Diptera at the Museum of Entomology (FSCA)

Diptera at the Museum of Entomology (FSCA)

Gary J. Steck, Curator of Diptera (Tephritidae, other Tephritoidea)
Howard V. Weems, Jr., Emeritus Entomologist (Syrphidae)
Bruce D. Sutton, Entomologist (Tabanidae, Glossinidae, and Tephritidae)

OVERVIEW

The Diptera collection of the Museum of Entomology (FSCA) currently having approximately 897,000 specimens forms one of the major North American fly collections. It consists of over 1,380 drawers of pinned specimens, at least 135,000 specimens (mostly Ceratopogonidae) mounted on microscope slides, and many thousands of as yet incompletely inventoried specimens in alcohol and bulk holdings. In addition, a small but growing collection of frozen specimens, mainly Tephritidae, is available for molecular and biochemical analysis. The collection of Diptera is worldwide in scope. Earlier accumulations, primarily from Florida and the eastern United States, still form a large portion of the collection; however, most groups have worldwide representation, with particular non-North American strengths for Neotropical taxa. In recent years much new material has been obtained, through surveys or exchanges, from the Neotropics, parts of Africa and Asia (especially Taiwan). Some groups are particularly well represented on a worldwide basis: e.g., Tabanidae, Asilidae (including the Martin collection), Syrphidae, and Tephritidae. The collection of Neotropical Tabanidae built by the late G. B. "Sandy" Fairchild is one of the premier representations of this family for that region. Other significant family holdings include Anthomyiidae, Ceratopogonidae (2nd largest in North America), Conopidae, Culicidae, Dolichopodidae, Muscidae (including the Dodge collection), Psychodidae, Sarcophagidae, Syrphidae, and Tachinidae. In addition to the Diptera holdings of the Museum proper, a significant collection of Chironomidae is maintained at the Entomology Collection, Florida A & M University (FAMU), Tallahassee, and curated by J. H. Epler & Janice G. Peters. Inquiries regarding the Chironomidae should be directed to the curators at FAMU. Some of the main sources for Diptera at the Museum have been from the collections of E. C. and W. M. Beck, F. S. Blanton, C. H. Curran, H. R. Dodge, G. B. Fairchild, J. T. Goodwin, F. C. Harmston, C. H. Martin, F. M. Snyder, K. H. Stephan, M. A. Tidwell, H. V. Weems, Jr., R. C. Wilkerson, W. W. Wirth, and D. G. Young.

In addition to the relevant holdings of the library, the Museum maintains an extensive reprint collection specific to the Diptera. The reprint library donated by H. V. Weems, Jr. remains the core to this collection, particularly with respect to the Syrphidae; however, the private reprint libraries of G. B. Fairchild (Tabanidae and Psychodidae), H. R. Dodge (Sarcophagidae), W. W. Wirth (Ceratopogonidae), F. M. Snyder (Muscidae), C. P. Alexander (Tipulidae), F. S. Blanton (Ceratopogonidae), R. H. Roberts (Tabanidae) and others have extended the taxonomic coverage and completeness considerably. The Culicidae reprint collection is also significant but needs to be organized. The Museum also maintains archives of the personal papers and notes of a number of dipterists including G. B. Fairchild, H. R. Dodge, W. W. Wirth, and R. H. Roberts among others. Reprints of papers published by W. W. Wirth, H. R. Dodge, F. M. Snyder, G. B. Fairchild are available for those willing to come and get them.

CURATION OF DIPTERA

All of the pinned Diptera in drawers and storage boxes in the Museum were roughly inventoried in 1998 for content and curation status using the scheme of McGinley (1989, Insect Collection News, 2(2):19-24). This does not yet include the slide mounted specimens, those in alcohol and the Chironomidae held at FAMU. Material that is curated to departmental standards (level 6) is listed in Table 1 by family, approximate number of specimens (+10%), number of genera, number of species, and geographic range of holdings. Brachycera, Tabanidae, and Nematocera are listed separately, as geographic ranges were tabulated somewhat differently for each group. Total fully curated holdings comprise approximately 320,000 specimens in 1,380 drawers. Most of the approximately 275 storage boxes have been tagged to indicate other curation levels (1-4).

TABLE 1. (All numbers are specimens per region except where noted.)

Brachycera
#Genera
#Species
Florida
North America (non-FL)
Central America and Mexico
South America
Caribbean
Africa
Palaearctic
Oriental
Austral-Oceania
Total # Specimens
Agromyzidae
38
121
300
650
1
0
20
0
61
2
18
1052
Anthomyiidae
7
368
165
2605
75
158
0
43
328
0
9
3383
Asilidae
209
1600
5699
21728
7194
1983
123
348
781
3716
312
41884
Bombyliidae
36
265
2351
1348
129
2
152
1
0
1
1
3985
Chloropidae
37
154
600
360
6
0
45
0
2
0
29
1042
Conopidae
12
148
1150
1000
85
82
20
16
10
1
0
2364
Dolichipodidae
55
650
7718
6966
101
3
168
0
294
0
137
15387
Drosophilidae
7
185
277
13
0
2
0
0
0
0
848
1140
Ephydridae
63
239
967
820
55
5
150
1
0
129
69
2196
Glossinidae
1
9
-
-
-
-
-
1305
-
-
-
1305
Lauxaniidae
27
89
595
295
100
9
19
0
0
4
8
1030
Muscidae
98
1151
2378
5341
700
2270
74
2848
476
93
717
14897
Otitidae
91
282
1789
3834
191
427
47
26
6
23
15
6358
Platystomatidae
7
36
870
440
9
15
3
8
2
19
68
1434
Rhagionidae
11
91
53
1230
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
1288
Sarcophagidae
45
182
930
940
65
341
3
few
0
10
27
2316
Scathophagidae
27
117
0
1155
30
40
0
0
80
0
8
1313
Sciomyzidae
24
159
630
1130
7
5
0
0
22
11
3
1808
Sphaeroceridae
3
40
160
780
3
3
10
0
0
0
50
1006
Stratiomyidae
80
350
2689
2776
413
419
91
17
23
78
58
6564
Syrphidae
166
1366
11808
18448
775
653
648
278
816
301
501
34228
Tachinidae
279
565
4095
4990
122
133
120
7
5
3
82
9557
Tephritidae
91
441
2608
5962
317
177
234
260
624
356
616
11154
Other Brachycera
267
797
4795
2994
650
164
126
41
293
81
261
9405
SUBTOTAL
1681
9405
52627
85805
11028
6891
2053
5199
3823
4828
3842
176096
% BY REGION
-
-
30%
49%
6%
4%
1%
3%
2%
3%
2%
100%

#Genera
#Species
(Included in North America)
North America (including Florida)
Neotropical (including Mexico)
(Included in Neotropical)
(Included in Neotropical)
Africa
Palaearctic
Oriental
Austral-Oceania
Total # Specimens
Tabanidae
99
2074
-
47739
40525
-
-
5199
8421
3662
10931
130726
% BY REGION
-
-
-
37%
31%
-
-
15%
6%
3%
8%
100%

Note: Numbers below are species (not specimens) per region

Nematocera
#Genera
#Species
(Included in North America)
North America (including Florida)
Central America and Mexico
South America
Caribbean
Africa
Palaearctic
Oriental
Austral-Oceania
Total # Specimens
Tipulidae
64
279
-
203
2
35
1
-
1
1
12
1142
Culicidae
25
409
-
153
60
15
38
100
-
37
35
9250
Other Nematocera
117
392
-
276
73
3
8
1
1
1
18
2220
% BY REGION
-
-
-
59%
13%
5%
4%
9%
0%
4%
6%
99%

GRAND TOTAL
1986
12559
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
319436

An additional 273,000+ pinned and labeled specimens are currently in storage at curation levels 1 (unsorted) to 4 (identified to species, but not yet integrated into the main collection) (see Table 2). These specimens will be incorporated into the collection when the installation of new cabinets and drawers is completed bringing the total number of curated Diptera at the Museum to greater than 0.5 million, not including the holdings in alcohol or mounted on microscope slides.

 TABLE 2.

DIPTERA INVENTORY - CURATION LEVEL 2-4 AND UNSORTED

Family
Florida
North America
Exotic (non NA)
Total
Anthomyiidae
263
5285
1052
6600
Asilidae
1013
3589
2728
7330
Bibionidae
0
1093
57
1150
Bombyliidae
4091
4384
1553
10028
Calliphoridae
1308
4967
1225
7500
Ceratopogonidae
330
1100
170
1600
Chironomidae
0
508
582
1090
Chloropidae
2147
733
611
3491
Culicidae
1420
9935
3345
14700
Dolichopodidae
6938
10729
4003
21670
Drosophilidae
745
190
115
1050
Ephydridae
882
403
310
1595
Lauxaniidae
505
544
326
1375
Muscidae
3457
10737
7908
22102
Otitidae
452
807
731
1990
Sarcophagidae
2648
2222
3464
8334
Sciaridae
700
670
280
1650
Sciomyzidae
575
789
6
1370
Sphaeroceridae
455
555
80
1090
Stratiomyidae
757
610
703
2070
Syrphidae
6001
18880
8839
33720
Tachinidae
5228
5921
3592
14741
Tephritidae
1616
2170
2086
5872
Tipulidae
75
888
387
1350
Other Families
6921
13597
4544
25062
SUBTOTAL SORTED
48527
101306
48697
198530
SUBTOTAL % BY REGION
24%
51%
25%
100%

NUMBER OF SORTED SPECIMENS PER CURATION LEVEL

Level 2
Level 3
Level 4

TOTAL
100803
23818
73910
198530

UNSORTED DIPTERA

SUBTOTAL UNSORTED
13491
40735
19802
74028
SUBTOTAL % BY REGION
18%
55%
27%
100%

TOTAL % BY REGION
23%
52%
25%
100%

TOTAL SPECIMENS:

272558

In 1999 the entire pinned Diptera collection at curation level 6 was fully inventoried for species names and Florida records. As this information is updated to reflect current nomenclature, we will add it on a family by family basis. As of the fall of 2000, the Tabanidae is the most completely inventoried family of Diptera thanks to the considerable efforts of John Berger. Ultimately, a complete inventory of Museum holdings in Diptera as well as a complete checklist of Florida Diptera including distributions (by county) and monthly collection records will be made available.

 

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