Fungus gnats in three major collections of Ontario, Canada

In June 2008, I had the opportunity to study collections of fungus gnats in three important institutions in Ontario – University of Guelph, Canadian National Collection in Ottawa, and Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. This two-week visit was funded by the Czech Science Foundation (Grant No. 206/08/1500). I was, as usual, mainly interested in the unsorted alcohol Malaise trap materials from the Oriental region, but I paid attention also to the Nearctic and Neotropical materials.
My principal host in Guelph was Steve Marshall, who showed me all interesting items in their collection and arranged for me several nice collecting trips around Guelph. He also invited me to his cottage on beautiful Bruce Peninsula, within a regular meeting of local entomologists called Bioblitz. We discussed mainly his discovery of a new cavernicolous Speolepta living in a hardly accessible cave at the Bruce Peninsula, but also a lot of other interesting topics including macrophotography.
There is a good systematic collection of pinned fungus gnats in Guelph and particularly in Ottawa, but surprisingly Malaise traps residues were almost absent in both those collections, with the exception of fine recent Canadian samples by Mathias Buck. On the other hand, I found a surprisingly large amount of residues in ROM in Toronto. The most extensive samples in ROM are from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and India. Among other interesting material I found new species of Acomoptera and Eudicrana in a sample from northern Vietnam. I sorted out also several Metanepsini and Gnoristini with beautifully pectinate antennae. Concerning the systematic collection in Ottawa, my attention was attracted by specimens commented on by Dick Vockeroth on the labels. For example, it was surprising for me to see that Acomopterella arnaudi Zaitzev is in fact Tetragoneura fallax Sherman, and indeed, several other Nearctic species originally described in Tetragoneura proved to belong to Acomopterella or even to other genera. He also set apart several Neotropical genera related to Dziedzickia, of which I have already seen some in various Oriental samples.
It was a pleasure to work in such a friendly staff of young workers in Guelph as well as to participate in Bioblitz meeting. I fully enjoyed my summer stay in Canada, including tasting of local wines and beers, lake cruises with Steve, listening to the Kevin Barber’s smart English and birdwatching with Andrew Smith or John Klymko. I thank all of them for the hospitability and I look forward to seeing them again.
Jan Sevcik

Mon, 2008-07-28 13:21 -- Anonymous (not verified)
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