Introduction At the Department of Animal Systematics and Zoogeography of the Free University Amsterdam the object of study has been already for a number of years the systematics and phylogeny of the microlepidopteran family Nepticulidae. Particularly the species of the western palearctic region have been studied, but also studies on species from New Zealand and Japan have been undertaken. Ideas about the phylogenetic relationships between genera of Nepticulidae are developed. Until now knowledge of Nepticulidae in East Asia, apart from Japan and the Ussuryisk region in the USSR has been negligible because of the lack of material from this part of the world in museum collections. Judging from the distribution of the hostplants in E. Asia the Nepticulid fauna certainly must be very rich. This means that collecting trips to any of the East Asian countries might very well result in the discovery of many hitherto unknown species of this family of moths. The agreement between the Peoples Republic of China and our country gave our department an excellent opportunity to establish cooperation on the study of Nepticulidae with the Zoological Institute of the Academia Sinica, Beijing. The head of our department, Prof. C. Wilkinson, visited the Zoological Institute (and several others) during December 1983 and January 1984 to establish the initial contacts with our counterpart Prof. Liu Youqiao and investigate museum collections. It appeared that even in the P.R.C. very few species of Nepticulidae were present in museum collections, so it became apparent that a collecting trip would be the first step necessary in starting a cooperative study of Nepticulidae in China. This report gives the experiences and preliminary results of this first collecting trip, which lasted from September 4th till November 1st, 1984. The purpose was to collect larvae of Nepticulidae, rear them out, set up a pinned collection to enalble further study, preserve their mines and prepare a herbarium of food plants of the collected Nepticulidae species. Another purpose was to show our Chinese colleagues the necessary techniques for studying microlepidoptera and Nepticulidae in particular, thus enabling them to start their own study and cooperate with us.

, , ,
Department of Animal Systematics, Subfaculty Biology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Staff publications

van Driel, J.W, & van Nieukerken, E.J. (1985, January). Report on a collecting trip to China, 1984, to study and collect Nepticulidae (Lepidoptera). Department of Animal Systematics, Subfaculty Biology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.