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The Diptera Section

Also in charge of: Anoplura, Mallophaga, Psocoptera.

Biodiversity. Filmclip by M. Kotrba

The two-winged flies (Diptera) comprise the midges (Nematocera) and the true flies (Brachycera). With about 140 000 species worldwide they range among the most species-rich insect orders. For Germany alone, the most recent lists of taxa (Schumann et al. 1999; Schumann 2002, 2004) recorded about 9450 dipteran species in 119 families.

Biodiversität: Vielfalt des Lebens. Short movie, M. Kotrba (2003)

The Diptera include pest insects such as the Medfly, Ceratitis capitata, and parasites, e.g. mosquitoes, blackflies, horseflies, and tsetse flies. Some transmit serious diseases such as malaria, yellow fever or sleeping sickness. Other flies, however, serve as beneficial insects, e.g. in pest control. Above all, Diptera can make fascinating study objects, and many of them are simply beautiful.

Euthycera fumigata, Anomoia purmunda Anomoia purmunda Harris (left) and Euthycera fumigata Scopoli (right). Photographs: M. Kotrba.

The ZSM Diptera collection contains around 12 500 determined species (see lists of families, species, types), representing about 10% of the world's scientifically described fly fauna. About 1250 species are represented by type material. Additionally, there are large amounts of material still awaiting conclusive analysis. In the dry collection the core families are Asilidae, Bombyliidae, Conopidae, Diopsidae, Dolichopodidae, Leptogastridae, Limoniidae, Mycetophilidae, Pantophthalmidae, Stratiomyidae, Syrphidae, Tabanidae, Tachinidae, Tephritidae, and Tipulidae. The ZSM's special collection of Chironomidae (non-biting midges) includes about 60 000 microscope slides, making it one of the largest and most important of its kind. Another major part of the Diptera Section is the extensive alcohol collection, with the Chironomidae, Limoniidae and Mycetophilidae particularly well represented in terms of determined material. In addition, it contains much highly valuable yet incompletely studied material from the Amazon region, central Europe, and many other regions.

Research carried out at the Section keeps resulting in discoveries of forms that prove to be new for Bavaria, Germany, Europe, or even to worldwide science in general. Just recently, for example, the rare family Hilarimorphidae was shown for the first time to occur in Bavaria (Schacht 2004); see figures.

singularisHilarimorpha singularis Schiner, male (left) and female (right) from Bavaria. Photographs: C. Zwakhals.

A catalogue of Diptera of Bavaria is being prepared and available, as far as it has been completed.

REFERENCES

Schacht, W. 2004: Weitere Nachträge und Korrekturen zu "Zweiflügler aus Bayern" (Diptera: Mycetobiidae, Anisopodidae, Keroplatidae, Hilarimorphidae, Pseudopomyzidae, Clusiidae, Sciomyzidae, Drosophilidae, Scatophagidae, Tachinidae). - Entomofauna, Zeitschrift für Entomologie 25: 273-278.

Schumann, H. 2002: Erster Nachtrag zur „Checkliste der Dipteren Deutschlands“. - Studia dipterologica 9: 437-445.

Schumann, H. 2004: Zweiter Nachtrag zur „Checkliste der Dipteren Deutschlands“. - Studia dipterologica 11: 619-630.

Schumann, H., R. Bährmann und A. Stark (eds) 1999: Checkliste der Dipteren Deutschlands. - Studia dipterologica. Supplement 2: 1-354.