Collection management as basis for Taxonomic Systematic Research on Diptera
Because of its richness in individual species and types, the insect collection of the Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut (SDEI) is visited by many scientists from Germany and abroad. The well-arranged collection of Diptera – with about 855,000 specimens belonging to more than 19,200 Diptera species – is one of the most important reference collections in Germany. Mirroring the focus of interest in research on Diptera at the SDEI, it houses the world’s largest collections of black fungus gnats (Sciaridae) und wood midges (Cecidomyiidae: Catotrichinae, Lestremiinae, Micromyinae), which are constantly being expanded within the context of ongoing research projects.
At the same time, every year numerous enquiries from scientists from all over the world are answered. Questions comprise around the fields of faunal investigation, ecology, comparitive morphology, zoogeography, taxonomy and phylogenetic systematics. From the high value of the insect collection as part of the national cultural heritage with international significance, numerous duties and tasks arise constantly:
- Realisation of all scientific and organisatorial work in the Diptera Section (international correspondence; handling loan of material; training of technical staff);
- Curation of the existing Diptera material (remedial and conservatory measures);
- Actualisation of the nomenclatural-systematic arrangement of the Diptera collection (re-arrangement of parts of collection);
- Expansion of the collection of the Diptera Section (improvement of material and data resources at the SDEI);
- Determination of collection material (Sciaroidea: Sciaridae, Cecidomyiidae) and organisation of work on material by other scientists;
- Cataloguing of types and updating of databases;
- Information and advisory services (amongst others: identification service, enquiries about types, information on literature);
- Expert opinion and appraisal of the value of collections of Diptera in connection with donations, bequests and purchases;
- Registration of newly published literature on Diptera (including exchange of literature);
- Support of visiting scientists.