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Angelo Pires do Prado (01.II.1942 - 25.VIII.2013)

Nelson Papavero About the author


Angelo Pires do Prado (01.II.1942 - 25.VIII.2013)

Nelson Papavero

Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo. Avenida Nazaré, 481, 04263-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Angelo Pires do Prado was born in São Lourenço do Sul, RS (on the shore of the Laguna dos Patos) on February 1, 1942. He was the son of Antônio Pires do Prado, from Pouso Alegre, southern Minas Gerais, and Lúcia Florence Pires do Prado, from Rio Grande do Sul. Because Antônio Pires was an army officer, he was frequently deployed to different locations in Brazil. It was in Rio Grande do Sul that he met Dna. Lúcia. The couple had four children. The oldest, also named Angelo, died prematurely. He was followed by Edison (who later attended the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro and earned a degree in agronomy), Áureo and finally, Angelo Pires do Prado, the youngest (Edison and Áureo were eight and four years older than Angelo, respectively). In 1944, the family moved to Rio de Janeiro.

After completing his basic education in the former nations' capital, attending elementary school at the Colégio São João and middle school at the Colégio Cristo Rei, Angelo was accepted by the technical school Escola Agrotécnica Ildefonso Simões Lopes, where he was a student from 1958 to 1960. There, his interest in entomology was born.

Angelo was granted admission to the veterinary school of the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ) in 1961, graduating in 1964. He received a Scientific Initiation fellowships from the Instituto de Economia Rural do Ministério da Agricultura (1962) and from the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas (CNPq, 1963-1964). In 1962, he published a paper on a Nemertine parasitizing dogs and in 1963 a paper on the occurrence of a mite on Gallus gallus domesticus.

While he was still a student, Angelo was offered an internship at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz to work with Prof. Dr. Hugo Souza Lopes, who was a professor at the UFRRJ. There Angelo specialized in Diptera, becoming one of the finest acalyptrate Diptera specialists in Brazil. He later joined the institute as a candidate ("Aplicante") and remained there from 1965 to 1966 (in 1965 he was granted a Specialization Fellowship from the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas). His first papers on Diptera (Ropalomeridae, 1963, 1965, 1967; Richardiidae, 1965; Tethinidae, 1966) were excellent and revealed his extraordinary abilities and competence.

During this period, in 1965, Prof. Dr. Zeferino Vaz was appointed president of the organization committee that orchestrated building the Unicamp campus, which was subsequently named after him. Zeferino invited researchers from many institutions to work at Unicamp, which became one of the most respected and productive institutions in Latin America. In 1966, Prof. Vaz created the Parasitology branch of the Faculdade de Ciências Médicas de Campinas.

Angelo was first hired as an instructor, and in May of that same year he was appointed Assistant Professor. In 1968, Parasitology was the first department to be transferred to the current university campus, in the suburb of Barão Geraldo. Angelo was one of the first to teach at the new campus.

Angelo married Marisa Benedita de Alvarenga Silva in 1968, and the couple had a child, Angelo Alvarenga Prado, who died in 2003.

In 1969, under Prof. Dr. Hugo de Souza Lopes, Angelo defended his Ph.D. dissertation. His work ("Syringogastridae, uma nova família de dípteros Acalyptratae, com a descrição de seis espécies novas do gênero Syringogaster Cresson", published in the same year by Studia Entomologica (12: 1-32)) marked the history of phylogenetic systematics in Latin America. Willi Hennig had published (1965) an abstract of his theory (Annual Review of Entomology 10: 97-116) and the English version of his Phylogenetic Systematics came out in 1966. Lars Brundin, also in1966, was the first to publish a large revision (of a group of Chironomidae) using Hennigian principles, and Angelo, with his acute intelligence, was undoubtedly the first in Brazil to understand Hennig's principles and to apply his theory, using it to erect a new family, Syringogastridae.

In the years that followed, Angelo published only sporadic contributions on Diptera in 1975 he produced an elegant paper on Odiniidae (Stephen Gaimari recognized his contribution by naming a new genus after him, Pradomyia). Also in 1975, Angelo organized several chapters, all on acalyptrate families, for the Catalogue of the Diptera of the Americas South of the United States series. During this period I acquired the reprints and the phorid collection from Frei Thomaz Borgmeier, to be incorporated to the collection of the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo. José Henrique Guimarães, Renato Lion Araujo and Angelo Pires do Prado transported the material from Petrópolis to São Paulo. Subsequently, Angelo published two contributions on Phoridae, in 1975 and 1976.

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In 1977, thanks to FAPESP, Angelo organized the acalyptrate fly collection of the Museu de Zoologia. One year latter (1978), he collaborated with José Henrique Guimarães and Arício Xavier Linhares on a historic paper about the introduction of species of Chrysomyia (Calliphoridae) in Brazil. This was the first of a series of scientific contributions on the genus involving researchers from various institutions, some of which are still being published.

Thanks to two assistantships granted by CNPq, father Jesus Santiago Moure, Angelo Pires do Prado and I formed a committee to investigate and write a report on the status of zoology in Brazil. We visited the main institutions in the country, collected CVs from zoologists, and made an inventory of the collections. Unfortunately, CNPq did not use our database. I gave our committee the nickname "Celestial Committee", because it was composed of a Jesus, an Angel, and a Papa (meaning "Pope" in Portuguese.)

In 1982, Angelo married again. His new wife, Yara Valença da Rocha Prado, was a former biology student who ended up majoring in law. The couple had two children, Laura Rocha Prado (biology major from Unicamp) and Renato Rocha Prado (rural producer).

In 1983, Guimarães, Papavero & Prado published a contribution on Neotropical myiases in the first volume of the Revista Brasileira de Zoologia. In the years that followed, Angelo began to focus more on parasitology, particularly entomological parasitology, vectors and plant health, besides insecticide resistance. His main contributions were on Musca domestica, synantropic Diptera, development and ecology of domestic flies, fruit flies and blowflies, domestic mites (dust mites), phytophagous mites, mites associated with synanthropic and wild birds (nest, feather and skin mites.)

Angelo authored several catalogs of Acalyptratae Diptera for the series Fauna da Amazônia Brasileira, edited by the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, and for the Neotropical Diptera series

During his professional life, Angelo published 117 scientific contributions and one book. He advised 35 Master of Science students to the completion of their theses (1979-2011). Two additional theses from that same period are ongoing. Seventeen Ph.D. dissertations were completed under his mentorship, and seven more are ongoing (1976-2011). Additionally, he participated in 139 dissertation committees (Master and Ph.D.)

Despite the terrible illness that fell upon him, and the fact that he was constrained to retire, Angelo continued to contribute to the Unicamp as an associate professor. He was loyal, wise, objective, ethical and generous. Angelo opened many doors for the research of others and never asked for anything in return.


I thank Yara Valença da Rocha Prado and Laura Rocha Prado, for providing important data, and Dr. Sionei R. Bonatto, for inviting me to write this obituary.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    19 Nov 2013
  • Date of issue
    Oct 2013
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