German Orthoptera Collections Specimen Database --- current progress
with a review of the type specimens
Ingrisch, S., Riede, K., Lampe, K.-H.
Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut and Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Adenauerallee 150-164, D-53113 Bonn, Germany.
The DORSA project (abbreviation for Deutsche Orthopteren-Sammlungen = German Orthoptera Collections) is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to establish a specimen based database with internet access of the Orthoptera held in German museum collec- tions. The database will include illustrations of type specimens, sound recordings, and geographic information on a world-wide basis. As a first step, the type specimens in the nine largest collections are considered. From a compilation of published data we expected that there are more than 7000 type specimens belonging to over 3000 species in German collections. First examinations in the museums Berlin, Dresden and Hamburg showed that the real numbers are obviously higher. A review of the current progress of the project is given, together with estimations of numbers of speci- mens held in the collections, and with examples of the multimedia presentations. Databasing is also a good opportunity to verify the published type information. The Orthoptera Species File (OSF, Otte and Naskrecki 1997: http://viceroy.eeb.uconn.edu/Orthoptera) is used as a taxonomic backbone for DORSA. On the countermove, DORSA delivers numerous complements to the information regarding type specimens and original publications in OSF.
Key words: German museums, specimen numbers, type information, multimedia.
The aim of the DORSA project is to provide web access to
- specimen information of Orthoptera in German collections,
- establish a virtuel Orthoptera collection with link to the Orthoptera Species File,
- a photographic documentation of type specimens and other important specimens,
- the wealth of acoustic data of Orthoptera in German institutions and private collections.
Further on we want to
- combine the locality data with a geographical information system, and
- to develop a rapid assessment tool fot automatized song classification.
In a first step, specimens to be recorded will include:
- type specimens (holo-, syn- and paratypes),
- a selection of specimens on which important monographs were based,
- voucher specimens for which sound recordings are available.
To trace the current locality for a given type specimen is often difficult due to incomplete published information, insufficient labelling of specimens, exchange between museums, destruction of specimens (i.e. in war), or prolonged loan. DORSA will help to improve the knowledge of the current type depositories.
The Orthoptera Species File (OSF) was used as a first source in locating type specimens. For some museums also printed type catalogues (Hamburg, Eberswalde) or electronic species lists were available (Munich, Stuttgart). A summary of the current progress of specimen recording is summarised in tabular form and compared with the information in OSF and published sources.
The project covers the greatest Orthoptera collections as held in the following museums:
- Berlin (Museum fuer Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universitaet; ZMHB)
- Eberswalde (Deutsches Entomologisches Institut; DEI)
- Dresden (Staatliches Museum fuer Tierkunde; SMTD)
- Hamburg (Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum der Universitaet; ZSMH)
- Halle (Zoologisches Institut der Universitaet; MLUH)
- Bonn (Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig; ZFMK)
- Frankfurt (Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Senckenberg; SMFD)
- Stuttgart (Staatliches Museum fuer Naturkunde; SMNS)
- Munich (Zoologische Staatssammlung; ZSM)
Moreover, information from the private collections of Heller, Ingrisch, Riede and G.H. Schmidt will be included.
Recording of specimens during the first 16 months centred on the museums in Berlin, Eberswalde, Dresden and Hamburg. While recording in the latter three museums is completed, the rich Acrididae and Tettigoniidae collections in Berlin need further studies.
In a taxonomic view, the focus was so far on the Tetrigoidea, Gryllacridoidea and Grylloidea. Apart from type specimens also specimens covered by the monographic treatment of the Tetrigidae by Guenther (1938, 1939 ) and Gryllacrididae identified and published by H.H. Karny (1937; Gen. Ins.) were considered.
An outline of the current progress of specimen recording is summarised in tabular form and compared with the information in OSF
and published sources:
Table 1: Estimation of type specimens in German museum collections. Comparison with OSF and current state of recording of
specimens (as of August 2001).
Table 2: Details of specimen records 1 (Tettigonioidea and Gryllacridoidea).
Table 3: Details of specimen records 2 (Grylloidea and Acridomorpha).
Table 4: Details of specimen records 3 (Tetrigoidea and Tridactyloidea).
Signs used in the tables:
square brackets = uncomplete records
wavy brackets = number of lost specimens
blue = verified records
italics = estimation (projection of verified numbers:
primary types checked = 1.387 x their number in OSF,
species with any types = 1.333 x the number of species with primary types,
type specimens = 2.385 x the number of species with any types)
Details from two museum (Table 5).
Hamburg: As several type specimens (mainly of Tettigoniidae) were destroyed during world war II (see Weidner 1964), the number of types listed in OSF is higher as the number actually held in the museum when the cataloges of Weidner (1964) and Weidner and Wagner (1968) were published. Meanwhile material from the Hamburg museum was included in mongraphs of the Saginae (Kaltenbach 1986) and Proscopiidae (Liana 1980). Thus the current num- ber of primary types raised again. Cooparation with Turkish scientists (Karabag, Demirsoy) led to the deposition of paratypes (and topotypic specimens) from Turkish scientists after the last published cataloges.
Weidner, 1964: Die Entomologischen Sammlungen des Zoologischen Staatsinstituts und Zoologischen Museums Hamburg. VI. Teil. Insecta III. (9.-13. Ordnung: Blattariae, Isoptera, Notoptera, Cheleutoptera, Ensifera). - Mitteilungen Hamburger Zoologisches Museum und Institut 63: 209-264.
Weidner and Wagner 1968: Die Entomologischen Sammlungen des Zoologischen Staatsinstituts und Zoologischen Museums Hamburg. VII. Teil. Insecta IV. 14. Ordnung: Caelifera. - Mitteilungen Hamburger Zoologisches Museum und Institut 65: 123-180.
Eberswalde: The number of primary types for Caelifera in the published cataloge (Petersen and Gaedike 1970) is higher than in OSF; obviously OSF did not count some syntypes held also in Eberswalde. Currently, the number of primary types is slightly lower than in the pubished catalog, as some of the syntypes meanwhile became paralectotypes. Few Acrididae are held with high paratype numbers that were formerly not counted in full. For the Tettigoniidae, a few unmarked type specimens were formerly not included neither in the printed cataloge nor in OSF. In Gryllidae, some new types were added by Gorochov (1996). There is a rather high number of prolonged loans of Gryllidae types.
Petersen and Gaedike 1970: Katalog der in den Sammlungen des Deutschen Entomologischen Institutes aufbewahrten Typen-II. Beiträge zur Entomologie 20: 145-172.
Examples for documentation of type specimens: