Raffles Museum news
Research and education at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore.
05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net
News about NUS' Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore - Archives
Wed 15 Feb 2006
Fri 17 Feb 2006: 12pm (SR4) - Patrick celebrates/laments, "1-year flies in Singapore, can have more lah!"
Category : bejc
"1-year flies in Singapore, can have more lah!"
Friday, 17th February 2006: 12pm (note change in date)
Visitors may park at Carpark 10
Host: Peter Ng
Abstract - Taxonomy is far from outdated as shown by a one-year study of the dolichopodid and empidid fly fauna in Singapore. At least 190 species of dolichopodids were recorded and about 60 species of empidids. Some 150 species are new for science with at least 4 new genera. The acidic swamp forest in Nee Soon was the most diverse site for rain forest fauna. The dolichopodid mangrove fauna of Sungei Buloh and Chek Jawa are actually the richest mangrove faunas known in the world.
One of the explanations might be that draught periods during the glaciations may have forced speciation in humid habitats such as mountains and mangroves.
Phenology (periods of activity) of insects is still poorly known and understood in Southeast Asia. In mangroves, the peak activity is in May with a dip in July and August followed by a second, but lower peak from September onward. Not a single larva of this mangrove fauna is known.
Genetic distances of morphologically closely related species are big, indicating that speciation is old. The many ancestral groups found in SEA will help in the reconstruction of the phylogenetic tree of the family Dolichopodidae.
About the speaker - Patrick is a charismatic speaker who has excited audiences in Singapore on and off for many years. Each time he came, he explored the biodiversity here and in the region and finally decided to write a book about the dolichopodids of Southeast Asia.
The explosion of new species so astounded him and a realistically manageable title now became the dolichopodids of Singapore. But still this is proving to be too much and and he decided in order to retain his sanity, to first publish about the mangrove fauna.
Besides dolichopodids, other groups in his traps were carefully curated and could be worked on by other scientists. In the process, Patrick has become an evangelist for the fact that modern Singapore can still serve as an open laboratory. An astounding insect diversity still awaits discovery by scientists and naturalists, nestled in the many ecosystems and niches that pepper the island.
Now he's wondering just how he will publish it all, how there is more out there, and how he will miss the food here!
See: "150 new species of flies found." By Chang Ai-Lien. The Straits Times, 06 Feb 2006. Belgian expert discovers them in one year of research here.
ALL ARE WELCOME!