For two weeks (October 18 to 29), the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research is honoured to host five top experts in the field of aquatic insects for the Singapore Aquatic Heteroptera workshop. They are Dr. John Polhemus from the USA, Dr. Dan Polhemus from Bishop Museum, Honululu, Dr. Herbert Zettel from Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria, Dr. Lanna Cheng from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, and Dr. Tran Anh Duc from Hanoi University of Science, Vietnam.
In 1963, Dr. Lanna Cheng produced the first guide on Malayan aquatic insects. Till now, it is still the main resource for bug identification in this region. However, with tropical Singapore and peninsular Malaysia situated in a hotspot of biodiversity, new genera and species has been continually identified since. This, coupled with the significant growths in collections and knowledge, presses the need for a more current guide.
The workshop will facilitate exchange of information among the invited experts and authentication of the museum collection, as part of an ongoing effort to produce an up-to-date checklist on aquatic heteroptera, both freshwater and marine inclusive, of Singapore and peninsular Malaysia in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (RBZ).
To date, guides on the families of Gerridae, Hermatobatidae, Veliidae, Pleidae, Notonectidae, Corixidea, and Hydrometridae have been published in the RBZ under the Guide to the aquatic Heteroptera of Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia series. We are looking forward to the results of their research and the publication of guides for the remaining families.
Anyone interested in aquatic heteroptera are welcome to consult the invited experts with their taxonomic or related problems.
From left to right: Dr. Dan Polhemus, Mrs. Yang Chang Mun, Prof. Peter Ng, Dr. Lanna Cheng, Dr. Herbert Zettel, Dr. Tran Anh Duc, Dr. John Polhemus, and Dr. Dennis H. Murphy.
Photo taken by Tan Swee Hee. Text by Lee Yen-ling.