first Occlupanid collected, a Taxodentid, Palpatophora utiliformis grandis to be precise, found parasitizing a bread bag in my freezer. Palpatophora utiliformis grandis is “A variant of P. utiliformis with a larger oral groove” and is classified as “somewhat common.”
Just this morning I located another Taxodentid latched onto a pita bread baggie in my refrigerator. This one has a smaller oral groove and bright pinkish color indicating that it is classified as Palpatophora utiliformis, literally meaning “Useful palp-bearer.” HORG notes, that Palpatophora utiliformis is “The most distinctive and most common of all occlupanids. Found in nearly every continent through imported processed goods, what was once a parasite of bread products has taken over the planet, thanks to its sturdy palps and squamous shape.”
Thanks to trusty Wikipedia, we know that:
“The bread clip was invented by Floyd G. Paxton and manufactured by the Kwik Lok Corporation, based in Yakima, Washington with manufacturing plants in Yakima and New Haven, Indiana. Kwik Lok Corporation’s clips are eponymously called “Kwik Lok closures”.
Floyd Paxton was known for repeatedly telling the story about how he came up with the idea of the bread clip. As he told it, he was flying home on an airliner in 1952 and opened a bag of peanuts, whereupon he realized he had no way to reclose it. He rummaged through his wallet and found an expired credit card and hand-carved his first bag clip with his small pen knife.
When a fruit packer, Pacific Fruit, wanted to replace rubber bands with a better bag closure for its new plastic bags, Paxton remembered his bag of peanuts. He hand-whittled another clip from a small sheet of Plexiglas. With an order in hand for a million clips, Paxton designed a die-cut machine to produce the clips at high speed. Despite repeated attempts, Paxton never won a United States patent for his clips. He did win numerous patents for the high-speed “bag closing apparatus” that made the clips, inserted bread into bags and applied the clips for the finished product.”
Happy collecting, or should I say, happy loafing…