Senckenberg German Entomological Institute Müncheberg


SDEI Dipera.



Research on Diptera

“SCIAROIDEA” - the subject of research

Short introduction to the Sciaridae (black fungus gnats) PDF file
Short introduction to the Cecidomyiidae (gall midges)  PDF file
Short introduction to the Mycetophilidae s. l. (fungus gnats) PDF file
Short introduction to the Sciaroidea incertae sedis (Unplaced fungus gnats) PDF file


Representatives of 4 different dipteran suborders.

Selected representatives of the 4 groups of Diptera, that are the subject of research at the SDEI (in alphabetical order from left to right): Cecidomyiidae, Mycetophilidae, Rangomaramidae and Sciaridae. (Photos: M. Jaschhof, U. Kallweit & F. Menzel)



Taxonomy and phylogenetic systematics
  • Clarification of nomenclatural questions by application of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature
  • Depiction of taxonomic units using drawings, photos and written descriptions
  • Evaluation of the diagnostic and phylogenetic suitability of character states
  • Preparation of illustrated identification keys
  • Contributions to the supraspecific classification of the Sciaroidea
  • Searching for new approaches in the reconstruction relationships and interpretation of the evolutionary direction of character transformations
  • Contributions to a hypothetical phylogenetic tree for the fossil and recent Sciaroidea
  • Study of the temporal and spatial dimension of species formation and extinction processes
Biodiversity research
  • Recording and interpreting the species richness in selected habitats
  • Compiling checklists and complex national faunas
  • Investigation of faunal change
  • Uncovering patterns of geographical distribution (zoogeographic analyses and comparisons between faunas)
  • Contributions to the history of dispersal and colonisation (population density, faunal relationships, faunal isolation)
  • Derivation of causal relationships between distribution and evolution (influence of geomorphological and/or climatic processes on the phylogenesis of the Sciaroidea)
Ecology and bioindication
  • Niche occupation of selected groups of Sciaroidea and their significance in ecosystems (primarily in forest ecosystems)
  • Influence of biotic parameters on the composition of biotic coenoses
  • Statements on the potential of Sciaroidea as bioindicators and the common occurrence of species or groups of species in certain habitats (coenological coincidences)
Protection of nature and the environment
  • Estimation of the degree of endangerment and the identification of the reasons for endangerment 
  • Contributions to species and biotope protection (recommendations on maintenance of populations of endangered species and on the designation of nature reserves)
  • Development of guidelines for action (survey reports, red lists)

A habitat for Sciaridae in the Uckermark (north east german plain)

The Uckermark in the North German Plain as an example of a richly structured environment for the Sciaroidea. (Photo: F. Menzel)