MNHN visit, June 2007

On June 4-22 I visited Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle to study fungus gnats inclusions in amber of Paris basin. Being Lowermost Eocene in age, it is older than Baltic amber (53 vs. 45 mya) and contains very different fauna (Nel et al., 2004). First of all Sciaroidea are less common in Paris than in Baltic. Diptera are heavily dominated by Ceratopoginidae. Rarity of Sciaridae is very surprising. In Baltic amber Sciaridae are about 1.5 times as frequent are all other Sciaroidea together. Among about 50 specimens of Sciaroidea I have selected only two were Sciaridae.Palaeognoriste sciariformis, sp.#6630, male

Very interesting is a large number of Keroplatidae, almost as many of them as Mycetophilidae. Among Mycetophilidae there are species of Manota, Aglaomyia, Synapha, Ectreprsthoneura and two other taxa of Leiinae – of course, this is just a preliminary identification.

Perhaps the most interesting find is Lygistorrhinidae. There are two species of Lygistorrhinidae descibed by F. Meunier from Baltic amber in 1904 and 1912: Palaeognoriste sciariformis and P. affinis. The new species is looks very much like Palaeognoriste, but completely lack of proboscis! Incidentally, the syntype of P. sciariforme was found among Matile's material – he borrowed it from Berlin in 1982 or so. I managed to study a male and a female described by Meunier before they get lost again. It seems, they belonged to different species – differences in leg setation are very big. Also, I made pictures of the holotype and paratype of Kelneria setosa and the holotype of Schluterimyia cenomanica – these will be posted here in due course.

Matile's collection of recent Sciaroidea is in a better state than one might have feared. Unfortunately, there is no catalog, except the old spreadsheet (list of species is posted on Collection page), but it had not been updated for quite some time before 2000. I tried to go through the collection and will post some updates to the list. Most of the Meigen's types are kept separately, John Lane’s holotypes are scattered among Matile's and Duret's collections. It has to be fully cataloged eventually.

Vladimir Blagoderov

Mon, 2007-06-25 16:48 -- Anonymous (not verified)
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