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diptera (flies and gnats)

With about 350,000 pinned specimens, the Diptera collection is the largest order among the insect collections. It received special attention from J. Kugler, the founder of the entomological collections, who was himself a dipterist. It has been further developed by A. Freidberg, another dipterist, and augmented by collections contributed by O. Theodor (theHebrew University), in particular Bombyliidae and Asilidae.

Covering about 3,500 species of true flies from Israel, it is probably the most complete collection of any large insect order. However, the Diptera collection is also rich in exotic material, mostly collected by A. Freidberg and J. Kugler, but also by several other TAU staff members, including F. Kaplan, I. Yarom and L. Friedman. These latter workers, as well as others, such as Y. Margalit (Ben-Gurion University), have contributed much to the Israeli part of the collection.

The Diptera are divided into several subgroups. Among these, the higher Diptera, with both Calyptratae (twelve families, including Muscidae and Tachinidae) and Acalyptratae (about 40 families, including Tephritidae and Drosophilidae) are very well represented, with many types of new species deposited at TAU, reflecting the extent of their study. The lower flies (Orthorrhapha, with families such as Bombyliidae and Asilidae) are represented well, whereas the Nematocera (including Culicidae and Tipulidae) are the least well represented, with several families, such as Chironomidae, Cecidomyiidae and Ceratopogonidae, under-collected and studied.

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