by Brian M. Wiegmann
This year's dipterists conference at the Annual Meeting of the
Entomological Society of America, Nashville TN, (Dec. 14-18, 1997),
will be held on Monday, 15 December from 7 to 9 pm in the Opryland
Hotel, Presidential Mezzanine Room Jackson A. The first hour will
be devoted to informal research presentations, natural history notes,
announcements or slide presentations. In the second hour there will
be discussion of news and business relative to the North American
Dipterists Society. Agenda items include discussion of potential
meeting sites for the next NADS field meeting, and information regarding
the International Congress of Dipterology.
If you have a presentation or agenda item for the meeting please
contact Brian Wiegmann, Department of Entomology, North Carolina
State University, Raleigh, NC. phone 919-515-1653; fax 919-515-7746;
by December 1, 1997.
by Dan V. Hagan
An outline of the program, costs and registration was provided
in the last issue of Fly Times. Now that the Second Announcement
and Call for Papers is being distributed, here is an update of the
details of the Congress. You may be interested to know that around
350 responses to the First Announcement have now been received,
about twice the number of responses as at the same stage of previous
Congresses, so we are looking forward to a full and exciting week
in Oxford next year.
Authors and delegates must be notified by May 31, 1998 of the Section
or Workshop for which their presentations have been accepted and
the form that they should take. Abstracts for talks or posters submitted
after that date will be accepted only as space permits, and it may
not be possible to include them in the published volume of Abstracts.
The list of Congress Sections and Workshops with their contents
will be posted on the Congress page of the Natural History Museum
website, and will be continuously updated at the following address:
The scientific activity for each day is planned as follows:
0830-0915: Subject-based Section plenary talk, open to all delegates:
in the Oxford University Museum.
0915-1230: Concurrent Section and Workshop sessions: in Keble College.
1230-1330: Lunch in Keble College.
1330-1415: Subject-based Section plenary talk, open to all delegates:
in the Oxford University Museum.
1415-1730: Concurrent Section and Workshop sessions: in Keble College.
1800-1900: Dinner in Keble College.
1900- : Special lectures, ad hoc meeting or workshops, etc.
The only variation to this is the opening, Monday morning session:
there will be a half-hour Opening Ceremony (0830-0900), which will
be followed by the plenary talk (0900-0945), coffee in Keble College,
and then the concurrent sessions (1000-1230). The Friday afternoon
session will be followed by a brief Closing Ceremony. The Section
plenary talks should be 35-40 minutes, to allow time for delegates
to return to Keble College for the concurrent sessions.
The Congress URL (address) for those have access to the World-Wide
Web is: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/entomology/diptcong.html
Congress correspondence should be sent to the Chairman:
Dr. R.P. Lane, Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK. Phone: +44 171 938 9474; Fax:
+44 171 938 8937; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Those with questions regarding the congress administration should
contact: Catherine Hughes, ICD4, Oxford International, Summertown
Pavilion, Middle Way, Oxford OX2 7LG, UK. Phone: +44 1865 511550;
Fax: +44 1865 511570; Email: email@example.com
by Al Norrbom
We sadly announce the death of Dr. Curtis W. Sabrosky, a Research
Associate with the Department of Entomology. Curt was returning
from an extended trip to Russia and was found dead, apparently from
a massive heart attack, in his hotel room in Helsinki on Sunday,
October 5th. Curt was 87, remained active to the end with numerous
interests, and was always available to help others. He was one of
the most respected scientists in entomology, and his accomplishments
were extraordinary. Curt specifically asked that there be no service
and is survived by a son, Allen, who is living in Mississippi.
We are all in mourning here in the Diptera Unit. We will miss Curt
very much. No more of his stories "That reminds me of the time
. . . " followed by some recollection from 30-40 years ago.
But it is important to remember what a great life Curt had and
how much he accomplished, and to be thankful for the many years
he touched our lives. Seems like Curt knew everyone in Dipterology
in the last 3/4 of a century, and more than that, he was friendly
and helpful to everyone, whether you were a famous taxonomist or
a beginning student. I will always remember his typical response
to my knocks on his door - "Go away", but then he would
proceed to talk with me for as long as I needed, and often later
produced information pertinent to the problem we discussed. Curt
was healthy and active until the end. It somehow seems fitting that
he died away from home. He was such a globe trotter, even in his
80's usually making several international trips per year to continue
his research and visit his many friends and colleagues. I can only
hope for such stamina and longevity in my own life.
by Dan V. Hagan
Drs. Dan Hagan, Frank E. French and Sturgis McKeever (plus graduate
students) hosted 1997 NADS meeting at Georgia Southern University,
in coastal Georgia, USA. The meeting was held at The New Ebenezer
Retreat Center (in Effingham County, Georgia). Field trips were
made to the coastal Georgia barrier island (Tybee Island) and to
the sand ridge communities (relict dunes, 40,000 years old), in
the physiographic province of the upper and lower Georgia Coastal
Plain. During the meeting Dr. J. Richard (Dick) Vockeroth was presented
with the 1977 C.P. Alexander Award for his numerous contributions
to Dipterology throughout his career [see the following contribution
for further details]. Attendees included participants from Canada,
U.S.A., and Denmark.
by Jim O'Hara
Dr. J. Richard (Dick) Vockeroth, an Honorary Research Associate
with the Biological Resources Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada (AAFC), was awarded the prestigious C.P. Alexander Award
by the North American Dipterists Society at a meeting of the Society
in Georgia, USA in May 1997. Dick is the second recipient of this
Award, which was introduced by the Society in 1994. The Award reads,
"John Richard Vockeroth is recognized as our most knowledgable
dipterist, and for his critical and unique contributions in expanding
our knowledge of flies, especially flower flies, educating and encouraging
a cadre of world leaders for Systematic Dipterology." Dick
joined the Systematic Entomology Unit of Agriculture Canada in 1949
and retired in 1991. Among many of his important contributions to
AAFC was discovery of the face fly (Musca autumnalis) in
North America, "A Revision of the Genera of the Syrphini"
(1969) and a handbook in the series "Insects and Arachnids
of Canada" entitled "The Flower Flies of the Subfamily
Syrphinae of Canada, Alaska and Greenland (Diptera, Syrphidae)"
(1992). Dick has been a Research Associate of the present Biological
Resources Program since his retirement and has continued to the
present to provide valuable expertise in Diptera to the staff of
the Diptera Unit and to students and colleagues internationally.
Dick is recognized as one of the best collectors of Diptera in North
America, in part because of his ability to distinguish in the field
between rare and common flies across a wide spectrum of the order.
He has contributed approximately 220,000 pinned insects to the Canadian
National Collection of Insects and has been recognized for his collecting
efforts and his expertise in Diptera by having about 40 species
of insects named in his honour.
by Darlene Judd
The Diptera program in Washington, DC welcomes Peter Hibbs, our
new rhagionid student funded by the NSF PEET program. Peter arrived
in August and has started classes at the University of Maryland.
His dissertation project, advised by Norm Woodley, will focus on
a genus-group revision of the family. Alessandra Baptista continues
her dissertation studies on aulacigastrids and is preparing for
a field season in Costa Rica.
In other news, I established new larval records for the rare and
elusive tanyderids from Japan (one species), PNG (two species),
and New Zealand (four species) during my six month collecting trip
to the Eastern Hemisphere. In addition, Peter Johns (University
of Canterbury, Christchurch) directed me to the habitat of a new
brachypterous species on South Island. In all, the trip was very
exciting and a big success. Australia was a disappointment as I
was unable to locate any larvae, but I was treated to some very
exciting weather: floods (western and northeastern Australia), land-gales
and snow (Tasmania). I also managed to bring home, an as yet unidentified,
malarial parasite from PNG. In hopes of locating further new larval
tanyderid habitats, Norm Woodley and I will travel to Chile and
Argentina in January 1998.
by Terry A. Wheeler
The Dipterology Fund is a non-profit fund for the support of dipterological
research in North America. Each year up to four grants will be made
to a maximum of CAD $1000 each. There are two categories of support
available from the Dipterology Fund:
Student Research and Travel Grants. These grants, available
to undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral students in dipterology,
may be used to support travel to conferences or field meetings,
travel to museums or other research institutions, or field work
for collecting or study.
Development Grants for North American Dipterology. This
category is for proposals in areas other than those described above.
Funding in this category would include, but not be restricted to,
grants to bring visiting scientists to North American Diptera collections
or support for research activities of individual dipterists who
are not full-time students and who lack other conventional means
of research support.
Preference will be given to applications for research in systematics,
faunistics and ecology. Applications for funding should include
a one page research proposal or justification of the proposed activities
and an estimated budget for the proposed activity or research (including
consideration of funding available from other sources). Applications
from individual dipterists should include a 1-2 page curriculum
vitae. Applications for the 1998 competition must be received by
the Chair of the grants committee on or before 01 March 1998. Decisions
will be announced by the end of March. Questions on the application
procedure or the Dipterology Fund should be directed to the Chair
of the grants committee. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit
their applications by email. If hard copies are being submitted,
eight copies of each application package should be sent to:
Dr. Terry A. Wheeler, Chair -The Dipterology Fund, Department of
Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Macdonald Campus,
Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, H9X 3V9, Canada.
Phone: 514-398-7937, Fax: 514-398-7990, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Terry A. Wheeler, Chair, The Dipterology Fund
The grants committee of the Dipterology Fund is pleased to announce
that the following individuals and groups were awarded funding in
the 1997 grants competition:
Stephanie Boucher (McGill University). Support for fieldwork
- Zoogeography of Diptera in disjunct grasslands of the southern
Riley Nelson (University of Texas) - Support for fieldwork
- Collection of Asilidae in the southeastern United States.
Mark Metz (University of Illinois) - Support for fieldwork
- Systematics and Ecology of Therevidae.
Organizing Committee, North American Dipterists Society (Georgia
Southern University) - Support for organization of the 1997
NADS Field Meeting.
The call for applications for the 1998 competition can be found
in the preceding contribution.
by John Epler
A new web page which features a checklist of the Chironomidae of
Florida and other information about midges can be accessed at: http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/~johneplr/home.htm
Check it out.
by Wayne Kramer
The 1997 Biting Fly Workshop was held in Niobrara Valley Preserve,
Johnstown, Nebraska. We had 16 registrants and good weather, although
we were just a bit early for many of the biting flies which are
known to frequent the area. This was smaller than our normal attendance
but this was the first time this group has ventured west of the
Mississippi and I believe all the attendees enjoyed visiting this
part of the country.
Talks included the following:
J. Freier: "Application of GIS to Systematic Entomology Research"
M. Williams: "Occurrence of Trichomycete fungi in larval Diptera"
M. Behrens: "An overview of the ecology of the Niobrara Valley"
A.P. De Leon: "Aspects of Culicoides feeding at the
host interface and implications in the transmission of insect-borne
In addition there were two sections on Tabanidae and Ceratopogonidae,
opportunities to collect, time to discuss all sorts of interesting
data with colleagues, and generally have fun.
by Dan V. Hagan
The 1998 Biting Fly Workshop will be held June 13-15, 1998, hosted
by the Department of Biology of Georgia Southern University (Drs.
Sturgis McKeever, Frank French and Dan Hagan) at Blackwater Falls
State Park Lodge, Davis, West Virginia. The Lodge is 73 miles from
Morgantown, WV and 103 miles from Cumberland, Maryland. U.S. Air
has commuter flights from Pittsburgh, PA to both cities. Lodge rooms
have two beds - either two doubles or a double and single. Rooms
are $ 57.00/night for those 60+ yrs of age and $ 64.00/night if
less than 60, for two adults/room (1997 rates; possibly somewhat
more in 1998). The lodge is located on the east rim of Blackwater
Canyon and has a large dining room, a large reading and discussion
room and a conference room. The Park has 1,688 acres, and except
for the canyon is relatively flat. Most of the area is covered with
deciduous forest with some red spruce. There is a small lake surrounded
by several acres of grassy vegetation and there is a small grassy
area near the lodge.
The main collecting area will be at Canaan Valley Resort Park,
which has 6,015 acres and is 10 miles from Blackwater Lodge. Canaan
has extensive meadows, stream bottoms, marshes, deciduous forest,
red spruce forests and beaver impoundments. Deer are abundant and
provide plentiful food source for biting flies. There is an 18-hole
golf course with a clubhouse where lunch is served - quickly! Collecting
permits are required at both Blackwater and Canaan and will be obtained
for all registered participants.
Another collecting site is Dolly Sods, a large grassy area on top
of the mountain which forms the Allegheny Front. In addition to
the grassy area there is an extensive area (1,000 + acres) of heaths
and sphagnum bogs surrounded by deciduous and red spruce. The area
(controlled by the U.S. Forest Service) is accessible by a gravel
road which leads from the paved road between Blackwater and Canaan.
For additional information you may write:
Biting Fly Workshop 1998, ATTN: French/ McKeever/ Hagan, Dept.
of Biology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460-8042,
Or you may send e-mail to: French@GaSoU.edu
by Michael Peters
I just received the latest Fly Times and have scanned through the
articles dealing with the drawbacks and benefits of the various
techniques used in preparing small Diptera for future examination.
I have given up on pointing adult dixids on paper triangles and
use minutens instead. My rationale is that minuten mounted specimens
could at some future date easily be used for cuticular hydrocarbon
studies. I am leery of such information "extracted" for
glued specimens. This is an insignificant matter (I first wrote
the words, "small point") for most dipterists now, but
may vastly increase the information available in future studies.
by Greg Courtney
This message is to announce a change in venue. I recently accepted
an Insect Systematist position in the Department of Entomology at
Iowa State University. The appointment is effective July 1st, or
soon thereafter. Initially, at least, I will not be at ISU very
much, as I will spend most of July - September in Nepal (final year
of the mosquito project) and the first week or two of October in
Thailand (in hopes of expanding an existing collaborative program
between ISU and Kasetsart University). Many of you may wonder how
someone specializing in montane, aquatic insects could end up in
Iowa - I have pondered that thought myself - but I was pleasantly
surprised by the university's interest and support for my "torrenticolous"
and international research. Therefore, I fully expect to continue
working on montane, aquatic insects, especially in places like Nepal
and Thailand. My departure from Grand Valley State University is
not without mixed feelings. I have enjoyed many aspects of my position
at GVSU - e.g., serving with a good group of faculty; helping develop
a strong undergraduate program in aquatic biology; teaching and
interacting with some outstanding students. However, the course
loads here (2-3 courses / semester) have been detrimental to my
research and writing. The position at ISU more closely matches my
professional goals, includes a significant research component (60%),
provides opportunities to mentor graduate students, and involves
teaching only 1 course / semester. Consequently, I expect to devote
far more time to research and writing than has been possible at
GVSU. To those of you who during the past couple years have graciously
sent specimens for identification, invited me to participate in
book chapters & meetings, or simply sent a letter and expected
a prompt reply, I hope and expect that my position at ISU will permit
more time for these matters. Stay tuned . . .
My address after 1 July is: Department of Entomology, 411 Science
II Building, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011-3222, USA.
by Scott Fitzgerald
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Coleccion Entomologica,
Instituto de Biologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico,
in Mexico City. Prior to my visit I corresponded with Dr. Atilano
Contreras-Ramos at the Institute, who made it clear that a substantial
portion of the Diptera collection was not sorted to the family level,
making much material inaccessible for general loans. Therefore,
the primary goals of my visit, which was supported by The Dipterology
Fund (1996), was to secure material for a review of Bibio
(Diptera: Bibionidae) of Mexico and Central America, and also to
do some general curation (especially sorting unsorted Diptera to
at least the family level) to try and make material more accessible
for future general loans to the Diptera community.
I visited the Institute March 7-12, 1997 and was hosted by Dr.
Contreras-Ramos, whom I must thank sincerely for his hospitality
and guidance through the urban jungle that is Mexico City. Considering
that it was my first trip beyond the Mexican border towns, Atilano's
presence made eating from street vendors, crazy cab drivers, and
mild dysentery, a much more comfortable experience for an out-of-his-element-northerner.
Comforted by the familiar smell of museum preservatives and a language
that I recognized, my museum time was very well spent. Initially,
I found the Diptera collection somewhat unpredictable, with families
and unsorted drawers randomly located throughout the Diptera cabinets.
With Atilano's consent, I arranged the Diptera collection "phylogenetically"
by family (following the table of contents in Nearctic Diptera Volumes
1 and 2). All unsorted material was moved to the end of the Diptera
collection and all drawers previously unlabeled were labeled to
family level. Ten drawers of unsorted Diptera were sorted to family
level and this material was incorporated into the collection.
A brief status of the collection: Prior to sorting and organizing,
the collection contained thirty families of Diptera. The end result
was fifty-eight families, although many of these are represented
by only a few specimens. There are still thirty-one drawers of unsorted
Diptera that need sorting to the family level. Most material sorted
to family level is not sorted beyond that level with the exception
of a few groups (i.e. some Syrphidae, Tachinidae, Bombyliidae, Tephritidae)
and in some cases previous family level sorting is not reliable
(mixtures of closely related or similar families).
To help identify the collection's strengths I have included a list
of the number of drawers for each family. (1) indicates holdings
of half a drawer to only a few specimens:
6--Tabanidae, Stratiomyidae, Asilidae, Otitidae
3-- Dolichopodidae, Calliphoridae
2-- Micropezidae, Lauxaniidae, Muscidae
1-- Neriidae, Lonchaeidae, Platystomatidae, Pyrgotidae, Richardiidae,
Scathophagidae, Tipulidae, Bibionidae, Mydidae, Sciaridae
(1)--Athericidae, Rhagionidae, Xylophagidae, Pantophtalmidae, Psychodidae,
Anisopodidae, Dixidae, Culicidae, Simuliidae, Chironomidae, Mycetophilidae,
Blepharicidae, Therevidae, Apioceridae, Acroceridae, Nemestrinidae,
Empididae, Phoridae, Conopidae, Pipunculidae, Agromyzidae, Diopsidae,
Sciomyzidae, Psilidae, Ropalomeridae, Clusiidae, Sepsidae, Chamaemyiidae,
Sphaeroceridae, Drosophilidae, Ephydridae, Chloropidae, Cuterebridae,
There is a great wealth of material to be identified and studied
and there are certainly many new species awaiting discovery. My
hope is that this status report will spark interest in future studies
of Diptera in an understudied region. Dr. Contreras-Ramos is the
primary contact for general Diptera loans and I have included his
mail and e-mail addresses: Dr. Atilano Contreras-Ramos, Instituto
de Biologia, Zoologia, UNAM, Apdo. Postal 70-153, 04510 Mexico,
D.F., Mexico; email: email@example.com
by Tan Keng Hong
For futher information about the above symposium please visit the
following website: http://www.bio.usm.my/bio/fruitfly
or contact Dr. K. H. Tan, Chairman, Secretariat, 5th International
Symposium on fruit flies of Economic Importance,School of Biological
Sciences, University of Science Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia;