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The Diptera collection (mosquitoes and flies, two-winged insects) at the Natural History Museum contains around one million specimens. The main part is stored as dry preparations or, to a lesser extent, as microscopic preparations. The dipteras preserved in alcohol are stored in the NHM's deep storage facility. The extensive samples of the Bluetongue project, which was carried out in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Health and Environment and AGES (Agency for Health and Food Safety), are also located here.
Visiting researchers have access to the collection and library, as well as suitable technical equipment. A stacking photography equipment of the department can also be used. If necessary, curators provide support on nature conservation and educational issues. All existing species are digitally recorded in a database and can be made available immediately.
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
Basic research is carried out in the Diptera Collection. The thematic focus is the research of the zoogeography, systematics and evolution of the caterpillar flies (Tachinidae) in Latin America as well as the fauna of the native representatives of this Diptera family.
An applied research project took more than three years to study midges as a vector of bluetongue disease in cattle, sheep and goats.