Torsten Dikow's work in the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Aamazônia

August 25, 2011

Torsten Dikow travelled to Manaus, Brazil from August 4-7 in order to work in the collection of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Aamazônia, INPA. INPA is a federally-funded research institute in Brazil dedicated to the study of the biodiversity of the Amazon region. Several interesting specimens of robber flies (Asilidae) and mydas flies (Mydidae) of importance to his current research project funded by an NSF REVSYS grant were studied and photographed. For example, Torsten discovered several specimens of the rarely encountered robber-fly genus Schildia, on which he published an article in Insect Systematics & Evolution in 2009.

Among them were new distribution records of two species from around Manaus, but also an undescribed species from south-eastern Brazil (see distribution map). Torsten also spent a day in the field with fly taxonomists and systematists from INPA visiting three nature reserves, which are under the jurisdiction of INPA, north of Manaus. Eleven species of robber flies were collected that will now be incorporated into Torsten's world-wide studies on the evolutionary relationships within Asilidae.