Year 1

Annual NSF Grant Progress Report

Date: March 25, 1996
NSF Award Number: 95-21925
Period covered by this report: September 15, 1995 – March 15, 1996
PI Name: Michael E. Irwin
PI Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
PI Address: Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences (NRES)
University of Illinois
1101 West Peabody Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
Co-PIs: Brian M. Wiegmann, North Carolina State University
David K. Yeates, Universtiy of Queensland
/X/ Continued Funding is Requested



Sections 1 & 2 of this report are divided into four parts, the first three mirroring the overall goals of this PEET grant: A) Use of Electronic Media, B) Training, C) Monographic Treatments, and D) Expeditions to Increase the Knowledge Base of Therevidae. Electronic Media is subdivided into networking, databasing, interactive keys, and communications, Training into what is happening at the three collaborating institutions, Monographic Treatments is treated as a whole, and Expeditions are categorized by target locality. Section 2 also contains a part (2E) on Expenditures from the Schlinger Foundation. Section 5 lists new grant proposals from PIs.


1A Use of Electronic Media

1B Training

1C Monographic Treatments

1D Expeditions to Increase the Knowledge Base

2A Use of Electronic Media

2B Training

2C Monographic Treatments

2D Expeditions to Increase the Knowledge Base

Summary of Progress, including results obtained to date and their relationship to the general goals of the grant.

1A. Use of Electronic Media. Electronic media, in many ways, hold this grant together. Computer-based programs thus provide for expedient and rapid manipulation and management of data, for assembling data into comprehensive and meaningful formats, for assessing the validity of data, and for communicating data and results to interested persons and clientele. We are taking advantage of many electronic packages.

Networking. The PI’s professional activities over the past 20 years were focused on agricultural entomology. Thus, active systematists and curators are being made aware of this PEET award so that the taxonomic community will respond expediently to requests concerning therevids and will be more willing to participate in therevid networking activities planned for the future. The community has by and large been informed of our activites and, to date, has responded extremely favorably to requests for specimens; furthermore, there appears to be genuine interest in developing, as a model, a therevid network that would link specimen-associated data, taxonomic descriptions, and regional keys to taxa among systematic collections through the World Wide Web.

Databases. Our proposed goal was to develop a reliable database structure for label and loan information associated with each therevid specimen. Originally, we thought Biota would be the most approprate software package for constructing the database. After working with Biota for several months, we discovered that it was cumbersome to use and lacked needed features; we, therefore, constructed our own system using a more universal software package.

FileMaker Pro 2.1 was available for both the Macintosh and Windows operating systems (Biota was only available on the Macintosh at the time) as a relatively seamless interchange between platforms. However, version 2.1 was only quasi-relational, using lookups rather than having true relational capability. Version 3.0, delivered in late December 1995, promised true relational capabilities, an expanded file size (to 2 GB), and flexible indexing. Kampmeier began to construct the databases in June 1995. A working version was up and running by mid July, with students beginning to input data.

The existing databases were all converted to FileMaker Pro 3.0 in January 1996 and, in most cases, the relational capabilities have been implemented where feasible (80% complete). Comprehensive on-line help documentation was also under development (approximately 75% completed) at the time of the upgrade, but, although these files have been converted to FileMaker Pro 3.0, the information has not yet been updated; nonetheless, most information remains current. The databases catalog the following information for insect specimens from museum collections worldwide:

Each specimen is given a unique number unless one already exists.
Complete locality data are categorized, including country, state, province, district, municipality, smallest political unit, (complete with modifiers to the last two categories), and microsite. Longitude, latitude, and elevation and how the measurements were obtained is also included. In addition, three nested scales of geographic features may be recorded. When known, accurate information is input in brackets, even if this is contrary to label data.

  • The family, genus, species, and authority appear with each specimen. Each taxon, including species and even population, has its own history recorded in a related set of databases. This history includes synonymies, misspellings found in the literature, and literature citations.
  • Ecological and geographical observations may be recorded, and space is provided for recording meteorological conditions at the time of collection.
  • Plant associations may be recorded and tied directly to the taxa database that has the potential for recording all the categories of information associated with insect taxa (see above).
  • Associated specimens (e.g., mate; predator, prey; mimic, model) may also be recorded and tied directly to a therevid specimen.
  • Collectors, collecting methods, and inclusive collecting dates are recorded.
  • Determiner, date of determination, loan information (institution, loan number and date), and current deposition information is recorded for each specimen.
  • Insect stage at time of collection and stage(s) in collection (including dates of pupation and eclosion), preservation method, dissections, and sex are also recorded for each specimen.

Other databases created that are not specimen oriented include:

  • A reprint database, with full citations (including translations) of literature concerning therevids, including the kind(s) of taxonomic treatment for each species mentioned in the article (e.g., original description, revision, habitat, faunal list, catalog, bioecology, figure, key) and key words. As mentioned earlier, this database is related to the taxa database.
  • Questions arising from those inputting or proofing the data can be entered into an electronic record. Questions are kept on file indefinitely as a record of the kinds of questions encountered and their resolution. Each record includes a date and time stamp as well as a reference to any of the databases for which the user may have had a question.
  • On-line help databases for data entry and other users is provided. These databases explain the overall view of the data set, menus, navigation, operations (finding, editing, saving, scripts, buttons, etc.) and backup procedures, and details each field and the kind of data expected to be included.


All therevid specimens on deposit at the University of Illinois from collections made in Australia (except from Irwin’s most recent expedition) are in the databases. The number of records entered into the major databases as of 24 March 1996 is:


Museums & Repositories.........65

Interactive Keys. Systematists, multimedia designers and programmers at the University of Queensland and the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management in Brisbane have developed the LUCID system–a computer program designed for the interactive identification of organisms in a multimedia environment. The system comprises the key shell itself, termed LUCID, and the LUCID builder, a program that allows systematists to quickly write their own interactive keys for use in LUCID. The program allows the user to begin the identification of an organism with any character and continue in any desired character order. Still images, video, and sound may be accessed at any stage to increase the speed and accuracy of identification. A galaxy of information, images and other resources may be retreived using the organism’s name as an index or “hook” once the identification is complete.

Communications. A top priority is to have a home page for the family Therevidae on World Wide Web (WWW). Pages are being developed and a version of our first home page will be available by April 1996. It will present the family Therevidae and detail the objectives of our PEET research. We are making progress on developing linkages of this home page to the Tree of Lifeand other appropriate home pages. We hope to have available an interactive search capability of selected portions of the databases on the WWW by the end of 1996. The Therevidae home page can be previewed at the following site: (Updated 2003).

An overview of the PEET grant and of the databases being constructed was presented at the Diptera Informal Conference at the national meeting of the Entomological Society of America held in Las Vegas, NV, December 19, 1995.

1B Training. The training component of this PEET is envisioned to be mainly through the education of graduate students. Our proposal stated that we intended to train five graduate students in the science of Diptera taxonomy. We are well on our way to having those graduate students in place and actively monographing important therevid genera from around the world.

University of Illinois. The University of Illinois is to train three graduate students. Two are to be supported through the NSF-PEET grant and one is being supported through matching contributions from the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS). The INHS research assistantship was awarded to Mr. Stephen Gaimari in September 1995. The two NSF research assistantships were advertised through the Entomological Society of America NewsletterThe Fly Times, and the entomo-Ltaxcom, and ent-list electronic mail listservers in September 1995, shortly after being informed that the grant had been awarded. Credentials of five applicants were received and reviewed. Three candidates were interviewed, and two were selected: Mr. Mark Metz and Mr. Kevin Holston. Both are to begin their assistantships in April or May 1996.

Mr. Stephen Gaimari is the first student associated with this grant. His funding is from the Illinois Natural History Survey as partial matching funds for the project. He holds an M.S. degree from Washington State University and has finished all formal requirements for a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, except the writing and defense of his dissertation. He has been actively involved in research on flies during his six semesters at the University of Illinois. Gaimari recently returned from a one-month Diptera collecting expedition in Australia, where he gained valuable field experience with PI Irwin and Co-PI Yeates.

Mr. Mark Metz will begin his research assistantship on April 1, 1996. He has an M.S. degree in biology from California State University at Northridge. His M.S. thesis focused on the biology and behavior of syrphid flies. He spent several months as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution working on a syrphid project under the direction of Wayne Mathis and consultant, F. Christian Thompson. Mr. Metz will have to take a number of core courses in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois, but, by beginning his assistantship before the commencement of summer, he will have time to begin gathering specimens for a monographic treatment of the genusBrachylinga.

Mr. Kevin Holston will begin his research assistantship on May 4, 1996. He has a B.S. degree from the University of Texas, Austin. As a special biology project, Mr. Holston became interested in robberflies (Diptera: Asilidae) of the genus Efferia. He spent several months as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution working on developing a morphologically based classification of Efferia under the direction of Wayne Mathis and consultant, F. Christian Thompson. He comes to us with a strong background in Diptera taxonomy and a real eagerness to become a monographer. Mr. Holston is a minority student.

North Carolina State University. A Ph.D. graduate assistantship, funded by the NCSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, offered as matching support to this proposal, was advertised in the Entomological Society of America Newsletter, and on the entomo-L and bug-net electronic mail listservers. This student will investigate the higher level phylogenetic relationships of the Therevidae using nucleotide sequence data in the Wiegmann lab (NCSU). A student was selected to fill this position–Mr. Longlong Yang of the Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, P.R. China.

Mr. Longlong Yang has extensive experience with morphology, behavior, and systematics of Diptera; he has had training in molecular and quantitative aspects of modern systematics. Mr. Yang has been admitted to the entomology program at NCSU and will begin his graduate training in July 1996.

University of Queensland. An additional graduate student is to be trained at UQ through Schlinger Foundation funds. He/she is to monograph a large and complex genus of Australian therevids. Schlinger Foundation funds in the amount of US$17,000 were transferred from the University of Illinois to the University of Queensland in October 1995 to support this graduate research assistantship. The assistantship was advertised widely in Australia. A notice of the Ph.D. scholarship was mailed to Australian university departments with systematic entomology labs in November 1995. An advertisement for the position was also placed in the November 1995 issue of Myrmecia (the News Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Australia, Vol. 34: p. 43).

Mr. Shaun Winterton has been selected and will begin his research assistantship on July 1, 1996. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science and an Associate Diploma in Aquatic Resource Management. For the past three years Shaun has been employed as a senior research assistant in the CSIRO division of Entomology studying the biological control of water hyacinth. Shaun has published four papers and a book chapter on the taxonomy of chrysopid (Neuroptera) taxonomy. Mr. Winterton comes to the program with a strong interest in insect taxonomy and well developed skills in taxonomic illustration and field survey.

1C Monographic Treatments

Establishing the higher groupings. The PEET proposal stated that a higher level phylogeny for the family Therevidae was needed so that small, monophyletic groupings of taxa could be monographed. The strategy for establishing a higher level classification of the Therevidae entailed two aspects. The first was a strong, cladistic analysis based on morphological evidence, which would develop hypotheses of monophyletic units. This was to be followed by a molecular cladistic study to test those hypotheses. We felt that this would provide the most rigorous test of monophyletic units in the Therevidae.

Morphological progress. PI Irwin spent 14 weeks in the laboratory of Co-PI Yeates. They collaborated in searching for characters on more than 50 species in different genera of therevids scattered across the presumed spectrum of the family. Five outgroups (Asilidae, Bombyliidae, Scenopinidae [Scenopininae and Proratinae], and Apsilocephalidae) were also studied. During the examination, 30 promising characters were found on the female terminalia and another 40 on the head. The search is continuing for characters on the thorax, abdomen, and male terminalia. All characters thus far discovered have been polarized and scored for each taxon in the study. Based on this partial list of characters, preliminary trees were generated using Hennig 86 and PAUP. The trees, examined using MacClade, will be refined as more body parts are examined and new characters are added.

Molecular progress. Genomic DNA has been extracted from 10 taxa for the preliminary test of phylogenetic utility for 4 genes, 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, dopa decarboxylase, and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK). The test taxa include Stenomphrale (Scenopinidae) and Heterotropus(Bombyliidae) as outgroups, and ParapsilocephalaPherocera,PhycusHenicomyiaBrachylingaLitolingaThereva, andAcrosathe from the Therevidae. Primers were synthesized to amplify DDC and PEPCK based on known Drosophila sequences for these genes. Tests of primer pairs for each of the four genes have yielded successful amplification of appropriate sized fragments from therevid and outgroup DNA. Preliminary sequencing of the 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, DDC, and PEPCK is currently underway for comparison of sequence variation for each gene within the family.

Genus level revisions. One goal of this PEET grant is to provide a monographic treatment of the North American representatives of the entire family by the fifth year. This will entail separate monographs of the largest genera in this region:OzodiceromyiaBrachylingaTherevaPherocera, and Cyclotelus. The first three are being assigned to the graduate students, and the last two will be completed by PI Irwin.

Status of Ozodiceromyia. This large genus has been assigned to Mr. Gaimari. Original and subsequent descriptions of the 36 currently valid species in Ozodiceromyia and a listing of known repositories for their type specimens have been compiled. Most of the major museums and many of the smaller collections in the U.S. and Central America have been contacted with requests for specimens. Many of these institutions have now sent collections of the genus to us. About 50% of the nearly 25,000 specimens currently in our possession have been labelled with loan information and unique specimen numbers, and more are being labelled daily. Data input into the specimen databases has begun. Gaimari has sorted and partly characterized 40 different species (in about 12 species-groups), and he and PI Irwin have worked towards developing easily identifiable species groups for the initial sorting of this large genus. Nearly one-half of the specimens so far have been sorted to species-group or morphospecies, making the next stage of the revision close at hand (see below).

Status of Dichoglena, Pandivirilia, andViriliricta. Webb & Irwin have examined Nearctic material related to these three genera, in addition to all available type specimens. The current evaluation of these three genera, in conjunction with representatives of the Palaearctic species, indicates that Dichoglena and Viriliricta should be synonymized under Pandivirilia. Descripions, keys, illustrations and distributional maps have been completed. A phylogenetic analysis of Pandivirilia, including the Palaearctic material, has yet to be completed.

Status of Tabuda and Tabudamima. Webb and Irwin have examined extensive material of these two genera in addition to the type specimens. Descripions, keys, illustrations, distribution maps and a phylogenetic analysis have been completed. This revision is in the final stage of preparation.

Status of Anabarhynchus. This speciose Australian genus is currently being monographed by Dr. Lyneborg in collaboration with PI Irwin and Co-PI Yeates. Species descriptions are nearly complete; critical illustrations have begun. We will meet in Copenhagen in September to finish the manuscript.

1D Expeditions to Increase the Knowledge Base of Therevidae

Three expeditions, supported by Schlinger Foundation funds, have been undertaken since the PEET grant began in September 1995, one to New Caledonia and two in east central Australia.

New Caledonia. PI Irwin, Collaborator Webb, and Dr. Evert I. Schlinger spent three weeks in January 1996 on an expedition to New Caledonia. Specimens of Therevidae proved to be extremely scarce during this expedition; those specimens that were caught were, however, very valuable because they increased the knowedge base and expanded the taxa of therevids on this ancient continental (Gondwanan) island. Collecting permits were obtained for both provinces of mainland New Caledonia.

Australia. During PI Irwin’s sabbatical leave in Queensland, two expeditions were undertaken, a two-week expedition to the Mount Moffatt Section of Carnarvan Gorge National Park, Queensland. [Graduate student Gaimari joined PI Irwin and Co-PI Yeates on this expedition.] A one-week trip to the Warrumbungle Mountains National Park was also undertaken by PI Irwin. Collecting permits were obtained for both. Both of these trips produced large quantities of therevids that are scarce in collections. The material is currently being curated under the supervision of Collaborator Webb.


Summary of work to be performed during the next year of support, if changed from the original proposal; an indication of any current problems or favorable or unusual developments; and any other significan information pertinent to the type of project supported by NSF or as specified by the terms and conditions of the grant.

2A Use of Electronic Media. This aspect is proceding more or less as anticipated in the original proposal. Collaborator Kampmeier is moving this aspect along at a rapid pace. Our major constraint is how to get the data from the tens of thousands of therevid specimens onto the database in a timely manner. We have hired several student workers, but lack of computer entry points and the need to coordinate data entry to reduce the possibility of duplicate entries have created a significant bottleneck in our operations. We are now looking at options to increase our efficiency at inputting and verifying label data information.

Networking. Our Web page is expected to be on line by mid April. Our networking with collection managers is proceeding at a rapid pace. Our progress is on track.

Databases. When this grant was proposed, we had every intention of using Biota to construct our databases. We received our first beta version of the program in mid-February as we were writing this grant proposal. It was our understanding that it was being used at INBio in Costa Rica and elsewhere for the kinds of data that we needed to catalog. However upon further examination, the version that we had still had quite a crude user interface, making it very difficult to think of training students to enter data, and many functions were not yet implemented. In addition, there was no clear way for us to tailor the database to our needs by creating new fields or redesigning the layouts. We contacted the author with bug reports and questions, and a newer version was promised, but time was getting short. PI Irwin was leaving for Australia in the fall of 1995 and hoped to have the Australian holdings keyed into the database before he left. After looking atBiota, Kampmeier became increasingly convinced that FileMaker Pro would be a friendlier environment in which to construct and maintain these databases with the caveat that, if necessary, the data could be exported in the future to another environment. In addition, FileMaker Pro does not require a trained computer programmer to construct or maintain the databases created in this environment. Thus, we developed our own databases for entering, maintaining, and manipulating specimen and associated data. This additonal burden was not originally anticipated.

Interactive Keys. The University of Queensland will continue to develop this system, and, over the next two years, we will adopt it for keys of therevid taxa on the WWW.

Communications. The newly available Adobe PageMill has increased our efficiency and ease of creating WWW pages. The introduction to the Therevidae begins with “what they are” and “what they do” followed by buttons taking the browser to bioecology, classification, geography, bibliography, participants in research, and news items, including the PEET grant. All of these sites are still under development. After mid April 1996, the therevid home page can be found here (updated 2003).

A presentation on this PEET is planned for the December 1996 national meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Louisville, KY.


2B Training. The training component of this PEET is envisioned to contain elements to enhance graduate student comprehension of taxonomy. Thus, students are expected to gain experience in morphological and molecular systematics, in laboratory, computer-based, and field techniques, and in ways to mesh cladistic inference with other aspects of biology, such as behavior and biogeography. This means that a several month rotation into Co-PI Wiegmann’s molecular laboratory (NCSU) is planned for each of the students (except the student resident in Wiegmann’s lab, who will spend a rotation in either Irwin’s or Yeates’ lab). Similarly, all students are expected to participate in collecting expeditions, where they can make observations on the life history and ecological settings of the genus they are monographing.


University of Illinois. Mr. Mark Metz and Mr. Kevin Holston will begin their research assistantships in April and May 1996. Gaimari will spend several months in Wiegmann’s lab learning molecular techniques (see below), but only after he collects and preserves in 100% ethanol specimens representing most of the species groups of Ozodiceromyia and other genera closely related to Ozodiceromyia. Thus, a timely expedition is being planned for early this summer to the Great Plains, where a number of species groups of Ozodiceromyia are found. Metz and Holston will also be on this trip because members of their specific genera are also abundant there.

North Carolina State University. Ph.D. graduate student Longlong Yang will begin in July 1996. Mr. Yang will enroll in classes offered at NCSU (molecular genetics, molecular evolution, statistics, insect systematics are possible courses). Laboratory training will include DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis, PCR amplification, manual and automated DNA sequencing. Mr. Yang will be encouraged to visit the University of Illinois for a week or two within the first year to gain experience identifying Therevidae at the genus level. Mr. Yang will also enroll in the NCSU Biotechnology summer course series in 1997.
Mr Gaimari, who is preparing a largely morphological revision ofOzodiceromyia at UIUC, will complete a several-month rotation in the Wiegmann laboratory at NCSU. Gaimari will sequence specimens that represent genera forming the genus-group to which Ozodiceromyia belongs (the actual genera will be determined from the morphologically based cladistic analysis of Irwin and Yeates) and specimens representing the several species-groups of Ozodiceromyia. These data will be included in the genus and/or genus-group level molecular systematic component of the project. All lab rotation students will receive molecular laboratory training in PCR, gel electrophoresis, and automated sequencing, as well as training in DNA sequence editing and analysis of molecular character sets using computer packages (STADEN, GCG, GDE, PAUP 3.1.1).

University of Queensland. Mr. Shaun Winterton will complete some core entomology coursework during the first year of his assistantship. He will revise the genus Xestophytus (mss. name) during 1996 and the first half of 1997 in preparation for a monograph of Agapophytus beginning in June 1997.

2C Monographic Treatments

Establishing higher groupings. Irwin’s lab is continuing to gather together specimens, enter data into the databases, and make critical observations on therevid morphology. Meanwhile, specimens of critical taxa are being collected during expeditions and preserved in 100% ethanol for molecular studies.

Morphological progress. PI Irwin will continue working with Co-PI Yeates on developing a morphologically based higher classification of the Therevidae. Irwin will search for characters on the thorax, wing, legs, abdomen, and male terminalia over the next several months. These characters will be polarized and scored for all 50 plus genera and five outgroups currently under study. Preliminary trees based on parsimony and maximum-likelihood approaches will be generated using Hennig 86 and PAUP and examined using MacClade. The shortest resulting cladogram(s) will form hypotheses to be tested by the molecular studies.

Molecular progress. Ph.D. student L. Yang and Co-PI Wiegmann will complete tests of phylogenetic utility of 18S and 28S rDNA, and PEPCK and DDC genes for higher level therevid phylogeny. Two of these genes exhibiting appropriate variation, or additional genes if necessary, will be used to begin extended sampling and sequencing of up to 40 genera. Sequence data will be obtained largely through automated DNA sequencing performed at the NCSU DNA sequencing facility. Nucleotide alignments will be performed using alignment software and improved by manual adjustment. Phylogenetic data sets will be constructed from alignments. Nucleotide sequence data sets will be combined and compared with morphology-based data generated by Irwin and Yeates [and their students] to begin genus level phylogenetic analyses. Trees will be constructed using parsimony and maximum-likelihood approaches to infer a preliminary framework of genus-level relationships within the Therevidae.

Genus level revisions.

Status of Ozodiceromyia. Specimens of Ozodiceromyiacontinue to come in from various insect collections. Collection and loan numbers are immediately printed and attached to the specimens as they arrive. Label data and tentative identification information are keyed into the therevid databases. Only then are the specimens incorporated into the working collection.
The species-group concepts continue to be refined while Gaimari continues to sort specimens to species-group and to species. Within each species-group, the morpho-species are also being sorted before considering the genitalic differences that will help define the species. These genitalic differences will then be used to more accurately place the specimens into species-groups. Once the species-groups are better defined via genitalic and external morphological features, a key to the species-groups will be developed and tested, and the monophyletic nature of each will be considered. The species-groups will each be monographed separately and considered in relation to the other species-groups to develop a phylogenetic classification of the genus.

Status of other genera. Brachylinga, the second largest and perhaps the most complicated genus in North America, has been assigned to graduate student Metz. He will begin gathering specimens from museums and collections in the Americas shortly after he arrives on April 1. Monographing the genusThereva will most likely be undertaken by graduate student Holston. He will work in close concert with Dr. Leif Lyneborg, Copenhagen, who has extensive notes on the Palaearctic members of this very large genus and has expressed an eagerness to collaborate. PI Irwin will finish his monograph of the genus Pherocera; he will also undertake a revision of the genus Cyclotelus (he has studied many of the types of this largely Neotropical genus). Collaborator Webb, working with PI Irwin, will continue to monograph the less speciose genera of North American therevids. They have nearly completed a revision of PandiveriliaViriliricta, and Dichoglena. Completion of this monograph is awaiting a more comprehensive set of characters, something that PI Irwin and Co-PI Yeates are developing.
Concurrently, work is proceeding in Australia and the South Pacific, areas of great radiation of the family. That region is to be the next target for a comprehensive monograph, hopefully during the second five-year cycle of the grant. PI Irwin has begun to put together a manuscript on the Therevidae of New Caledonia, an area of extreme endemism containing what appear to be the most primitive extant members of the Therevinae. These are closely allied with therevids of Australia. In collaboration with Co-PI Yeates, Mr. Greg Daniels of the Department of Entomology, University of Queensland, will begin a revision of the genus Bonjeania. When the research assistantship to the University of Queensland is filled, that student will work on the very complex and speciose genusAgapophytus.

2D Expeditions to Increase the Knowledge Base of Therevidae

Great Plains of North America. A short expedition is planned for the New Mexico/Utah area to gather specimens to preserve in 100% ethanol for molecular studies and to increase the holdings of species of Ozodiceromyia,Brachylinga, and Thereva that are poorly represented in museum collections.
Southern Africa and Madagascar. A large-scale, two-month expedition is being planned for late 1996. We are still in the early phases of planning, but the following specific localities will likely be included: Kalahari Desert, Namib Desert, Namaqualand (western Cape Province of South Africa), Ndumu (north eastern Natal Province of South Africa), and the drier zones of Madagascar. This expedition will likely involve rotations of Co-PIs and students during its various phases.