Year 2

Annual NSF Grant Progress Report

Date: August 10, 1996
NSF Award Number: 95-21925
Period covered by this report: March 16, 1996 – August 10, 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 networkingdatabasing, 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

1E Meetings to Communicate Advances

2A Use of Electronic Media

2B Training

2C Monographic Treatments

2D Expeditions to Increase the Knowledge Base

2E Meetings to Communicate Advances

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, holds 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.

Networking. The taxonomic community has responded expediently to requests concerning therevid specimens and appears to be willing to participate in therevid networking activities planned for the future. 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. Gail Kampmeier is continuing to refine the databases that capture label information on therevid specimens from museums and collections, worldwide. Thus far, nearly 22,000 specimens in over 4,900 lots (unique localities, dates, and collectors) have been recorded, with the initial concentration being those specimens from Australia. The specimen-related databases developed by us require fine-tuning. Participants have been encouraged to think of the types of output they would like to see from the databases for use in addressing research questions and for queries on the WWW. All of the databases feature general and on-line context sensitive (both field- and database-specific) help. Questions about anything in the databases are tracked on-line, date and time-stamped, and so indicated when the question has been resolved. Major input was requested from participants at the year-one meeting of our PEET team (see 1E below) for revamping those databases primarily concerned with literature. For that reason, input of literature was put on hold temporarily.

All therevid specimens on deposit at the University of Illinois from collections made in Australia, including those from Irwin’s most recent expedition, are now in the databases, and the data from several genera have been proofed. Students have started to input label data from the genusOzodiceromyia and from other specimens from various collections on loan to us.

A preliminary study of time resources required to input specimen data discovered that students spent an average of 1.7 minutes per specimen to input label data. The time could be as short as a couple of seconds (the time it takes to hit “command-2” and the computer to duplicate a record adding one to the previous specimen number, if all of the information is the same) to 10­15 minutes per specimen when trying to decipher cryptic label information and/or find localities and coordinates on maps or in gazetteers. With approximately 880 specimens per drawer, this translates to about 25 person-hours per museum drawer. Out of an estimated 200 drawers of therevids currently in our possession, about 30% (57) have been entered. That does not include new material that is continually being shipped to us from other museums.


The number of records entered into the major databases as of 6 August 1996 (not including material entered before this project began) is:

Literature citations.............98

We have purchased a Windows-based version of FileMaker Pro and find that our datbases function well using Windows 95.



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 system­a 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. Efforts are now underway to make the LUCID program compatible with WWW.

Communications. The family Therevidae is now on World Wide Web (WWW) []. Pages are still under construction but a version of our home page was available in April 1996 and further updates were made in July. It presents the family Therevidae, details the objectives of our PEET research, profiles therevid researchers, and provides minutes of meetings. We are making considerable progress on linking this home page to the Tree of Life and other appropriate home pages. We hope to have an interactive search capability of selected portions of the databases available on the WWW by the end of 1996.

1B Training. The training component of this PEET is envisioned to be primarily through the education of graduate students. Our proposal stated that we intended to train five graduate students in the science of Diptera taxonomy. All of the graduate students are now in place and actively monographing important therevid genera from around the world.

University of Illinois. The University of Illinois is training three graduate students. Two are supported through the NSF PEET grant and one is supported through matching contributions from the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS). The INHS research assistantship was awarded to Mr. Stephen Gaimari in September 1995. Mr. Mark Metz and Mr. Kevin Holston began their assistantships in April and May 1996, respectively.

Mr. Stephen Gaimari is working on the genusOzodiceromyia This genus has 36 currently described species. Steve has identified 18 easily sortable groups, finding 70 species to date in the 12 groups he has sorted to species without dissection of the internal genitalia. He estimates he will find more than 100 species in all, and it will take him another 2 months to get a working idea of all the species. He will be in Europe and Russia in September and October studying types. Testing the phylogenetic relationships among species groups ofOzodiceromyia will be his first task; an early paper is planned that will delineate the species groups, provide a key to and description of them, and construct a revision of the nominal O. mexicana-group. His molecular work in conjunction with Brian Wiegmann’s lab will be to relate Ozodiceromyia to the rest of theCyclotelus-group and relate this to an in-progress morphological study.

Mr. Mark Metz will be taking a number of core courses in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois starting this fall, but, by beginning his assistantship before the commencement of summer, he has had time to begin gathering specimens for a monographic treatment of the genusBrachylinga. There are 16 species of Brachylinga currently described. Mark has sorted out 36 morphologically distinguishable groups based on external characters and thinks he will have fewer than 100 species when his study is complete. This genus is Nearctic and Neotropic in distribution, getting as far south as Chile. Mark is reviewing the specimens before looking at the literature. In addition to publications about his chosen genus, Mark is tackling the problem of associating female specimens with males through a morphometric analysis of male aedeagal characters and the furca of females. He and Mike Irwin will also describe a therevid specimen found in amber from the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Kevin Holston began his research assistantship in early May 1996. The genus Thereva is his primary area of study. There are 184 recognized species of Thereva in the literature, and synonymies and homonymies abound. Kevin went to the literature first and found that even in the literature there are several species complexes described. He is looking at the relationships of the species between the Palearctic and Neartic Regions. Leif Lyneborg (therevid systematist in Copenhagen and collaborator on the PEET project) will be of considerable help to Kevin when assessing the Palearctic species.


North Carolina State University. Mr. Longlong Yang, of the Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, P.R. China, was selected as a Ph.D. candidate to investigate the higher level phylogenetic relationships of the Therevidae using nucleotide sequence data in Brian Wiegmann’s lab (NCSU).

Mr. Longlong Yang began his assistantship (sponsored by matching contributions from NCSU) in July 1996 and joined Dr. Wiegmann at the first year meeting held in Urbana in late July. They returned to NCSU from Illinois with specimens of therevids collected and preserved in 100% ethanol by Irwin and others on various recent field trips. DNA extraction and PCR amplification of two key genera, Apsilocephala andHeterotropus, were successful. LongLong, in a first amplification to test the preservation of the DNA, has been successful on a number of the necessary genera in the proposed phylogenetic scheme, including Anabarynchus, Acraspisa, Efflatouniella and several additional genera.

University of Queensland. Mr. Shaun Winterton began his training on 1 July 1996 at UQ supported by Schlinger Foundation funds.

Mr. Shaun Winterton is beginning his studies by monographing the genus Noxexila (mss. name) from Australia. For his Ph.D., he will monograph the large and complex genusAgapophytus from that same region.

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. Mike Irwin and David Yeates have completed a detailed morphological analysis of the head (40 promising characters) and female terminalia (30 characters) including the spermathecae 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. They plan on completing a survey of characters of the adult, in preparation for a cladistic analysis. Maya Patel (graduate student finishing her M.S. in Entomology) has begun to illustrate key characters and their states for this study. Yeates and Irwin are also collaborating with Dr. Olga Ovtshinnikova (St. Petersburg, Russia) on the musculature of the male genitalia.

Molecular progress. Brian Wiegmann and Longlong Yang are using primers to tag gene sequences and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to amplify the gene sequence of choice in selected taxa. The test taxa include Stenomphrale (Scenopinidae) and Heterotropus (Bombyliidae) as outgroups, andParapsilocephalaPheroceraPhycusHenicomyiaBrachylinga,LitolingaThereva, and Acrosathe from the Therevidae. This is the most critical stage, and work is ongoing to determine which gene holds the most promise for the Therevidae, although ideally it is hoped that more than one marker will be identified. Genes examined or under consideration include:

  • 18S rDNA — has been useful for the oldest lepidopterans, but thus far not found to work with therevids. Diptera as a whole differ from other orders at this gene, but families of flies differ little from one another (only 2%).
  • 28S rDNA — looks more divergent than 18S
  • EF1 a = elongation factor 1 a — used for noctuids in Maryland
  • DDC = dopa decarboxylase — used for Drosophila andAedes in the gene bank
  • PEPCK = phosphoenolopyruvate carboxykinase — used with families of lower Brachycera; very conserved
  • CO I and CO II = cytochrome oxidase I & II
  • 16S rDNA

By the end of summer, Brian expects to know the utility of the above genes to delineate groups within the Therevidae. He is searching for a gene or genes with up to a 25% mutation rate (1 in 4 of the bases making up DNA could change); that would allow for maximum change prior to the onset of saturation.

In the sequencing step, Wiegmann’s laboratory no longer uses radiolabelling but fluorescent marking that can be read by their new ABI automated sequencer, on which data are read and collected directly onto a computer. These basic steps in the sequencing process can be learned in about a week so that researchers will be able to spend more time looking at the systematics rather than at the biochemistry of the process.

All of the specimens from Australia and Israel that were collected into 100% ethanol have now been successfully extracted and the first amplification of many genera resulted in successful preservation of the DNA.

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, andCyclotelus. 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. All of the nearly 25,000 specimens currently in our possession have been labelled with loan information and unique specimen numbers, and more are being labeled as they are received on loan. Data input into the specimen databases is well underway. Gaimari has sorted and partly characterized 70 different species (in about 12 species­groups), and he and PI Irwin have worked towards developing easily identifiable species­groups for sorting this large genus. All of the specimens have been sorted at least to species-group or morphospecies, making the next stage of the revision close at hand (see below).

Status of Dichoglena, Pandivirilia, and Viriliricta. Webb and 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 Palearctic species, indicates thatDichoglena and Viriliricta should be synonymized underPandivirilia. Descriptions, keys, illustrations and distributional maps have been completed. A phylogenetic analysis ofPandivirilia, including the Palearctic 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. Descriptions, 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. Irwin and Yeates will meet with Lyneborg in Copenhagen in September 1996 to finish the manuscript.

1D Expeditions to Increase the Knowledge Base of Therevidae

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

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

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.

Southwestern U.S. In June 1996, PI Irwin, Collaborator Webb, and graduate students Gaimari, Holston, and Metz braved the summer heat and sought out elusive therevids in Colorado and New Mexico. The students learned trapping methods and honed field curation skills and several specimens were preserved for molecular studies in the Wiegmann lab. Many specimens of important taxa were collected, including many hundreds of specimens of several species of Ozodiceromyia and several species of Thereva. They are currently being curated.

1E Meetings to Communicate Advances and Plan Future Activities

A Year-One meeting of our PEET grant took place in Urbana, Illinois, from 17-20 July. Present were Dr. and Mrs. Schlinger, PI Irwin, Co-PI Wiegmann, Collaborators Webb and Kampmeier, Consultant Thompson, graduate students Yang (NCSU) and Gaimari, Metz, and Holston (UIUC). Minutes of the meeting are provided on our PEET web site.


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 proceeding much as anticipated in the original proposal. Collaborator Kampmeier is moving this aspect along at a rapid pace. Our major constraint is getting the data from the tens of thousands of therevid specimens onto the database in a timely manner and having the entered data verified. We have hired several part-time 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 has been on line since late March 1996 and additions were made in early August. Our networking with collection managers is proceeding at a rapid pace. Progress is on track.

Databases. The design of the specimen-based databases is relatively stable, and significant progress has been made in entering specimens. We plan to expand the workstations for data input by the end of summer and merge the data from satellite workstations into the main database on a regular basis. This will enable workers in Australia to begin input of new collections. A major overhaul of the design of the literature-based databases is planned for this fall so that input may proceed.

It has been suggested that CD-ROMs be made and distributed on a periodic basis with the databases. This will either require the purchase of a runtime version of FileMaker Pro to put on the CD-ROM for distribution or that individuals have access to FileMaker Pro 3.0.

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 WWW site will continue to be upgraded and efforts are underway to make the databases searchable on the WWW.

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 began their research assistantships in the spring of 1996. They will be taking courses for the next two years. Gaimari has finished all course work and will spend several weeks this fall and spring in Wiegmann’s lab learning molecular techniques. Kthis will occur after he has collected and preserved in 100% ethanol specimens representing most of the species groups of Ozodiceromyiaand other genera closely related to Ozodiceromyia.

North Carolina State University. Ph.D. graduate student Longlong Yang began 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-week 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 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 Noxexila and closely related Palassopella (mss. names) during 1996 and the first half of 1997 in preparation for a monograph ofAgapophytus 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.

Irwin and Yeates will present a paper at the North American Dipterists informal symposium at the Entomological Society of America meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, in early Decemeber 1996. The paper is entitled,Spermathecae and associated tissues of the female terminalia hold promise forconstructing a higher-level classification of the Therevidae (Diptera: Brachycera).

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. Co-PI Wiegmann and Ph.D. student L. Yang 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 internal 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 complex genus in North America, has been assigned to graduate student Metz. He is actively gathering specimens from museums and collections in the Americas. He has begun the process of separating the specimens into workable groups based on external characters. Monographing the genusThereva is being 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 and recently evolved genus. Lyneborg has expressed an eagerness to collaborate in the project. PI Irwin will finish a 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 the genera Tabuda and Tabudamima and are well underway with their study of PandiviriliaViriliricta, andDichoglena. Completion of this latter 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 extremely 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. Shaun Winterton, a graduate student under the direction of Co-PI Yeates, is beginning a revision of two small Australian genera.

2D Expeditions to Increase the Knowledge Base of Therevidae

During our PEET year-one meeting, we developed criteria for determining the expeditions we felt would provide needed specimens for our overall study. First and foremost was the need to gather specimens of critical taxa for both morphological and molecular studies. Second was the need to increse the holdings of specimens from areas lacking representation in the world’s collections. The third criterion was to explore areas of expected radiation but that have not been well collected. From these criteria, the following areas were identified for potential expeditions to be supported by funds from the Schlinger Foundation: Southern Africa ­ N’dumu area (Indian Ocean coast near Mozambique); Western Cape; Namibia; Botswana [ideal timing: 6 weeks between September and November]. Chile-Argentina ­ [ideal timing: October­December]. Tasmania ­ [ideal timing: November­February]. Central Asia/China ­ [ideal timing: late June­August] (Longlong Yang will help make contacts and plans for this expedition). Madagascar ­ [ideal timing: June] quick initial trip to develop the logistical support needed for a second longer trip. Central America ­ [ideal timing: July­August]. South Florida, Keys & Carribean [ideal timing: February]. Atlas Mountains (NW Africa) ­ [ideal timing: April­May]. New Caledonia ­ [ideal timing: September­October]. Baja California/Mexico ­ [ideal timing: March/April­June]. Indian subcontinent (SW coast of India, Nepal; Pakistan) ­ [ideal timing: unknown]. New Guinea ­ [ideal timing: unknown]. Tentative plans for the next year include the following areas:

Southern Africa and Madagascar [mid October­late November 1996]. A large-scale, six-week 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), and N’dumu (north eastern Natal Province of South Africa). This expedition will likely involve rotations of Co-PIs and students during its various phases. The area is extremely rich in endemic taxa.

Northern Baja California [spring break, March 1997]. A one-week expedition is planned for Baja California, Mexico, and will include many of the graduate students from UIUC andNCSU as well as the PIs and Collaborators. This area is rich in therevids of interest to the project. We will be searching for specimens to fill out the molecular study aspects of the project. Longlong Yang will join the collecting trip and visit Irwin’s lab before and after this expedition to learn more about therevid morphology and help curate the collected specimens.

Coolola National Park, Queensland, Australia [October 1996]. In early October, Co-PI Yeates will lead a one week field expedition to Coolola National Park, a large sand and heath area near Frazer Island, Queensland. The area has many undescribed and, undoubtedly, unknown species of therevids. Accompanying Yeates will be Greg Daniels, curator of the insect collection at the University of Queensland, and graduate students Shaun Winterton, Chris Lambkin, and others from the University of Queensland. Asiloidea will be the target group of organisms, and this will provide Shaun with an excellent opportunity to observe and collect therevids in an area where they abound.

Madagascar [June 1997]. A three-week expedition is planned for Madagascar by Irwin and the Schlingers. This is a difficult place for an expedition and will require this initial trip to devleop the appropriate links before a full-blown expedition can occur. Irwin is currently planning this expedition. The Xerces Society may help us establish contacts.

Central America [July-August 1997]. A two-week expedition is planned for Guatemala and southern Mexico by Irwin, the Schlingers, several graduate students and others associated with the project. Contacts are been made at this time.

Chile and Argentina [October-November 1997]. A two-month expedition is planned for areas in these two taxa-rich countries of southern South America. Many associated with the project will rotate in and out during this expedition.

Gobi Desert of China and Inner Mongolia [summer 1998]. A month long expedition is planned for this under-collected xeric zone. Very few taxa have been taken from this area but many are anticipated. Graduate student Yang will begin organizing this expedition in the near future. Several PIs and others associated with the project will rotate in and out during this expedition.

2E. Meetings to Communicate Advances and Plan Future Activities

Additional meetings are planned for the coming year, including a presentation at the NSF-PEET meeting in Lawrence, KS, in early September to share our networking and database information with other PEET awardees, a presentation on therevid morphology at the North American Dipterists Conference at the Entomological Society of America annual meeting, Louisville, Kentucky, early December 1996, and a year-two Therevid PEET meeting to review progress and plan the next year’s activities.


Co-PI Wiegmann

  • Wiegmann, B. M., R. Sederoff, R., B. Liu, B. Weir, and W. Atchley. Computers for DNA sequence informatics. National Science Foundation, Academic Research Infrastructure Panel. $126,000.
  • Wiegmann, B. M. Molecular phylogenetics of Brachyceran Diptera (Insecta). National Science Foundation, Systematics and Population Biology, submitted 1996. $318,410 for 36 months. [pending].

Co-PI Yeates

  • Playford, J. and Yeates, D.K. Multimedia learning for botanical systematics. Australian CAUT grant, submitted April 1996. $52,000. [pending].
  • Yeates, D.K. and Bowden, J. Taxonomy of the Australian Bombyliinae. Australian Biological Resources Study, submitted April 1996. $60,000 [pending].
  • Yeates, D.K. and Drew, R.A.I. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the dacine fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae). Small Australian Research Council Fund, submitted in 1996. $50,000. [pending].