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The 2002 Checklist of Dutch Diptera
This project started with work of Paul Beuk at the National Museum of Natural History (Naturalis) at Leiden in 1991-1992. By then, the work of De Meijere was considered outdated. A large amount of new faunistic information had been published but was not easily accessible. For aquatic groups Limnofauna Neerlandica (Mol, 1984) provided an update, but in this work not even all published information for the groups covered was compiled. The hope was to produce a provisional list in about eighteen months. A vast amount of information was gathered as a basis for a checklist but it could not all be processed in the allotted time. The somewhat unsatisfying result was a number of lists with varying degree of completeness and reliability. No funds were available at the time to finish the project but Beuk continued the work in the following years on a spare-time basis. In the mean time several Diptera specialists continued to work on some families or groups, though not in the framework of a new checklist. However, when data became available, these were incorporated into the existing database. Following the request to provide species lists for the faunistic recording program ORDE (Fokker & Vorst, 1995, 1999), the working documents were transformed into more or less proper species lists and updated when possible. Because of the scope of ORDE, it was possible to include species from surrounding countries, too. This was done for a number of families of which the species list was not particularly well known. This means that the Diptera species lists supplied with ORDE probably included all known Dutch species (at the time), but not all species listed were necessarily known from the Netherlands. To some degree this limted the use as 'checklist for the Netherlands'.

The checklist project was revived in 2000 at the instigation of the late Volkert van der Goot. A project proposal describing the reordering of the present information, the gathering of updates and the publication of the list was drafted jointly by the European Invertebrate Survey - Nederland and the Zoological Museum of the University of Amsterdam. When a grant was awarded by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the project started in November 2000 with a request to specialists in the Netherlands and abroad to cooperate in the compilation of a new list. A most productive year followed and all families were reviewed. In his will, Volkert van der Goot enabled the publication of printed version of the 2002 list. It was very sad he did not live to see the publication of the list.

After the publication of the list in 2002 it was the intention to erect a panel of Dutch specialists that would monitor publications to keep the list updated, preferably with a yearly publication listing newly recorded species, taxanomic changes, etc. For several reasons, this panel never started and there was no central place where updates were recorded collaboratvely.

For his own convenience Beuk digitised the lists in 2004, converted them to static internet pages and attempted to keep up to date with the new records and taxonomic and nomenclatorial changes. These pages were never formally announced but some of the pages on the 'sleeping' website were found and indexed by search engines like Google.
Editing static html pages proved to be prone to errors and Beuk decided to undertake the tedious job of converting everything to a database and creating access through a modified content management system. This transition from a static to a dynamic site took several years as the coding of the new system was quite complex and many error had to be weeded out, both in the source code for rendering the pages and in the date that were transferred to database tables. As a result pages are now created from records in a database and several functions (like calcuting species numbers) are now automated.

During the last three years, many newly recorded species were added to the database and taxonomic and nomenclatorial changes are applied. By now, the information should be an acurate representation of the present state of our knowledge of the separate families. The new system allows families to be edited by different administrators which should facilitate and speed up updating the list. The incorporated forum will enable users of the site to submit information and suggest corrections or improvements.

Paul L. Th. Beuk (editor)

In memory of Volkert van der Goot (23 September 1929 - 31 Augustus 2001), a remarkable entomologist who was an inspiration for Dutch dipterology.
(Photo: Pjotr Oosterbroek)
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