Historical Diptera collection

      Ferdinand Kowarz
      Ferdinand Kowarz

    The basis of the Diptera collection in NMP has been formed in 1906 and 1908, when smaller part of the collection (18 boxes of identified material) of Ferdinand Kowarz (1838–1914) was acquired. This collection, mainly collected in western Bohemia, contains voucher material to the first checklist of Bohemian Diptera (Kowarz 1894). In the 1925, collection of Antonín Vimmer (1864–1941) was obtained. This collection was deposited in 92 boxes and contains exclusively material collected in the Czech Lands. Numerous voucher specimens to the Vimmer’s checklist of the Czech dipterous insects (Vimmer 1913) are present in this material. Further additions to the Diptera collection were from Alfred Hetschko (1854–1933) including specimens from the Czech Republic and southern Europe (24 boxes of identified specimens obtained in 1933). In 1939 two collections were acquired: collection of Tachinidae from Juraj Čepelák (1917–2000) and part of the collection of Dimitrij Jacentkovskij (1898–1945).

    Collection of Diptera accumulated after World War II.

    In the year 1953 Josef Moucha (1930–1972) became the first Diptera curator in the Entomological Department of NMP (Hoberlandt 1974, Koleška 1987). He was well-know specialist in both Lepidoptera and Diptera and also a passionate popularizer of entomology. His collecting and exchanging activities were very extensive and throughout the years he has accumulated Diptera material from the Czech and Slovak Republics and neighbouring countries (Austria, Germany, Hungary), southwestern Europe (Albania, Bulgaria and countries of the former Yugoslavia), Georgia and Iran. In order Diptera, J. Moucha was interested in families Tabanidae and Asilidae and partially also in Syrphidae. Most important part of NMP Diptera collection is that of Tabanidae (Moucha & Ježek 1972, Ježek 1976) started by J. Moucha and supplemented by his colleagues (especially M. Chvála and J. Ježek). The Tabanidae collection contains several tens of thousands specimens and some dozens of type specimens. Josef Moucha published 106 dipterological papers, 96 lepidopterological, 37 other articles and 11 book titles (Krampl & Ježek 2002). In 1971 he became head of the Entomological Department of NMP. Unfortunately, his excellent career was prematurely terminated during car accident in 1972.
    Jan Ježek (*1945) was responsible for the NMP Diptera collection in the years 1967–2011. He first cooperated with J. Moucha on the development of the dipterological collection and worked primarily on family Tabanidae. Later, however, he began intensively collect non-biting moth flies (in 1971) and work on taxonomy of family Psychodidae. His first publication on Psychodidae was published six years later (Ježek 1977) and he continues publishing very actively to date. During 40 years, J. Ježek accumulated very large ethanol material of Psychodidae and he prepared more than 20 thousand slides with specimens mounted in Canada balsam. The Psychodidae type material of NMPC consists of 791 specimens, all are made by J. Ježek and detailed information about the specimens is included in the present catalogue.
    From the 1990’s, several smaller or bigger Diptera collections were acquired to NMPC: coll. Jan Dirlbek (1930–2012) (Tephritidae), coll. Jan Lellák (1926–1993) (Chironomidae), coll. Jiří Olejníček (1946–2005) (Dolichopodidae), coll. Pavel Pecina (*1938) (Bibionidae), coll. Petr Laštovka (1938) (Mycetophilidae, Sciaridae, Drosophilidae and Scatopsidae), coll. Helena Potměšilová-Karnecká (*1947) (Ephydridae), coll. Milan Chvála (Tabanidae) (*1936), coll. Jaromír Vaňhara (*1947) (Opetiidae, Platypezidae).
    Currently, the Diptera collection is curated (since 2011) by Michal Tkoč (*1985). He cooperates with J. Ježek on several Psychodidae projects, but his own research activity lies in the study of the flat-footed flies (Opetiidae and Platypezidae) and other smaller projects in families Dolichopodidae and Stratiomyiidae. During autumn 2014 the Diptera collection is moving to the new depository in Horní Počernice with enough space enabling to unite the previously dispersed Diptera collection and sort it systematically.

    Further reading

    HOBERLANDT L. 1974: Dr. Josef Moucha, CSc. ‒ 1930‒1972. Časopis Národního Muzea, Řada Přírodovědná 141: 223 (in Czech).

    JEŽEK J. 1976: Dipterologické sbírky v hlavních československých muzeích, jejich poslání, budoucnost a muzeologické problémy v entomologii. [Dipterological collections in the main Czechoslovak museums, their mission, future and museological problems in entomology]. Časopis Národního Muzea, Řada Přírodovědná 145: 153‒169 (in Czech). [pdf fulltext]

    JEŽEK J. 1977: Reinstatement of the genus Tinearia Schellenberg (Diptera, Psychodidae). Acta Entomologica Bohemoslovaca 74: 232‒241. [pdf fulltext]

    KOLEŠKA Z. 1987: Seznam biografií československých entomologů (entomologové nežijící) I. Pokračování 9. [List of biographies of the Czechoslovak entomologists (deceased entomologists) I. Continuation 9.]. Zprávy Československé Společnosti Entomologické 23: 285‒324 (in Czech).

    KOWARZ F. 1894: Catalogus insectorum faunae bohemicae. II. Fliegen (Diptera) Böhmens. Verlag der Physiokratischen Gesellschaft, Prag, 42 pp.

    KRAMPL F. & JEŽEK J. 1972: Bibliography of RNDr. Josef Moucha, CSc. Časopis Národního Muzea, Řada Přírodovědná 170: 127‒138.

    MOUCHA J. & JEŽEK J. 1972: Sbírka dvoukřídlého hmyzu (Insecta: Diptera) v přírodovědeckém muzeu NM v Praze. [The collection of Diptera in Museum of Natural History of the National Museum in Prague.] Časopis Národního Muzea, Řada Přírodovědná 141: 108‒110 (in Czech). [pdf fulltext]

    VIMMER A. 1913: Seznam českého hmyzu dvoukřídlého. [A list of Bohemian Diptera]. Entomologické příručky 8. Praha, 99 pp (in Czech).


About the author • Updated March 21, 2015 • Contact: michaltkoc(at)gmail(dot)com