Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Primary type specimens: Diptera

Version 1 - June 1997

Trevor K. Crosby
Landcare Research, Private Bag 92170, Auckland, New Zealand

This is a list of 806 primary type specimens of Diptera housed in the N.Z. Arthropod Collection (NZAC), and which since July 1992 have been under the stewardship of Landcare Research. Since April 2004 the collection has been housed in new facilities at a site associated with the Tamaki Campus, University of Auckland, Auckland. Between October 1973 and April 2004 NZAC was housed at the Mt Albert Research Centre, Auckland.

Most of the publications in which these Diptera species were described stated that the primary types were deposited in a DSIR collection located at Auckland or Nelson, or at the Cawthron Institute, Nelson. Between October 1989 and June 1992 NZAC was under the stewardship of DSIR Plant Protection based in Auckland, and before this (October 1973 to September 1989) with Entomology Division, DSIR based in Auckland. Up to September 1973 the major part of NZAC was located at Entomology Division, DSIR (before 1956 as Cawthron Institute or Entomological Research Station) in Nelson, and part was under the stewardship of Plant Diseases Division, DSIR at Mt Albert, Auckland. When Entomology Division, DSIR transferred to the Mt Albert Research Centre site in Auckland from Nelson the two DSIR collections were amalgamated and named NZAC.

Miller (1950) catalogued the Diptera species of the New Zealand subregion, and provided information on the repositories of the primary type specimens. In his publication, NZAC is listed as "8. Cawthron Institute, Nelson, N.Z." Not all NZAC types are listed under the Cawthron Institute, however. Many types designated by Malloch were stated to be in the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch; the phorids described by Schmitz (1939) were stated to be probably in his collection, as they were not located in the Cawthron Institute; and the ceratopogonids described by Macfie (1932) were stated to be at the Natural History Museum, London (these were located as microscope slide mounts in NZAC, where they had been stored unrecognised as types until a letter in the Tonnoir archive folder enabled their status to be established). The Marshall Collection too is now incorporated within NZAC; these specimens were unlabelled in the general collection, but were recognised as the primary type specimens from the illustrations in Marshall (1896) and by the manner in which the specimens were mounted on pieces of card as described in that publication. The primary types could not be located for some species, and an annotation has been added with the species name to indicate that the specimen was not received or has been misplaced or lost subsequently.

Evenhuis (1989) was used as the source of current family names under which the species should be listed. Evenhuis's publications provide a catalogue of most of the Diptera species present in New Zealand and their currently accepted generic names.

The list is in two parts:

  • Part 1. Alphabetical by species
    Information with each primary type specimen is in the following sequence: the species name as in the original publication, author, year of publication, genus the species was originally assigned to, whether the specimen held at NZAC is a holotype, lectotype, or syntype, and family the species is assigned to;
  • Part 2. Alphabetical by family
    Species arranged alphabetically within the family.

The list is based on records in the NZAC specimen database. For many of these primary type specimens further details - such as collector, date, and place of collection - may be obtained by viewing a copy of the database on this web site and choosing the species for which further information is required.

NZAC Diptera specimens are available for borrowing by bona fide researchers. Before primary type specimens of species described from New Zealand can be sent outside New Zealand, we must obtain a Temporary Export Certificate from the New Zealand Ministry of Culture and Heritage (formerly Department of Internal Affairs) so as to comply with the Antiquities Act legislation of New Zealand. We are required to provide the reference details for the publication describing the species requested, and the name and address of the researcher and institution requesting the primary types. It usually takes about a month to obtain the certificate.


I thank Grace Hall, Suzie Coad, and Kate Senner for their assistance with this project. The work was supported by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology under contract no. C09401.


Evenhuis, N.L. (ed.) 1989: Catalog of the Diptera of the Australasian and Oceanian regions. Bishop Museum special publication 86. Honolulu/Leiden, Bishop Museum Press and E. J. Brill. 1155 p.

Macfie, J.W.S. 1932: New Zealand biting midges (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae). Annals of tropical medicine and parasitology 26: 23-53.

Marshall, P. 1896: New Zealand Diptera. No. 2. Mycetophilidae. Transactions and proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 28: 250-309, 6 pls.

Miller, D. 1950: Catalogue of the Diptera of the New Zealand sub-region. New Zealand DSIR Bulletin 100. 194 p.

Schmitz, H. 1939: Neuseelandische Phoriden. Natuurhistorisch maandblad 28: 34-37, 55-56, 67-68, 75-76, 86-89, 98-101, 110-116, 124-129.