Diptera Types in the Museum of Entomology (FSCA)

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Diptera type specimens in the Museum of Entomology (FSCA) number over 1,500 nominal taxa, including at least 247 holotypes, 4 neotypes, and 80 allotypes, with almost all of the remainder being paratypes. Forty-seven families are involved. The families with largest holdings include Asilidae (381 names), Muscidae (191), Syrphidae (152), Tabanidae (97-Holotypes/Allotypes only), Psychodidae (72-Holotypes/Allotypes only), Sarcophagidae (48), Dolichopodidae (46), Drosophilidae (43), and Tephritidae (43). In addition, the Chironomidae type holdings of the Entomology Collection, Florida A&M University (FAMU), are included in the Diptera types catalogue. Inquiries regarding the Chironomidae types should be directed to the curators at FAMU: J. H. Epler or Janice G. Peters.

We do not know the full history and/or validity of each and every "type" specimen listed here. We are attempting to verify publication records for all names. Database records that have been so verified are indicated as such in the appropriate field; see the linked bibliographic database for the full citation. We have also attempted to update nomenclature with known synonymies, combinations, etc. See "Valid Genus/Species" fields for this information. The source of information relating to current nomenclature is given in "Verification Reference." For the latter, we referred to recent catalogs or databases wherever possible. For example, current status of many names of North American taxa were taken from Poole & Gentili 1996. As names are constantly subject to revision, the valid name given here is presumed current only as of the date given in its associated reference.

Several issues have come to light in cataloging the diptera types. We have been unable to verify the validity of a number of names for which specimens labeled as "types" of one form or another are present. Some are surely manuscript names, for which specimens were labeled as types but the names were never published by the author(s). This occurs most often in our Asilidae, Muscidae, and Sarcophagidae. These collections were acquired from C.H. Martin, F.M. Snyder, and H.R. Dodge, respectively, or their estates, and thus are likely to contain material representing unfinished work in these families at the times of their deaths. For example, we have notes by Martin indicating that a manuscript describing a number of new Indian Euscelidia was completed, or near completion, in the latter 1970s and may have been submitted for publication. Unfortunately, we have been unable to determine the fate of this manuscript. Specimens that have been determined to be, or are suspected of representing manuscript names will be maintained in the Diptera Types Catalogue with notes to that effect in the hope that this will spur specialists in the relevant taxa to investigate further. See the "Comments" field for notes of this sort.

A second issue involves unreturned loan material. Here again, as the repository for a number of research collections, the Museum has acquired specimens that were probably on loan to the individual involved but not returned. This is complicated by situations in which a type, or types, were designated in the description to be deposited in a specific collection/institution but the author failed to do so. This may have resulted from procrastination or a wish to temporarily maintain possession for future research; however, in at least one case that we are aware of,an author apparently changed his mind for one reason or another and deliberately refused to deposit the type material in the originally designated institution. As we research the history of the type specimens in the Museum, we will likely find that some do not properly belong here. We are in the process of returning types, especially primary types, for which the proper repository can be fairly documented. We encourage those having knowledge of specimens listed in the Diptera Types Catalogue as representing such unreturned loans to contact the Curator of Diptera.

We welcome comments on the list presented here. We cannot maintain expertise in all of the families included in the collection, thus we rely on outside experts to improve our information. Please revisit this type catalog for periodic updates. You will note that the full list of 1,500+ names is not shown, as entries are added to the list only after some attempt at verification. Also, the large Diptera holdings of the Museum have not yet been fully inventoried, especially the unincorporated pinned adults, slide-mounted specimens, specimens in alcohol, and some families of Nematocera.


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