Translated by Adrian C. Pont
On some new genera of the Diptera (1817)
New flies (Diptera Linn.) from the district around Kiel (1817)
From Pallas' dipterological estate (1818)
New insects from the Cape of Good Hope (1818)
Descriptions of new Diptera from the East Indies and Africa (1819)
Brazilian Diptera (1819)
Non-European Two-Winged Insects (1828)
Appendix to Non-European Two-Winged Insects (1828)
Non-European Two-Winged Insects (1830)
On some new genera of the Diptera
Über einige neue Fliegen-Gattungen
1817, Zoologisches Magazin (Kiel) 1 (1): 57-61
The more the realm of natural history increases in extent and the greater
the numbers of creatures that are discovered, the more necessary it becomes
to define the genera rigorously in order to survey them more easily. If
this can be done using easily recognisable characters, then it becomes
all the more essential to do so. In those insects where the wing-venation
is clearly visible, this often gives the most reliable pointer to a generic
difference at first glance. But if not all genera are characterised by
differences in their venation then, conversely, it will never be wrong
to conclude that the genus is distinct if there is any significant difference
in the course of the wing-venation; and if all the other organs are compared
and adequate differences are also found there to support the separation
of a genus, then one can consider oneself fully justified. If Fabricius
had paid attention to the course of the wing-venation, especially in the
Diptera, he could have avoided many obvious errors. But he cannot be blamed
for not doing so before the appearance of Meigen's work! His classification
based on the mouth-parts had actually proved far too useful for him not
to have preferred his system and to have neglected the wing-venation. But
he can indeed be reproached for not doing so after the appearance
of Meigen's work; for the advantages of using the venation were then only
too obvious. And even if he did not wish to use the wing-venation as a
generic character, he should have felt it to have been important enough
to stimulate him to a more precise investigation of the characters that
he did consider to be more important or which he preferred to use. Instead
of deriving any benefit from studying a character, one can actually lose
all sense of its significance. To a certain extent this may be what happened
with Fabricius, who often mentions spots on the wing in his species-diagnoses
which are nothing more than the small connecting- or cross-veins. I am
including three examples here that illustrate the value of studying the
New flies (Diptera Linn.) from the district around Kiel
Neue Zweiflügler (Diptera Linn.) aus der Gegend um Kiel
1817, Zoologisches Magazin (Kiel) 1 (1): 61-86
I have often thought that it would be better to call a halt once and
for all to the discovery and description of new species of animals and
to direct all that time and effort to observing the properties, life-histories
and relationships of the many thousands that are already known. In the
most recent past there has been a tremendous increase in the number of
genera and species, in new divisions, arrangements, and systems; but so
little has been written on their economy, utility and harm, and in their
relationships to each other and to the whole: Bonnet, De Geer, Réaumur
and Huber have had no successors, but there is nothing more engaging and
informative than their observations. Admittedly a lot more time, patience,
attention and opportunity are needed to make such observations than to
describe the new genera and species that are now reaching us from many
distant parts of the world, that attract us by their novelty and striking
structure or colour, and that can easily be distinguished from those that
are already known. All too often and from familiarity we overlook what
is in our immediate vicinity, and so many genera and species remain unstudied
although we should find them the most attractive because there is a real
hope of learning something more about them other than their colour and
Another requirement that is just as urgent as the description of new
species is the correct separation and characterisation of the species dealt
with by Fabricius. The descriptions, or rather the species-diagnoses, which
that immortal man has given in his Systema Antliatorum (Brunsvigae,
1805) are often completely inadequate without reference to the fourth volume
of the Entomologia Systematica emendata and to the Supplementum
Ent. Syst. And not infrequently one is still in the dark even after
consulting these two latter works as well.
Unarguably the most reliable information is provided by Fabricius'
own collection of insects and by the collections of other entomologists
that he worked on. The Fabricius collection is now the property of the
Academy here in Kiel and has been entrusted to my care, and it will be
my pleasant duty to give every scientific entomologist all the information
that he requires about doubtful species. It was inevitable that further
new species would come to light once careful comparisons were made, and
so it has come about that in spite of the opinions with which I began this
preamble I myself am now describing new species from the Kiel district.
I felt reluctant to refrain from describing them, because many collectors
wish simply for a complete enumeration of their species and because a more
accurate identification may be possible here and there among the known
and described species. It may happen to many a collector, as happened to
Fabricius himself, that he will have an accurately identified and studied
species in his collection to which he adds further material which, when
studied in more detail, proves to be distinct and may either belong to
a species that is already represented there or may prove to be another
previously overlooked species. When I began to compare Fabricius' specimens
with others, it happened not infrequently that these comparisons gave results
that did not conform with the species-diagnoses in Fabricius' writings.
Since then I have become a little more experienced, and make my comparisons
only with the specimen that is labelled in Fabricius' own hand-writing,
for adjacent specimens which he later incorporated often without a more
careful comparison, from memory or after just a cursory examination, do
not always belong to the same species. I am not mentioning this in order
to belittle that immortal man, compared with whose achievement my own work
in this field casts no more than a faint glow. Such oversights hardly dishonour
someone who worked on a science in its entirety and who tried to bring
order to such a vast chaos, as Fabricius did. I mention them only to explain
or to excuse how I have come to propose these new species. And I would
be the first to withdraw them if a more careful observer were to find that
one or other of them was already represented in the series of the species
described by Fabricius, though I doubt that this will be the case.
The species listed with an asterisk in Fabricius' more recent works
are present in his collection, with just a few exceptions that he may have
forgotten to include or that may have been destroyed with the passage of
time, and the species described here are certainly not represented in that
material, for I have compared it carefully with my own new species.
If I have sufficient time and leisure left after my other official
duties, I could work on a fauna of our district, which in many ways would
be a very attractive prospect. But many years would be required for such
a work, and for the present I content myself with publishing individual
Note: Only after I had compared these species with the extensive Hoffmannsegg
collection in Berlin did I give names to the species not represented there;
I did not learn of the few Fallén synonyms until later.
The term "mesonotum" ["Rückenschild"] is used
here for the "thorax" of Fabricius.
From Pallas' dipterological estate
Aus Pallas dipterologischem Nachlasse
1818, Zoologisches Magazin (Kiel) 1 (2): 1-39
During the summer of 1817, whilst I was in Berlin studying the
collection of Count Hoffmannsegg in connection with Meigen's work on the
Diptera, I made the interesting acquaintance of that extremely perceptive
entomologist J. F. Schüppel who has already impressed the entomological
public most favourably with his excellent illustrations for Klug's monograph
of the genus Sirex. I expressed my admiration to Mr Schüppel
for his drawings of beetles, which were really outstanding and beyond praise,
and which he was preparing with incomparable finesse and beauty from the
entomological estate of the celebrated Professor Pallas. I also admired
the industry which that indefatigable scientist had bestowed upon the collection
and preservation of the tiniest species of beetles from his country. The
charming modesty with which Mr Schüppel accomplishes all this (he
was previously a bookseller), and the most engaging unselfishness with
which he delights every scientific entomologist, would oblige the writer
to offer him tokens of his gratitude in public if Mr Schüppel's own
modesty did not compel him to keep silent. To be brief, Mr Schüppel
gave the writer all the Diptera that could be found among Pallas' riches,
to use for his scientific work.
This gift consisted firstly of a number of insects belonging to the
Diptera, and secondly of the manuscripts which the late naturalist left
on this order. Whilst it is unfortunate that there is much in both categories
that is unusable, there is also much that is extremely valuable and we
hasten to make an announcement and presentation about the whole of this
The Latin manuscript consists of some 25 sheets, eight of which contain
preliminary drafts, whilst the rest were written later and are evidently
ready for publication. Nevertheless, we would not be doing the public any
great service if we were to allow this script to be published either in
its original language or in translation. In the first place, there is understandably
much in it that is already adequately known. In the second place, several
species are assigned to genera to which they no longer belong according
to present knowledge; but they are not sufficiently well characterised
for one to determine to which genus they correctly belong. It is greatly
to be regretted that the surviving remnants of the collection are not of
the same standard as the manuscripts. Many species have been lost or, as
may be the case with the smaller species in particular, they were not preserved
by the late Professor Pallas but were actually described on the spot from
living specimens. It is inevitable that many species will remain doubtful
forever, and as there is already no shortage of unrecognised names in entomology
we believe that we have done right by only publishing what is unclouded
by any doubts or obscurities.
The genera revised by Pallas are as follows: Hippobosca, Tabanus,
Oestrus, Conops, Asilus, Bombylius, Volucella
(but neither in the original sense of Geoffroy nor in the sense of Fabricius,
but of Nemestrina Latr.), Nemotelus (in the sense of De Geer,
therefore Anthrax of recent authors), Bibio (in the sense
of Geoffroy), Tipula, Culex, Empis.
We shall make a start with those genera and species where specimens
New insects from the Cape of Good Hope
Neue Insecten vom Vorgebirge der Guten Hoffnung
1818, Zoologisches Magazin (Kiel) 1 (2): 40-48
Impelled by his love of observing nature and kindness towards his friends,
Pastor Hesse has already made many fine and welcome donations from Africa
to the German museums. Upon his return to the fatherland he has also given
the author - bound to him in friendship since youth - a beautiful collection
of insects of all orders which contains much that is new and which we propose
gradually to describe here.
Descriptions of new Diptera from the East Indies and Africa
Beschreibung neuer Zweiflügler aus Ostindien und Afrika
1819, Zoologisches Magazin (Kiel) 1 (3): 1-39
It is not often that travellers who spend only a short time in individual
districts in the warm areas of the world are able to form significant collections
of insects. This is usually because they have to try to combine several
different objectives and therefore collect only the most striking and the
most common forms. But it is also because the insect fauna changes almost
from month to month in warm regions, in a direct relationship with the
flora, which consists of the most diverse plants, flourishing there in
luxurious succession, flowering and then dying with such rapidity. Only
someone who spends years in the same country and has the desire and opportunity
to collect in every month will be able to form an extensive collection
which can astonish us by its diversity. But it happens all too seldom that
men who spend long periods in foreign parts for reasons of business take
any joy or pleasure in natural history or devote their leisure hours to
the collection of natural objects. If it does ever happen, however, then
the result is an extensive collection. And so it has been with Mr B. W.
Westermann, a merchant by profession and an enthusiastic collector in his
leisure hours, who has formed a magnificent collection of insects in Asia
and Africa that is full of new and beautiful species of many orders. We
are indebted to a kind and generous gift from this enthusiastic collector
for 68 species of Diptera as duplicates from his collection: of these only
18 were found to have been described by Fabricius and we have already described
6 in this journal (Zool. Mag. 1, 40 etc), so that 44 species were
new and are described here. As the specimens are all well preserved and
are almost all in perfect condition, the descriptions can be all the more
accurate. It is impossible to make an accurate or satisfactory identification
from neglected, dusty, mouldy, damaged specimens, sometimes impaled on
pins that are as thick as the insect body itself, which is all too often
how specimens reach us from all quarters of the globe. A certain degree
of external elegance in insect collections is very desirable, as a neglected
exterior will otherwise give rise to a damaged and useless interior.
1819, Zoologisches Magazin (Kiel) 1 (3): 40-56
The editor has begun a revision of the exotic Diptera along the lines adopted
by Meigen in his Systematische Beschreibung der bekannten europäischen
zweiflügeligen Insekten, of which the first volume (Aachen, 1818)
is already in the hands of all devotees of entomology, and so it will be
readily appreciated that he is very keen to get together all the species
that are still undescribed from every part of the world. Many friends have
supported him in a most generous manner, as is demonstrated by the second
part of this journal as well as the present and preceding papers in the
third part. For almost all the Diptera described in the present paper we
are indebted to Wilhelm von Winthem of Hamburg, a young man who is collecting
native and exotic insects with unusual enthusiasm and who has already made
many welcome discoveries. We should also like to request other entomologists,
both near and far, to send us those species of Diptera from overseas which
are not included in Fabricius, if only for a short time so that we can
compare them with our own resources and, if necessary, describe them. We
shall also be willing to take the trouble to study those species which
are unknown to their owners and which cannot be identified with certainty
from Fabricius' unsatisfactory descriptions, and to return them to their
owners in good order once the identification is assured. No one should
take offence at the fact that provisional descriptions of new species are
given here, because on the one hand the publication of the exotic Diptera
should not be over-hasty, whilst on the other hand the multiplication of
names for one and the same species should be curbed as far as possible.
This can best be avoided by publication of the names and the accurate description
of the named species.
Non-European Two-Winged Insects
Aussereuropäische zweiflügelige Insekten.
Als Fortsetzung des Meigenschen Werkes.
Volume 1, 1828, Schulz, Hamm, xxxii + 608 pp., 7 plates
Since 1820, when I began to publish the Diptera exotica, I have
made every effort to make improvements and to obtain additional material.
If anyone wishes to compare the present German work with that earlier Latin
one, he will soon see the extent to which I have succeeded in these two
aspects. By way of illustration I will quote a few figures. In the genus
Culex the earlier work contained 8 species while the present one
deals with 20; in Chironomus there were previously 2 species, but
there are now 8; in Tanypus 0, but now 4; in Limnobia 8,
now 24; in Tipula 9, now 22; in Pangonia 13, now 29; in Acanthomera
1, now 4; in Tabanus 59, now 125; in Chrysops 12, now 26;
in Leptis 1, now 16; in Midas 5, now 10; in Anthrax
53, now 95; in Dasypogon 35, now 78; in Asilus 52, now 114;
in Laphria 19, now 59.
Non-European species have now also been described in several interesting
genera. This fact, together with the figures enumerated above, would have
been sufficient grounds for a new edition. The easiest course for me would
have been to have prepared a supplementary volume, but my publisher wished
to promote my work as an extension of the invaluable volumes by Meigen
so that the two works would together provide as complete an overview as
possible of the known native and foreign Diptera. Consequently I decided
on a German edition, although unwillingly, and then had to translate the
greater part of the additional manuscript sections back into German, which
has at least doubled the labour involved.
In this undertaking to provide a new revision of the exotic Diptera,
I have been supported in the most generous manner by a number of sources,
and I must mention here with gratitude that I have received here in Kiel
all the Diptera that I needed to study personally from the magnificent
Museum at Leiden, from the Berlin Museum, from the Copenhagen Royal Museum,
from the Frankfurt Museum (Senckenberg Foundation), and even from the public
Museum in Philadelphia. I have also received for study from the Imperial
Museum in Vienna all the exotic Diptera which were available but were still
undetermined prior to the Brazilian expedition. It is unfortunate that
none of the Diptera in the Vienna and Leiden Museums had any indication
of their countries of origin. So far as the Brazilian Diptera in the Imperial
Museum at Vienna are concerned, my friend Megerle von Mühlfeld, who
gave the late Professor Fabricius such lavish support and who was also
prepared to do the same for me (see the Preface and text of Meigen's work),
informed me with sincere regret that the Emperor had given instructions
that none of the insects collected in Brazil by Austrian naturalists at
the Imperial expense were to be relinquished. Now the Emperor would hardly
have thought of such a thing himself. I accordingly addressed a request
to the Emperor in person, asking for permission to receive and to make
a scientific study of the Diptera that had been brought back from Brazil,
all of which I intended to return in good condition; but this was met with
a refusal. May God forgive those who gave such advice! My sole concern
was for the science. I can do no more than wish that the future describers
of these flies in Vienna will recognise the species from my descriptions
and will avoid creating synonyms. I have also not been sent anything for
study from Munich. Now, God-be-praised, I have received so many Brazilian
Diptera for study and for comparison, partly for my own collection and
partly from other collections, that I can confidently leave the satisfaction
of describing some additional species at some future date to those misers
with their hoards. The collections in London and Paris must contain many
new forms from many parts of the world that could have been included in
this work; however, my circumstances no longer allow me to repeat the journeys
which I previously made with other ends in view.
I take this opportunity of making the following statement about my
own work. In the first place it was my purpose to see all of Fabricius'
species, so far as possible, and the best means for this was provided by
his own collection, which now belongs to the University of Kiel thanks
to the benevolence of our monarch, and by the classic and extremely extensive
Lund-Sehestedt collection, now forming the Royal Collection in Copenhagen,
from which Fabricius described so many species. Without seeing these for
myself, it would have been quite impossible to recognise or to identify
many of the species from Fabricius' descriptions alone, which are often
inadequate or at times even downright inaccurate. Moreover, Fabricius placed
many of his species in quite incorrect genera, examples of which are given
in abundance in Meigen's work and in the present continuation. This may
seem inexplicable to many people, but can be readily understood once one
realises that Fabricius was often not able to re-examine many of the species
described in his earlier works and could only assign them to the genera
subsequently erected by himself, or to those described by others and accepted
by him, by a combination of memory and guesswork. Other species in his
own collection were perhaps defective in those structures which best characterise
the genera to which they belong, for example the antennae. As Fabricius
paid no attention to the course of the wing-veins, he was not able to use
them to set himself on the right course, and as the mouth-parts or feeding-organs
are not or hardly visible in preserved Diptera once they have dried, and
do not even project in living flies when at rest, it is understandable
that he was often simply groping in the dark and had to assign the species
at random, wherever they would appear to fit best. Now and again errors
seem to have been caused by an apparent lack of care, but sometimes the
deterioration of his eyesight in old age must have been responsible for
In the first volume of the Diptera exotica (Kiel, 1821), I gave
a long list of errors. An improved and enlarged version is again included
here, because it makes recognition of many of the native and exotic species
As Fabricius did not accept Meigen's two genera Limnobia and
Erioptera, although at least the former can also be easily distinguished
from Tipula by the last segment of the palpi, which always project
well forward, I shall pass over these genera with only the comment that
Ctenophora quadrimaculata belongs to the genus Limnobia and
should therefore have been placed by Fabricius in Tipula.
Culex morio belongs to Meigen's genus Ceratopogon. However,
as Fabricius did not recognise this genus, to which Chironomus femoratus
and communis also belong, he was compelled to assign his Culex
morio to Chironomus.
The following new assignments should be noted:
- Chironomus pallipes belongs to the genus Sciara (Molobrus
- Chironomus sericeus belongs to Atractocera Meig., Simulia
Latr. As Scatopse reptans Fabr. also belongs to the genus Simulia,
one would at least have expected that Chir. sericeus would have
been included in Scatopse; furthermore, Scatopse albipennis
certainly appears to be generically distinct from Sc. reptans.
- Chironomus pennicornis Fabr. belongs to Cecidomyia Meig.,
and in any case is very different from Chironomus in its antennae,
mouth-parts, and entire behaviour. But:
- Chironomus dubius Fabr. does not belong to the Antliata at all,
but rather to the order Rhynchota and to the genus Dorthesia Latr.
- Hirtea chrysanthemi Fabr. belongs to my genus Xestomyza.
- Hirtea forcipata F. belongs to the Dolichopus group.
- Sciara lineata F. belongs to Ceroplatus F. (Platyura
- Sciara nigricornis belongs to Platyura Meig.
- Sciara fuscata, S. punctata and S. cincta F. belong
to Rhyphus Latr.
- Apart from Sciara striata and S. lunata, which Fabricius
himself recognised as belonging to Meigen's Mycetophila, Sciara
bimaculata also belongs to that genus.
- Sciara longicornis F. is a Macrocera.
- Bibio aenea F. is vastly different from the Fabrician genus
Bibio (Thereva Latr. Meig.) and belongs to Callicera
- Bibio marginata F. belongs to Atherix Meig.
- Bibio florea F. belongs to Trineura Meig.
- Leptis ibis F. belongs to Atherix. Fabricius accepted
Meigen's genus Atherix, but all the species that he assigned there
actually belong to Leptis except for nebulosa and immaculata.
- Nemotelus pusillus belongs to Stratiomys F.
- Haematopota curvipes, H. lunata and Chrysops ferrugatus
belong to Tabanus.
- Cytherea fusca F. belongs to Anthrax.
- Anthrax holosericea belongs to Cytherea F. (Mulio
- Anthrax titanus belongs to Atherix.
- Bombylius griseus belongs to Ploas F.
- Empis minuta belongs to Trineura Meig.
- Tachydromia fuscipes and T. plumbea belong to Empis.
- Damalis curvipes and D. quadricinctus belong to Hybos.
- Dioctria sabauda, D. haemorrhoidalis, D. oculata
and D. minuta belong to Dasypogon.
- Dioctria morio, D. stigmatizans and D. crassipes
belong to Laphria.
- Dioctria muscaria belongs to Hybos.
- Asilus ruficornis and A. capensis belong to Dasypogon.
- Laphria calida and L. fasciata belong to Asilus.
- Laphria reticulata, L. ruficauda and L. caiennensis
belong to Dasypogon.
- Laphria thoracica belongs to Hirtea Fabr. (Plecia
- Dasypogon aestuans, D. forcipatus, D. nigritarsis,
D. suillus, D. tibialis, D. germanicus, D. rufipes,
D. barbatus, D. chinensis, D. flavescens, D. brunnipes,
D. atripes, D. bifidus, D. stylatus, D. annulatus,
D. caudatus, D. nigripes, D. annularis, D. cingulatus
and D. striola all belong to Asilus F.
- Dasypogon aurulentus F. forms my genus Ceraturgus on
account of its very aberrant 5-segmented antennae. Fabricius says simply
"antennae elongatae", but they are also characterised by the
form of the segments.
- Dasypogon tridentatus belongs to Laphria.
- Dasypogon auratus and D. marginellus form the genus Ommatius
Hoffmgg. because of the feathered antennal tip.
- Dasypogon culiciformis belongs to Hybos.
- Conops stylata belongs to Myopa.
- The Fabrician genus Mulio is an amalgam of at least four genera.
Mulio bicinctus and M. arcuatus belong to the genus Chrysotoxum
Meig.; M. mutabilis, M. bidens and M. apiarius to
Microdon Meig. (Aphritis Latr.); M. bicolor and M.
serratus to Paragus Latr,; and M. virens to Pipiza
- Milesia scutellaris and M. conica belong to Eristalis
- Milesia vespiformis belongs to Mulio F. (Chrysotoxum
- Milesia means and M. conopsea belong to Scaeva
Fabr. (Syrphus Meig.).
- Milesia natans and M. eques belong to Merodon.
- Merodon crassipes belongs to Eristalis.
- Merodon femoratus together with Milesia sylvarum, M.
segnis, M. volvulus, M. pigra, M. nemorum, M.
vara and M. pipiens all belong to the genus Xylota Meig.
- Baccha sphegea is vastly different from all the other Baccha
species and belongs to Sepedon Latr.; and B. vesiculosa belongs
to the genus Brachystoma Meig., which is in the Empis group.
- Scatophaga cinerea belongs to Dolichopus Fabr. (Medeterus
- Scatophaga rufipes belongs to Sepedon Latr.
- Scatophaga trimaculata and S. cornuta belong to Tephritis
Fabr. (Trypeta Meig.).
- Scatophaga flavipennis and S. holosericea belong to Lauxania.
- The remaining Scathophaga belong for the most part to Tetanocera
Latr., and the others such as S. urticae and S. crassipennis
belong to Ortalis Fall.
- Oscinis argus belongs to Tetanocera Latr.
- Thereva dubia belongs to Milesia (Xylota Meig.).
Who would have looked for it there?
- Rhingia lineata and R. muscaria belong to Eristalis
- Syrphus bombyliformis belongs to Eristalis.
- Oestrus buccatus and Musca americana belong to my genus
Trypoderma, which is sufficiently different from Oestrus.
- Eristalis cinereus, E. flavicans, E. ferrugineus,
E. funestus and E. melancholicus belong to Merodon.
- Eristalis berberinus belongs to Milesia; Eristalis
narcissi is also a Milesia but is different from Réaumur's
- Eristalis lucorum, E. laetus, E. aegrotus, E.
auratus, E. nigrita and E. flavicornis belong to Scaeva
Fabr. (Syrphus Meig.).
- Eristalis ruficornis and E. semirufus belong to Milesia.
- Eristalis rufipes belongs to Oscinis.
- Eristalis subsultans does not belong to the Syrphus group
but forms Fallén's genus Gymnopa.
- Scaeva staminea belongs to Sargus, but the species Sargus
aeneus, S. scutellatus and S. geniculatus do not belong
to the genus Sargus at all. The first-named belongs to Mosillus
Latr., the second to Chyliza Fall., and the third to Lauxania.
- Calobata cylindrica, together with Tephritis putris,
T. punctum, T. cynipsea and T. macula, belongs to
the genus Sepsis Fall.
- Calobata arrogans belongs to Tachydromia.
- Calobata subsultans is vastly different from the other species,
and belongs to Sphaerocera Latr. (Copromyza Fall.).
- Nerius longipes belongs to the genus Calobata, as suggested
by the author himself (but why only speculatively?).
- Dolichopus glabratus belongs to Lauxania.
- The genus Dacus is another genus that includes very heterogeneous
species. True Dacus are most closely related to the genus Tephritis
because of the projecting female ovipositor, the patterned wings, etc.,
but differ by having the apical antennal segment narrow and elongated,
- Dacus clavatus belongs to Musca.
- Dacus costalis and D. obtusus belong to Ulidia
- Dacus flavus, D. stylatus, D. ruficaudus, D.
marmoreus and Dauci [sic] crux belong to Tephritis
Fabr. (Trypeta Meig.) etc.
- Stomoxys asiliformis belongs to Hybos.
- Stomoxys dorsalis belongs to Myopa.
- Stomoxys cristata and S. minuta belong to Siphona
Meig. (Bucentes Latr.).
- Stomoxys muscaria belongs to Musca Fabr. (Anthomyia
- Musca helluo belongs to Thereva Fabr. (Phasia
- Musca felina belongs to Tachina; the arista is not at
- Musca elata and M. gibba belong to Scathophaga
- Musca stigma and M. cellaris belong to Ulidia.
- Musca frigida belongs to Sphaerocera Latr. or, better,
forms a separate genus.
- Musca unicolor belongs to Tephritis Fabr. The larva lives
in the flowers of Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa).
- The remaining species of Musca with non-plumose arista belong
partly to Tachina, partly to Anthomyia, partly to Scatophaga
- Most of the species of Ocyptera Fabr. have to be transferred
to other genera. The last three belong to Cordylura Fall. and Lissa
Meig.; O. lateralis belongs to Tachina; O. simillima
and O. ciliata belong to Phania Meig., to which Dictya
pennipes, Thereva pennipes, T. lanipes, T. pilipes,
and most probably also Thereva hirtipes and T. plumipes also
- The genus Tephritis is composed of very diverse species. Very
many of them lack the main character of the projecting ovipositor in the
female. Tephr. combinata (illustrated as Tephr. maculata
in Ahrens, 1817, Fauna, III, plate 22) differs in all its attributes,
and belongs to Geomyza Fall.; T. flava and T. quadripunctata
belong to Sapromyza Fall.; T. rosae belongs to Psila
Meig.; T. mali, T. morio and T. syngenesiae belong
to Ortalis Fall.; T. hieracii (illustrated as Scatophaga
gemmata in Ahrens, 1817, Fauna, III, plate 21) belongs to Tetanocera
Latr.; T. atrata belongs to Piophila Fall.; T. aterrima
belongs to Trineura Meig.; T. grossificationis belongs to
Tachina; T. manicata belongs to Ochthera Latr.; T.
demandata belongs to Ulidia; T. minuta, T. argentea
and T. strigula are also very different generically from Tephritis.
Other species have already been discussed under the genus Calobata.
- Dictya discoidea, D. cancellaria, D. atomaria,
D. picta, D. ocellata and D. vittata belong to Tephritis
- Dictya dorsalis and D. gemmata belong to Tetanocera
- Dictya lugens and D. moerens belong to Ortalis
- Dictya aenea belongs to Musca Fabr. (Idia Meig.).
- Dictya femorata and D. clavipes belong to Ropalomera.
Apart from these errors in the inclusion of many species in genera where
they do not belong, and in the assignment to quite different genera of
several species that correctly belong to the same genus, Fabricius has
also made it difficult in many cases to identity his species by describing
the same species under different names within the same genus or in two
or even three different genera. The following list illustrates this; the
names refer to one and the same species:
- Chironomus littoralis and cantans.
- Hirtea marci and brevicornis.
- Hirtea pyri and praecox.
- Hirtea collaris and Laphria thoracica (Plecia
- Bibio plebeia and strigata.
- Bibio anilis and annulata.
- Leptis ibis and Anthrax titanus (Atherix Meig.).
- Atherix atrata and aurata.
- Empis clavipes and femorata.
- Hybos funebris and Dasypogon culiciformis.
- Sicus ferrugineus, bicolor and errans.
- Stratiomys mutabilis and fasciata.
- Stratiomys thoracica and strigata.
- Tachydromia cimicoides and Calobata arrogans.
- Tachydromia fuscipes and plumbea.
- Pangonia maculata and variegata.
- Tabanus italicus and vituli.
- Tabanus paganus and macularis.
- Chrysops coecutiens, lugubris and viduatus.
- Volucella florea and atrata (Usia Latr.).
- Dioctria muscaria and Stomoxys asiliformis (Hybos).
- Laphria spinipes and affinis.
- Myopa cinerea and tibialis.
- Myopa tessellata and irrorata.
- Mulio devius and apiarius.
- Milesia dentipes and lineata.
- Merodon melancholicus and natans.
- Baccha sphegea and Scathophaga rufipes.
- Milesia fallax and Eristalis semirufus.
- Oscinis argus and Tephritis hieracii.
- Rhingia lineata and muscaria.
- Eristalis versicolor and frutetorum.
- Eristalis intricarius and Syrphus bombyliformis.
- Scaeva scripta and menthastri.
- Sargus xanthopterus and auratus.
- Sargus politus and cyaneus.
- Calobata filiformis and corrigiolata.
- Dacus clavatus and Musca funebris.
- Dacus aculeatus and costalis.
- Dacus hastatus and dauci.
- Dacus marmoreus and Tephritis flavescens.
- Dacus arcuatus and Tephritis arnicae.
- Dacus obtusus and Musca stigma.
- Stomoxys grisea and siberita.
- Stomoxys cristata and minuta.
- Musca vulpina and maculata.
- Musca umbraculata and domestica autorum (corvina
- Musca ludifica and domestica.
- Musca roralis and Tephritis grossificationis.
- Tachina tessellata and fera.
- Tephritis mali and morio.
- Tephritis lychnidis and Dictya discoidea.
- Tephritis conica and Dictya picta.
So far as possible I have tried to avoid these and similar errors, and
have also set to work with more care in describing the species, which Fabricius
often described far too briefly or sometimes just by repeating the species
diagnosis; and also in defining the colours, over which Fabricius was often
so inconsistent. Fabricius knew only a relatively small number of Diptera
species: in the Systema Antliatorum (Brunsvigae, 1805) he dealt
with a total of 1147 species, of which only 474 were non- European, and
55 species need to be deducted from this total, as the list of species
described more than once makes clear. How immense has been the increase
in the number of known species in this order since then! And at the same
time how greatly has the difficulty of encapsulating a precise and adequate
characterisation of each species in words increased.
In the diagnosis for his species Culex cingulatus Fabricius
writes: "Testaceus, haustello tarsisque posticis albo annulatis";
whilst his description states no more than this: "Statura et magnitudo
omnino C. pipientis; Corpus totum testaceum, haustello tarsisque
posticis albo annulatis." This quotation supports the charge levelled
above. But see also the following species in Systema Antliatorum:
Tipula longimana page 26, 11; Chironomus pubicornis 43, 23;
Hirtea praecox 51, 3; Hermetia rufiventris 63, 2; Tabanus
rufescens 100, 33; Chrysops ferrugatus 111, 2; Anthrax simson
119, 5; Anthrax pithecius 122, 14; Anthrax cephus 124, 25;
Anthrax faunus 126, 38; Tachydromia bicolor 143, 2; Laphria
rufibarbis 157, 4; Dasypogon (Laphria) tridentatus
167, 14; Dacus marmoreus 276, 18; Musca tessellata 285, 8;
Musca luteola 286, 11; Musca lanio 287, 15; Musca helluo
295, 58; Musca quadrum 297, 67; Musca ruficeps 299, 77; Musca
gibba 297, 70. I think that it will be quite clear that I have not
The following examples will show that Fabricius has not been entirely
accurate with his colours. Under Hirtea fulvicollis, the diagnosis
states "alis fuscis", whilst the description states "alae
obscurae nigrae". Under Hermetia rufiventris, the diagnosis
"abdomine rufo", and the description "abdomine toto
ferrugineo"; "rubiginosa" would have been a better
term. Under Anthrax aygulus, the diagnosis "ano niveo",
and the description "ano pilis densis argenteis"; but
"snow-white" and "silver" are very different. Under
Anthrax gorgon, the diagnosis "disco nigro-punctato",
and the description "punctis disci fuscis". Under Anthrax
maimon, the diagnosis "alis fuscopunctatis", and
the description "punctis nigris"; here it is even the
reverse of what was previously said. Under Bombylius posticus, the
diagnosis "alis basi nigris", and the description "basi
fuscae". Under Empis lineata, the diagnosis "abdomine
rufo", and the description "abdomen testaceum".
Under Asilus capensis, the diagnosis "thorace obscure feruginea",
and the description "thorax dorso obscure cinereo". Under
Asilus hircus, the diagnosis "femoribus rufis",
and the description "ferrugineis". Under Laphria saffranea,
the diagnosis "abdomine ferrugineo", and the description
"abdomen fulvum"; in fact none of these three terms fits
because the colour is really orange-yellow. Under Laphria haemorrhoa,
the diagnosis "ano rufo", and the description "ano
sanguineo". Under Myopa tibialis, the diagnosis "femoribus
basi ferrugineis", and the description "rufis".
Under Milesia speciosa, the diagnosis "pedibus rufis",
and the description "ferruginei". Under Scatophaga
obliterata, the diagnosis "pedibus testaceis", and
the description "pedes rufi". Under Scatophaga stictica,
the diagnosis "capite rufo", and the description "caput
ferrugineum". Under Scatophaga flavipennis, the diagnosis
"tibiis testaceis", and the description "pedes ferruginei".
Under Scatophaga trimaculata, the diagnosis "abdomine rufo",
and the description "abdomine ferrugineum". Under Thereva
hirtipes, Th. pilipes, Th. dubia and also Stomoxys
minuta, the diagnosis "pedibus flavis", and the description
"pedes pallide testacei". Under Musca pinguis,
the diagnosis "abdom. segmentis basi cinereis", and the
description "cingulis tribus albidis". Under Eristalis
crassipes, the diagnosis "basi fulvis", and the description
In describing the wings, Fabricius uses "white" for "transparent",
which is actually colourless. He makes no distinction between "ater"
and "niger", and often uses "ater" when the colour
is only blackish. He often uses "obscurus" and "pallidus"
without defining the colour further, for example "pedibus pallidis"
in Dolichopus platypterus; "thorax pallidus" in Chironomus
tentans; "alae obscurae" in Tipula maculata and Stomoxys
fascipennis. He describes the mesonotum as "obscurus" in
Musca carnivora and M. gibba. He uses "rufus" for
the rusty-yellow of Tabanus cinctus and for the golden-yellow ("fulvus")
of Anthrax erythrocephala. Golden-yellow, on the other hand, for
the "orichalceus" of Ocyptera simillima and Thereva
pilipes; for the rusty-reddish ("rubiginosus") of Tipula
erythrocephala, and for the saffron-yellow of Tipula elegans.
"Canus" (grey) for the ochraceous-yellow ("silaceus"),
which is a very light yellow, of his Musca americana. Elsewhere,
in his Philosophia entomologica (1778), he writes disapprovingly
of the expression "canus", "because grey hair covers an
infinite number of shades", but it never has such a yellow tinge.
However, it is in his use of the terms "testaceus" and "cinereus"
that he is least accurate; for if one wanted to believe that he included
"brick-red" in his "testaceus", as is now accepted
usage, his use of the term is far too inconsistent, and this is probably
why Meigen translated it as "mussel-brown" in his earlier 8vo
work (1804). However, Fabricius uses "testaceus" for the light
rusty-yellow of Musca pallida (Syst. Antl. 295, 3); for the
ochraceous-brown ("ochraceus") of Scatophaga scropharia
(204, 4); for the acorn-brown of Scatoph. porcaria (204, 3); for
the honey-yellow of Musca pagana (288, 23), etc. He uses ash-grey
("cinereus") for the grey of Stomoxys grisea (281, 10),
of Musca maculata (287, 14), of Musca striata (288, 20),
etc; for the yellowish-grey ("griseus") of Stomoxys cristata
(281, 9), of Stomoxys minuta (282, 17), and of Musca tigrina
(297, 66). Fabricius usually writes "cyaneus nitidus" for "chalybeus",
as for Musca bicolor (291, 86), Laphria labiata (160, 20),
etc; however, "nitidus" simply means "shining" and
does not carry any suggestion of a metallic shine.
Fabricius was also inaccurate in quoting other authors, especially
Linnaeus, and his worst transgression was that he never gave his own description
of species that he identified as those of Linnaeus, and sometimes even
altered Linnaeus' species diagnosis. The following striking examples illustrate
Tipula rivosa (1805, Syst. Antl. 22, 1): "alis hyalinis:
macula rivulisque niveis". In his earlier Entomol. systematica
(1794, IV, 233, 2), he writes: "alis hyalinis: rivulis maculaque nivea",
but nothing further because it is supposed to be a Linnaean species. Linnaeus,
however, wrote: "alis hyalinis: rivulis fuscis maculaque nivea".
In order to clarify this point for myself, I consulted the Fabricius collection
and found a completely different species labelled as rivosa in Fabricius'
own hand, which is actually included by Meigen (1818, I, 183, 20) under
the name of varipennis. This must have been in the collection for
some time, and the true rivosa Linn. lost, because it no longer
agreed with Linnaeus' description and consequently Fabricius altered the
species diagnosis. This now fails to agree with any species. However, Fabricius
retained his citation of De Geer's illustration, though this is understandably
very different from the species in Fabricius' collection since it actually
shows the true Linnaean species.
It is difficult to believe that in Fabricius' collection and under
his own hand-written label there is not even a specimen of the true common
house-fly Musca domestica but rather a female of his Musca ludifica,
and he has altered the Linnaean diagnosis, that is to say has falsified
it, so that it will fit this specimen. Linnaeus writes (1758, 596, 54):
"antennis plumatis pilosa nigra, thorace lineis 5 obsoletis, abdomine
nitidula tessellato: minor." On the other hand, Fabricius (1805, 287,
18) writes: "antennis plumatis, thorace lineato, abdomine tessellato
subtus basi pallido", but nothing further. However, the true
Musca domestica is present in the Fabricius collection and in the
Copenhagen Museum under the name M. corvina, and the species that
follows this in the Syst. Antl., M. umbraculata, is also
nothing more than the common house-fly (M. domestica) in which pressure
on the head has produced an accidental projection from the frons.
Under his Tephritis flava, which is very common here in Holstein
and belongs to Sapromyza Fallén, Fabricius writes nothing
more than: "flava, antennis apice puncto nigro", and adds to
this three incorrect references. In fact neither Linnaeus nor De Geer mentions
anything about a black tip to the antennae, although such careful observers
would scarcely have overlooked this feature which is obvious enough even
to the unaided eye; furthermore, they described the eyes as green and the
abdomen as ovoid, and this indicates a smaller, equally common species
which also belongs to Fallén's genus. The Geoffroy citation is referred
equally incorrectly to T. flava Fabr., for it is actually Musca
cardui Linn., which is illustrated in Ahrens (1814, Fauna, II,
plate 25), under the incorrect name of Scatophaga flexuosa.
Tephritis parietina Fabr.: "alis fuscis albopunctatis maculatisque
fronte testacea", and nothing further except for a quotation from
Linnaeus which, however, does not actually refer to this species. T.
parietina Fabr. is Musca leontodontis De Geer (1776, Mémoires,
VI, Plate II, fig. 18), which Fabricius cites with a question mark under
his Dacus umbellatarum, where it is just as incorrectly placed as
is Linnaeus' Musca hyosciami which is another quite different species.
Syrphus mystaceus Fabr.: "tomentosus niger, thorace abdominisque
apice flavis", and nothing else except for a reference to Linnaeus'
Musca mystacea which, however, belongs to Eristalis apiarius
In the case of several Linnaean species and of certain others, all
these shortcomings make it very difficult to decide exactly which species
he had in mind without personal sight of the material. As is well known,
Linnaeus' collections are the property of the celebrated botanist Sir James
Edward Smith in England. Some years ago, when searching for information
for Meigen's work on European Diptera, I wrote to the proprietor, but he
replied that he himself was not an entomologist and that as the collection
was not with him in London he was unable to secure the advice of other
entomologists to help with my request for information. Several species
that Fabricius described from the celebrated Banks collection will also
be difficult to recognise again, for that collection was incorporated into
the British Museum and, according to reliable information, has been totally
destroyed through neglect and poor treatment, at least as far as the entomological
portion is concerned.
As regards his descriptions, I must also point out that Fabricius sometimes
included characters that occur only in one sex. For example, he describes
Musca dentipes as "femoribus anticis unidentatis", though
females have the fore femur without teeth. Again, with Atherix oculata
("oculis maximis os fere obtegentibus") and Syrphus vesiculosus
("oculi omnino coeunt"), where both features apply only to males.
Fabricius usually overlooked the first, generally very short, abdominal
segment and so the careful observer will have to read "second"
where he has written "first".
So that my readers will be aware of the points of reference followed
in my own text, I am taking the liberty of pointing out that so far as
terminology is concerned I have generally followed my friend and former
student J. K. W. Illiger (Versuch einer systematischen vollständigen
Terminologie für das Thierreich und Pflanzenreich, Helmstädt,
1800). Only the following terms are different, or are mentioned because
they are not in common use.
- Silaceus, a very light ochraceous-yellow [ockergelb].
- Ochraceus, ochraceous-brown [ockerbraun].
- Ferrugineus, rusty-yellow [rostgelb].
- Ferruginosus, with more of a brownish tinge.
- Rubigineus, rusty-red [rostroth].
- Rubiginosus, rusty-reddish [roströthlich].
- Calcotharinus, a very deep reddish-brown [röthlichbraun], like
- Gambogius, a strong reddish-yellow [röthliches gelb] or yellowish-red
[gelbliches roth], like the outer surface of gamboge.
- Croceus, saffron-yellow [safrangelb], not the reddish colour of dried
saffron but of that drawn out with water.
- Coccinelleus, the brownish-red [braunroth] of coarsely crushed cochineal.
- Testaceus, brick-red [ziegelroth].
- Coriaceus, leather-yellow [ledergelb], tinged with brown rather like
- Fulvus, golden-yellow [goldgelb], without any metallic shine and without
any admixture of red or brown.
- Auratus, golden [golden], golden-yellow with a metallic sheen.
- Luteus, clay-yellow [lehmgelb], like pure loam earth.
- Cervinus, fawn [rehbraun], the yellowish-brown colour at the middle
of deer hair.
- Badius, chestnut-brown [kastanienbraun], strongly tinged with red.
- Brunneus, pure brown [reinbraun], the so-called sap-brown.
- Fuscus, blackish-brown [schwärzlichbraun]; sometimes also brown
in general, without any more precise definition.
- Fuscanus, brownish [bräunlich], already with a considerable yellow
- Scoriaceus, cinder-blue [schlackenblau], with a semi-metallic shine.
- Piceus, pitch-brown [pechbraun], blackish-brown with some shine.
- Griseus, yellowish-grey [gelblichgreis], the colour of unbleached linen.
- Canus, grey [haargreis], pure black mixed predominantly with white.
- Cinereus, ash-grey [ashgrau],like pure beech ash, that is to say grey
that is tinged a little with reddish.
- Helvius, chamois-leather yellow [gemsledergelb] (French: chamois),
rather strongly reddish.
- It should be noted that when the colour of a covering of hair is given
the hairs are viewed from the side because the overall colour of an area
covered with hairs is always modified by the dimly visible ground-colour
of the surface on which the hairs are situated.
- Sericans, with a silky lustre [seidenglänzend].
- Hirtus, haired [behaart], a term I use for a less dense covering of
- Pilosus, hairy [haarig], a term I usually use when the hairs are longer.
- Tomentum and tomentosus, downy [befilzt]; a covering of flattened and
adpressed, almost scale-like elements, especially on the legs of the genera
Anthrax, Bombylius, and others.
- Humeri, shoulders [Schultern]; I use this term for the anterior corners
of the mesonotum, which are almost always bulging and are often differently
- Sutura, suture [Naht]; the transverse stripe (sunken line) running
across the middle of the mesonotum.
- Stethidium, thorax [Mittelleib]; includes the mesonotum, scutellum,
pleura and sides.
- Apex thoracis, tip of the mesonotum [Spitze des Rückenschildes],
the most anterior part.
- Abdomen, upper surface of the abdomen [Hinterleib].
- Venter, venter [Bauch, literally: belly], lower surface of the abdomen.
- Apex, tip [Spitze]; can be either the posterior end of the abdomen
or the posterior sections of the individual segments.
- Basis, base [Wurzel]; the posterior part of the thorax but the anterior
part of the abdomen.
- Incisurae abdominis, incisures [Einschnitte]; these are the extreme
hind-margins of the individual segments, which are often differently coloured.
When this different colouration occupies more space, then it becomes a
- Fascia, band [Binde], a transverse band of a different colour from
- Vitta, stripe [Strieme], a broad longitudinal line of a different colour.
- Vitta linearis, a very narrow stripe [schmale Strieme].
- Linea, line [Linie]; when colours or patterns are being discussed and
"line" is mentioned without further comment, then a very narrow
or fine longitudinal stripe is meant. There are also transverse lines,
but in such cases the word "transverse" is expressly mentioned.
- Striga, stripe [Streif] or streak [Strich], a short and differently-coloured
pattern of moderate width, directed obliquely or transversely.
- Linea is otherwise a raised line, a ridge [Leiste], and stria is a
sunken, line-like impression.
- Collare, collar [Kragen]; one or several transverse rows of stiff hairs
at the tip of the mesonotum, especially in Anthrax.
- Pedes postici, hind legs [hinterste Beine].
- Pedes posteriores, posterior legs [hintere Beine]; the middle and hind
- Pedes antici, fore legs [vorderste Beine].
- Pedes anteriores, anterior legs [vordere Beine]; the fore and middle
- Onychii, pulvilli [Fussballen].
- Lobulus antalaris, prealar triangle [Vorflügeldreieck]; an area
on each side of the mesonotum in front of the wing-base, defined by sunken
- Costa, costa [Rippe]; the outer margin of the wing, or the first longitudinal
wing-vein that forms the margin.
- Furca apicalis, forked vein [Gabelader]; the two veins which terminate
at the margin of the wing-tip and which coalesce at an angle somewhat higher
towards their base.
- Vena, vein [Ader]. If there is no further comment, then a longitudinal
wing-vein is always meant.
- Venae transversae or connectentes, cross-veins [Queradern]; short veins
that are situated between certain longitudinal veins and which run absolutely
transversely or even slightly obliquely.
For further discussion of the terminology, the reader should consult the
introduction to the first volume (1818) of Meigen's work on European Diptera.
When I published the first volume of the Diptera Exotica, there
were still 90 Fabrician species which I did not know; this figure has now
decreased to 39. I am listing them here, and have indicated them in the
text with a cross (like all the other species that I have not seen for
myself). I very much desire to see these species, and would be greatly
indebted to the generosity of any scientific investigator who could enable
me to study one or other of these species.
- Stratiomys pallipes from South America
- Stratiomys analis from the islands of the Pacific Ocean
- Tabanus calens Linn. from South America
- Tabanus exaestuans Linn. from South America
- Tabanus antarcticus Linn. from South America
- Anthrax algira from Barbary
- Anthrax fasciata from the islands of the Pacific Ocean
- Anthrax satyrus from China
- Anthrax sylvanus from New Holland
- Bombylius aequalis from North America
- Bombylius pygmaeus from North America
- Bombylius capensis from the Cape
- Dioctria cyanea from the Cape
- Dioctria conopsoides from New Holland
- Asilus grossus from South America
- Asilus maurus Linn. from Africa
- Dasypogon plumbeus from New Holland
- Dasypogon striatus from Barbary
- Myopa cincta from the East Indies
- Mulio globosus from Carolina
- Mulio aurulentus from Carolina
- Milesia acuta from Carolina
- Thereva hirtipes from Carolina
- Thereva plumipes from Carolina
- Eristalis pinguis from America
- Eristalis segetum from Barbary
- Eristalis posticatus from Carolina
- Achias oculatus from Java
- Dolichopus cristatus from Barbary
- Dolichopus aeneus from Java
- Stomoxys morio from Brazil
- Stomoxys parasita from North America
- Musca luteola from Guinea
- Musca retusa from New Holland
- Musca lepra Linn. from America
- Tachina vivipara from the islands of the Pacific Ocean
- Hippobosca australasiae from the islands of the Pacific Ocean
I have omitted from this work a number of North African species, some of
which certainly occur in southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Sicily, etc)
whilst others most probably do, since they have already been described
by Meigen. For example, Tabanus maroccanus Fabr., which Meigen described
in his first work of 1804, in fact a year earlier than Fabricius, and which
he has now described again in his recent work (1820, Volume 2, 42, 17)
from Portugal under the name T. taurinus. Also Tabaus macularis,
T. vittatus; Haematopota variegata; Usia florea, U.
atrata, U. aurata, U. versicolor (all Volucella
Fabr.); Mulio obscurus, M. cinereus, M. aureus, M.
holosericeus (all Cytherea and Anthrax Fabr.); Anthrax
syphax, A. pandora, A. capucina; Bombylius punctatus,
B. melanocephalus; Dasypogon atratus, D. striatus;
Laphria maroccana, L. ruficauda; Merodon ferrugineus.
On the other hand, I have again dealt with Tabanus cinctus and T.
mexicanus (ochroleucus Meigen, 1820, II, 62, 41) and Anthrax
lucifer in the present work because they are undoubtedly American species
and were incorrectly included by Meigen as European species.
The species are dealt with in order of size, so that the largest ones
Under each species I have given the Museum where the material that
I have described is located, so that the reader will know where he can
see and compare it for himself. As regards the North American species,
which Mr Thomas Say sent me for study with great willingness from the Museum
of the Academy in Philadelphia, the journey may well be rather a long one
because I had to return several of the species. Furthermore, I have to
acknowledge with gratitude the kindness of Professor Klug in Berlin and
of my very dear friends Westermann in Copenhagen and von Winthem in Hamburg,
who with great unselfishness have sent me a great quantity of material
that has embellished my work and enriched my collection. For the others
who have assisted with this undertaking, I refer to my introduction in
Volume 1 of Meigen's work (1818). I also express my best thanks to the
directors of the Museums of Leiden and Frankfurt for material that they
In conclusion, it is my wish that this work, on which no effort or
expense has been spared, will prove useful to naturalists. It cannot be
free of errors, but I have consciously endeavoured to make it as flawless
Greater accuracy could have been attained in many of the descriptions
if they had been made from specimens in a better state of preservation
or if based on more than one or a few specimens, especially in those genera
and species where the ornamentation is very fragile. This applies particularly
to the genus Anthrax, where the white and silvery down ("tomentum")
can be rubbed off so extraordinarily easily. By comparing the descriptions
of several species in the Diptera Exotica of 1821 with those in
the present German edition, the reader will soon see that I have been able
to improve many descriptions from better specimens. There is no doubt that
if several specimens can be compared together whilst being described, then
their essential and constant features can be more securely grasped, and
so it is all the more unfortunate that the describer is not always in this
happy situation! Often one sex differs slightly from the other in colour,
pattern and form, and so a description prepared only from one sex does
not fit perfectly. Wherever it was possible and necessary, I have therefore
added the signs of the planets Mars (
Kiel, February 1825C. R. W. Wiedemann
Non-European Two-Winged Insects, Volume 1
C. R. W. Wiedemann
The zoological riches from Egypt and Nubia sent back to the Frankfurt Museum
by the enthusiastic Rüppell have also produced many Diptera, and these,
together with a number of Brazilian Diptera, were kindly sent to me for
description by Lieutenant von Heyden along with drawings of the venation
of Limnobia and of the antennae of Polymera fusca and Megistocera.
Furthermore, the ardour of my former student Dr Trentepohl has also enabled
me to enlarge this appendix still further. During a journey to China on
which he was first doctor on board a China clipper from Copenhagen and
which he undertook purely out of love for science, he spared himself neither
trouble nor danger to make use of the relatively few opportunities he had
to collect what he could. The unfortunate disinclination of ships' masters
to assist with scientific endeavours as a rule is only too well known.
My friend Trentepohl nobly did what he had to. He leapt for the shore of
Sumatra, towards which a boat had been despatched for some purpose or other,
up to his waist in the sea, and waded ashore through the breakers so that
he could spend at least a little time in collecting animals. Amongst many
other species, he collected no less than 32 Diptera many of which are tiny
and for this reason, ignored or despised by other collectors, have proved
to be new. The collections around Canton and on Macao have been more extensive
because the stay there was rather longer. This enthusiastic researcher
and collector is now in Copenhagen where he is supported by our sovereign,
who readily encourages every activity that is good and useful. He is devoting
himself to acquiring a more comprehensive knowledge of the various branches
of natural science, and will probably soon be spending a longer period
on the coast of Guinea, from which extensive collections can be expected.
[Page 543, footnote]
All the species described in this appendix as Egyptian or Nubian were sent
by Rüppell to the Frankfurt Museum.
Non-European Two-Winged Insects
Aussereuropäische zweiflügelige Insekten.
Als Fortsetzung des Meigenschen Werkes.
Volume 2, 1830, Schulz, Hamm, xii + 684 pp., 5 plates
Not without a certain satisfaction at having completed a laborious task,
but also not without some trepidation at having accomplished less than
might justifiably have have been expected, I am delivering the second and
final volume of my descriptions of exotic Diptera to the entomological
public. Although conscious of my shortcomings I can take consolation from
having acted with integrity and of having made sacrifices of various kinds
in order to achieve all that was within my powers. However, this does not
assist the reader if he finds that there is cause for dissatisfaction with
my achievements. To satisfy everyone is not something that anyone
can set out or expect to do, but there are certain aspects in which anyone
can expect to be satisfied: and in the present work - or, rather, in the
work that follows - the main emphasis is on intelligibility. But lack of
understanding is not always the result of unintelligibility: he who has
not learned to understand has no cause for complaint. In describing the
natural world, we have now come to the point when a highly specialised
vocabulary has to be used in order to characterise adequately all the various
features of the products of nature, and this process can be relatively
simple with certain characteristics but extremely difficult with others.
The main objective of a natural history work such as mine can be just this:
to enable the reader to recognise each genus and each species. So far as
the recognition of the species is concerned, the use of colours has been
indispensable so far, and for various reasons that is not a good thing:
colours are not absolute and can only be described comparatively; colours
occur in various shades, mixtures, transitions; and in many respects colours
are subject to variation, as the same species of insect or of fly can occur
in different colour forms, etc. Furthermore, it is rare for the terminology
of colours to be used consistently by different describers except for the
primary colours or for those that are absolutely constant such as sky-blue,
cinnabar-red, snow-white, etc. Moreover, it is only in the most richly-endowed
languages such as Latin or our own glorious German mother-tongue that there
are special words for all the subtle variations in colour. The use of colour
terms is also affected by whether the insect is studied and described when
living, or at least whilst still soft and fresh, or not until it has dried
out. It goes without saying that my own descriptions of exotic Diptera
have all been prepared from dry specimens. Only in a very few species from
Pennsylvania described by Thomas Say, which I have not seen personally
and which are therefore marked in my text with a cross (+), does it appear
to me that the descriptions were made from living specimens. Although in
certain respects there is a great deal to be said for this, it is hardly
likely to become general practice in the Diptera, because in many of them
individual colours on individual parts of the body change greatly as they
dry out, and the time is unlikely ever to come when there will be competent
describers in every country in every part of the world.
This second part of my work has been much more difficult than the first,
particularly on account of the large family Muscidae. To characterise just
in words that endless array of tiny and in many respects so similar creatures
in such a way that they can be unerringly recognised by other workers is
certainly an unattainable goal. It is the more so as the species cannot
all be studied together comparatively at the same time, and I have suffered
as much from this shortcoming as has my dear friend Meigen in his work
on the European Diptera. But he has the considerable advantage of being
an excellent artist, and he has been able to illustrate accurately every
species that has been sent to him even if it has only been sent for comparison.
For my part, I am no longer able to consider making such comparisons because
many species are no longer available to me now and my eyes have become
so weak that the greatest forbearance is an essential duty if I am to preserve
my sight. Someone else will follow me now, and if he is able to make a
equally large contribution to the diffusion and completion of our knowledge
of these creatures then we shall be getting much closer to the goal towards
which we are striving. There must undoubtedly be many dipterological riches
in London, Paris, Petersburg, etc, but the task of researching into them
must be left to younger, more energetic and conscientious workers. When
I began dipterological work twelve years ago with the first papers in my
Zoologisches Magazin, I was much more audacious than I am now, and
when I published a long list of the errors to be found in Fabricius' Systema
Antliatorum in an academic programme of 1820, which subsequently appeared
in the bookshops in 1821 under the title of Diptera exotica Pars 1
(with several further additions and 2 copper plates), I thought that I
was superior to all this and had been called to be a reformer. Although
since then I have found many other oversights in the great man's work,
I have become more reticent in pointing them out because I can now see
more clearly how easy it is to make mistakes, and I fear that I myself
have made mistakes here and there though the old adage "to err is
human" gives little consolation. I therefore ask for the reader's
indulgence and for his kind suggestions for improvements.
So far as the genera are concerned, I have almost entirely followed
Meigen, though I might have wished that he had described rather fewer in
cases where the characters are not sufficiently clear-cut or are variable.
The more species that I have seen, the more obvious it has become to me
that once all the species are known we shall have to return to a greater
simplicity. The desire to create new genera in natural history has now
become all the more pernicious as many people simply propose a name or
include it in a catalogue without giving any further definition for it.
Because entomology is a convenient subject, attracting many collectors
and collections, many people take pleasure in creating groups, proposing
names, and distributing them in lists all round the world, but this actually
helps and achieves very little. Of course everyone can do what he likes,
if it is for himself and for his own convenience, but it is a different
matter if it then becomes something for public use. I know that many people
will be dissatisfied that I have not created more genera, but I could not
convince myself that it would be either necessary or useful to do so. Let
me give a few examples. Tachina bombylans and armata: the
first of these species was known to Fabricius, but he placed it in the
genus Stomoxys. In Coquebert's Iconibus (1804), most of which
are drawn and coloured with far too little accuracy, this species is illustrated
on plate XXV, fig. 16, from the specimen in Bosc's collection in Paris,
the locality of which was not known. I had long before described Tachina
bombylans under another name from Caffraria and had several specimens
in my collection. It never occurred to me that a Tachina, and especially
one belonging to the first group which includes the original Tachina
of Meigen and Fabricius, was to be found under Stomoxys. However,
when I reached the genus Stomoxys in the preparation of my manuscript
and made another examination of Coquebert's work, having also become aware
through my own species Stomoxys vexans from Brazil that there are
species of Stomoxys that resemble the stoutest Tachinids in their
form, I suddenly saw the light and when I compared this illustration with
my own specimens I was convinced that there could be no doubt as to their
identity, as anyone who makes the same comparison will easily see for himself.
The long proboscis suggests Stomoxys rather than Tachina,
but everything else points in the opposite direction. The palpi are so
long that when the elbowed base of the proboscis is retracted into the
resting position they reach to the tip of the proboscis and surround it
like a sheath. This same contradictory conformation of the antennae and
entire habitus with the elongated proboscis and palpi is also found in
the second species mentioned above, T. armata, which is from South
America and greatly resembles T. bombylans though there are so many
differences that no confusion is possible. A third very similar species,
T. corpulenta, comes from Mexico. However, there is a fourth species,
Tachina pyrrhaspis, which also has certain external similarities
with that species but which according to the antennae belongs to the third
section. Many people would certainly have wished to create a separate genus
for the first two of these species, but I have refrained from doing so
because a simple difference in the dimensions of one part cannot be a generic
character, and an identical structure of the antennae is just as much an
indicator of fundamental agreement as an identical length of the proboscis.
For this reason both species must remain in Tachina. I should also
point out here that of the three species illustrated by Coquebert and described
by Fabricius in Ent. Syst., IV (1794), page 396, no. 11, 12, and
in its Supplementum (1798) and in other works as belonging to the
genus Stomoxys, none in fact belongs to this genus: Stomoxys
dorsalis is a Myopa, and Stomoxys stylata is either a
Myopa or a Siphona or neither of these genera; the species
illustrated immediately above St. stylata as Stomoxys asiliformis,
or Asilus muscarius, for it is dealt with under both names and genera
in Ent. Syst. (1794) and again in Syst. Antl. (1805) (though
as Dioctria muscaria on the second occasion), does not belong to
any of these genera but rather to Hybos which Fabricius, following
Meigen, included in his Syst. Antl..
I could not make up my mind whether to separate Temnocera, erected
on page 786 of the 10th volume (1828) of the Encyclopédie méthodique
by Le Peletier de St. Fargeau and A. Serville, from the genus Volucella.
The authors themselves state that it only differs by the much (?) longer
3rd antennal segment and the absence of spines on the scutellum. My Volucella
spinigera from Montevideo would belong here, on the basis of the length
of the 3rd antennal segment, which is emarginate before the middle, and
the presence of scutellar spines. However, Volucella abdominalis
from Cuba is a perfect transitional form because its antennae are somewhat
shorter and the scutellum is completely unarmed.
In the Mémoires de la Soc. d'Hist. nat. de Paris (1827),
3, 390 etc, Robineau-Desvoidy has published his "Essai sur la tribu
des Culicides" in which he has erected several new genera at least
some of which are untenable. Sabethes has the generic diagnosis:
middle tibiae and tarsi fringed and thus appearing expanded. The species:
1. S. locuples. This is my Culex remipes (see volume 1, page
573, no. 1) and should not be separated generically from Culex just
because of the structure of the middle legs as it agrees completely with
Culex in every other respect. 2. S. longipes (Cul. long.
Fabr.). The author himself considers that this is more probably a true
Culex, and I agree with him (see volume 1, page 7, no. 11). The
genus Psorophora differs by the presence of two dorsal appendages
on the prothorax and conical punctures on each side of the mesothorax.
Species: Ps. boscii. It gives a very painful bite, is 2 lines long,
pale yellow in colour with rather brownish legs and haired (? "velues")
wing-veins, and is called "mosquito" in Carolina. I do not know
the species but am very doubtful whether the appendages justify its elevation
to a distinct genus, for a similar structure is also found in other species
of quite different generic affinity. The genus Megarhinus. With
a long proboscis that is bent towards its tip, and very parallel (?) wings.
The species Cul. haemorrhoidalis Fabr., and also C. splendens,
C. ferox, C. violaceus, etc (see volume 1, pages 1-5), belong
here. They may well form a special series, but not a genus or tribe.
As more and more species of insect are known, it becomes less and less
likely that parts or the structure of parts will be used as generic characters
if they are not consistently present or if they show a gradual transition
from one conformation to another. For this reason, genera which are at
present based only an a single species may well have to be modified in
So far as the terminology is concerned, I should point out that in
this second volume I am following Latreille (Familles nat.du règne
animal, Paris, 1825) in employing the term "epistoma", and
not "hypostoma" as used by Bouché in Berlin, for the lower
edge of the face; and that when I write of "foot" or "feet",
then I mean by this the Latin "tarsus", which translates as "base
of the foot".
Now that my energy and eyesight are declining, I have no greater desire
than that these little creatures to which I owe so many hours of pleasure
will not be neglected in the future.