Print version ISSN 0085-5626
Rev. Bras. entomol. vol.55 no.4 São Paulo Oct./Dec. 2011 Epub Dec 13, 2011
Márcia S. Couri
Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Quinta da Boa Vista, s/n°, 20940-040 Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brasil. firstname.lastname@example.org. Bolsista de Produtividade Científica, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
The publication in 1981-1989 of the three volumes of the "Manual of the Nearctic Diptera" (MND) represented a great step for accessing the knowledge of the Diptera of that region, congregating the updated information about the families, allowing the identification to genus level, presenting a summary of the families approaching morphology, biology and classification. Since its publication, the MND has been a reference to all Diptera students and researches. For other regions, four volumes of the "Contributions to a Manual of the Palaearctic Diptera" were published from 1997 to 2000 and the "Manual of Afrotropical Diptera" is now in preparation. In 2009 the Diptera community was again presented with the publication of the first volume of the "Manual of Central American Diptera" (MCAD) (Brown et al. 2009) in the same format of the MND two first volumes. Book reviews of the first volume can be found (e.g. Contreras-Ramos 2010; Carvalho 2011).
The publication in 2010 of the second volume of the MCAD covering 64 families completed the 106 Diptera families with occurrence in Central America from the 180 families occurring worldwide. While volume 1 included the nematocerous families and the lower Brachycera, volume 2 treats the Brachycera-Cyclorrhapha. The so-called "Central America" covered by the Manual includes the tropical Mexico to the north of Panama-Colombia border. But in some cases, as stated by Brian Brown in the Preface of the second volume, many authors have extended this coverage to the entire Neotropical Region, the whole New World and, even in some cases, to the world.
All family chapters have a standard presentation, beginning with an illustration of an adult fly representing the family, followed by a diagnosis, biology, classification, identification, key to genera, a synopsis of the fauna at genus level, where each genus is briefly discussed, and literature cited. Most of the chapters are richly illustrated with high quality drawings and photos, which makes much easier the use of the key and gives a more comprehensive overview of each family. Most of the drawings were the same found in MND but some chapters were specially illustrated as Phoridae, enriched with scanning electron micrographs and Tephritidae with beautiful habitus and pictured-wing illustrations, among many others. From the other side, other chapters could have been better illustrated, as it is required in this kind of publication. In very few cases either drawings or text appears a little offset. Like in the first volume, the focus was in the adults and few chapters included data on the morphology of the immature stages.
This is an excellent publication highly recommended to all people interested in flies and I make a final special mention regarding the great relevance of this Manual as an incentive for students of all levels to study this so biodiverse piece of the world and also its very important role in the preparation of new generations of dipterists.
Brown, B. V.; A. Borkent; J. M. Cumming; D. M. Wood; N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado. 2009. Manual of Central America Diptera. Volume 1. Ottawa, NRC Research Press, 714 p. [ Links ]
Carvalho, C. J. B. de. 2011. Book review: Rediscovering the New World. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 55: 145. [ Links ]
Contreras-Ramos, A. 2010. Book review: Manual of Central American Diptera, Volume 1. B. V. Brown, A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley, and M. Zumbado (Eds) (2009) National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, 714 pp. [ Links ]
Received 19/8/2011; accepted 26/9/2011
Editor: Claudio J. B. de Carvalho