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Recommended by!De Nederlandse zweefvliegen (Diptera: Syrphidae)
[ Category: Ecology and faunistics · Views: 32767 · Comments: 1 ]
AuthorM Reemer, WM. Reemer, W. Renema, W. van Steenis, Th. Zeegers, A. Barendregt, J.T. Smit, M.P. van Veen, J. van Steenis & L.J.J.M. van der Leij
This book is the culmination of the so-called Hoverfly Project, which was started in 1999 as a joint initiative of the European Invertebrate Survey Netherlands, the Diptera Section of the Netherlands Entomological Society and the Dutch Youth League for Nature Observation (NJN). The aim was to create a complete picture of the distribution and ecology of all species of Syrphidae in the Netherlands. In all, almost 450 people contributed records and data were collected from all public entomological collections in the Netherlands and many private collections.

From the book it appears that the project reached its aim. All 328 Dutch hoverfly species are discussed. A typical species discussion consists of a short diagnosis, a section on distribution and flight period and a section on ecology. The first section is virtually always accompanied by a distribution map (records pre-1950, 19501989 and 1990 and later indicated separately) and a flight period diagram (males and females separated). Trends in distribution are discussed. The ecology section covers practically everything dealing with habitat, microhabitat, phenology, pre-imaginal stages (e.g., larval biology), ethology, etc. That is, if that information is known and (possibly) relevant for the Dutch situation. Next to the figures for distribution and flight period, many species are illustrated themselves. In most cases these illustrations are colour photographs of adults or pre-imaginal stages in natural circumstances. The others are watercolours. The photographs are all of excellent quality but the flies in the watercolours, though artistically beautiful, are often not in their natural colours. The contrasts are often too strong, colours rather unbalanced and details can be exaggerated.

Fortunately, the quality of these watercolours is one of the very few criticisms I have. Some will not agree with the order in which species are dealt with. They are listed alphabetically by genus and within genus while each genus has its own introduction with a diagnosis, a taxonomy and identification section, a distribution section and a short ecology section. Alternatively, the genera might have been grouped in supra-generic groupings but on the one hand this supra-generic classification is still under discussion and on the other hand it facilitates finding species without the need to consult the index.

Though the species discussions may be what the major part of this book is about, a suitable framework is given to put these into context. Nine chapters precede the species discussions: Introduction, Historical overview and data bank, Life history of adult hoverflies, Pre-imaginal stages and life history, Distribution, Biotopes, Dynamics, threats and conservation, Relationships and nomenclature, and Hoverfly research. None of these chapters are exhaustive but they give enough information to put the species discussions in a proper perspective and to introduce novices into the world of the (Dutch) Syrphidae. Useful are the occasional boxes that deal with a specific subject of interest, like the ones on mimicry and colour forms. The chapters on distributions, biotopes and dynamics all have profited of the large database and the possibility to perform statistical analyses, so the findings are not just based on personal impressions of the authors.

After the species discussion follow three more chapters: a Glossary, References (a whopping 24 pages in small print) and an English summary (the main texts are all in Dutch). To finish it all off, there are nine appendices and the index. The important content of the appendices are tables that indicate for each species what their larval habits are, in which distributional clusters they have been found, the biotopes they occupy, and a short summary of the available data based on 5 km squares. One appendix gives the background of the statistical analysis performed for the Dynamics chapter.

In all, a heavy book with a lot of information to digest and very useful to have as a reference work. The results of the analyses and the interpretation thereof are not just of importance to research on Syrphidae but can be used while dealing with many more groups of terrestrial arthropods.
PublisherNationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis, Leiden; KNNV Uitgeverij, Utrecht; European Invertebrate Survey - Nederland, Leiden, Netherlands
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Added on17.12.2009
Comment on De Nederlandse zweefvliegen (Diptera: Syrphidae)
 Paul Hoekstra - 28. February 2015 - 13:51 o'clock
This book is now downloadable for free on this page:
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Date and time
26 April 2017 04:12


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Last updated: 25.08.2011
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25.04.17 14:14
Hello, can any1 tell me if both male and female Empis flies eat other flies or is it just the female? Thx

21.04.17 15:08
Thanks very much Paul

18.04.17 20:24
Nice occur on the Dutch television Paul!

11.04.17 13:37
In Dutch some would use it as plural, for 'exemplaar' (exemplar or specimen). Ten exx. then is ten specimens.

10.04.17 16:21
Thanks Phil I am thinking exuviae but I can't find the abbrev. so perhaps so

09.04.17 12:25
I haven't come across it but I suspect it means 'examples'.

08.04.17 11:27
Hell has anyone come across the meaning of exx? and what it means

01.04.17 11:43
Thanks very much

25.03.17 21:53
Ibid. is short for Latin ibidem, meaning 'in the same place', so = 'same as the previous reference'. Smile

25.03.17 13:09
Cab any1 help out with the full name if the journal IBID Thx

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