Diptera & Siphonaptera
Diptera (Flies and Midges)
The collection comprises approximately 1,300,000 items of 27,000 species, including type samples relating to approximately 10,000 species descriptions. Around 1 million exhibits are dry preparations on pins. There are a few thousand additional permanent preparations embedded in a solid medium as well as numerous alcohol preparations, mainly Diptera from traps or larvae stages and Siphonaptera.
Largest Order in the Animal Kingdom
Diptera means "two wings". We normally speak of flies and midges. However, this dichotomy does not reflect natural groups. Diptera comprise 150,000 species, making them one of the species-richest orders in the animal kingdom. There are 10,000 species in Germany alone. Alongside the similarly varied hymenoptera, they are the most expansive order in Central Europe.
Main Collection with Focus on Europe
The Diptera collection has been looked after by its own curator since 1919. The bulk of the dried preparations have been added to the main collection. Its samples come from all parts of the world with the main contingent coming from Europe. The older parts of the collection contain many type specimens and are therefore the scientifically most valuable part of the collection.
Abundance of Types in Specialist CollectionsThe foundation of the Diptera collection was laid when the collections of Hermann Loew (1807-1879), Theodor Becker (1840-1928) and Oswald Duda (1869-1941) were brought together. The specialist collections of P. Lackschewitz (Tipulidae), E. Martini (Culicidae), S. J. Paramonow (Bombyliidae), M. P. Riedel (mainly Tipulidae and Tachinidae), E. Rübsaamen (Cecidomyiidae) and P. Stein (Muscoidea und Oestroidea) have significantly increased the value because of their high proportion of type specimens. The Muscoidea section alone contains type specimens of more than a thousand nominal species. The relevant data were published in type catalogues. All species have been recorded in card indexes. Some parts of the collection are currently undergoing digitalisation.