Entomology II


The big advantage of systematically researching curators in research museums like Senckenberg is that it is not necessary to permanently look for small, short-breathed project funding; they can conduct their research continuously focused on a larger systematic group and thus accumulate high expertise and knowledge on that group.

The main long-term research projects (especially of the curator) of Entomology II are the following:

I. Biodiversity and Systematics

the focus of Entomology II is concentrated on the research activity:

I.1. Taxonomy and Systematics

and here mainly on the following permanent research project:

  • Taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny and zoogeography of selected groups of the  Bombycoidea (Lepidoptera) world-wide (W. A. Nässig and external cooperation partners)
    In addition, Honorary and Voluntary Researchers work on other projects:
  • Taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny and zoogeography on selected groups of Odonata
    (W. Schneider)
  • Taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny and zoogeography of selected groups of Saltatoria
    (S. Ingrisch)
  • Taxonomic and biogeografic studies on selected groups of Cicadellinae (tribes Proconiini and Cicadellini)(H. G. Schroeder)

These research projects cover the overwhelming large Portion of the Research in Entomology II.

Besides classical morphological and phylogeographical methods, also DNA studies (especially mtDNA barcodes) make up a growing part of the analytical methods.

Further, research is also conducted to a small proportion within the research activity

I.2. Evolution and Biogeography

and, in to an even smaller part, also in

I.3. Morphology and Function

Within I.2. Evolution and Biogeography, mainly the following is studied:

  • Research on the faunistics and basic work for “Red Data Lists” of Hessian Lepidoptera
    (W. A. Nässig in cooperation with the Arge HeLep (= Arbeitsgemeinschaft Hessischer Lepidopterologen)
  • Systematic monography of the Palaearctic species of Saturniidae, Brahmaeidae, Eupterotidae and Endromididae  (Lepidoptera) (W. A. Nässig)

and, especially by Honorary and Voluntary Researches:

  • Study of the Lepidoptera fauna of the Philippine and surrounding smalles islands (Le­pi­do­pte­ra) (C. G. Treadaway, with cooperation by H. G. Schroeder [Rhopalocera], W. A. Nässig [Bombycoidea] and extrnal further cooperations partners)

To coordinate the studies on Bombycoidea, a small “Informal annual meeting of Saturniidae researchers” for employed and amateur lepidopterists is organised on occasion of the annual Frankfurt Insect Exchange in early November each year.

As a basis for general evolutionary studies, many generic revisions and faunistic analyses of local areas (islands, countries) are conducted, with some geographical focus in the Oriental Region. The studies on the Saturnidae and Brahmaeidae of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra  (in cooperation with members of the Heterocera Sumatrana Society and Dr. J. D. Holloway, London) and of the Philpppines (in cooperation with C. G. Treadaway) have already been published, see the publication list of the curator.

Further, the results of the travel to Bolivia shall be used as basis for a planned “Field Guide” of the Saturniidae of the Bolivian Division of Santa Cruz. Further research travels are intended for the coming years to close gaps in the knowledge of special questions.

These studies are conducted in cooperation with national and international specialists (employed as well as amateurs).

In addition, the cooperation with the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Hessischer Lepidopterologen (= Arge HeLep) intends to solve, besides building up a regional collection of the Federal State of Hesse, faunistic and ecological questions of Hessian Lepidoptera, besides coordinative and organisational work for this organisation.

Internal cooperation within Senckenberg covers, for example, studies within the Hessian Natural Forest Protection Areas, either by the Honorary Researcher Petra M. T. Zub, or by the curator himself. See the page on “Projekt Hessische Naturwaldreservate” (presently available in German language only).

Finally, the curator W. A. Nässig visits in his holidays a special area (the Lesach Valley) in the southern Alps (in part in East Tyrol, in part in Carinthia) since nearly 40 years, starting as a boy. In the meanwhile, faunistic and ecological research has been conducted, and the results will be published some time. This is a cooperation of W. A. Nässig with the Honorary Researcher Rolf E. Weyh and some other colleagues and friends, as well as with the Tyrolian State Museum of Natural History, Innsbruck, and the Carinthian Museum of Natural History, Klagenfurt, and other institutions in Austria.