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Herman de Jong

H. (Herman) de Jong, Senior researcher - Taxonomy and Systematics


Email: herman.dejong@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71-56 87 638
Room number: C03.09, Darwinweg 2


Research interest

Phylogeny, character evolution and historical biogeography of Tipulomorpha (Insecta, Diptera). Program includes morphological, and - where feasible - molecular examination of recent and fossil adult and immature stages of Tipuloidea (families Cylindrotomidae, Limoniidae, Pediciidae, and Tipulidae) and closely related families Psychodidae, Ptychopteridae, Tanyderidae, Trichoceridae, plus extinct families. As these families most likely represent old lineages of the Diptera, and possibly the oldest known clades of the order, my research interests also extend to the roots of the order and the presumed Permian/Triassic origin of the Diptera from panorpoid (scorpionfly-like) ancestors. Biogeographical approaches include niche modelling studies and Dispersal Vicariance (DIVA) analyses.


lower diptera, crane flies, tipulomorpha, panorpoidea, biogeography, phylogeny

Current research topics

Origin of Tipulidae based on fossil evidence

Based on impression fossils, a phylogenetic reconstruction is made of the oldest lineages of the Tipuloidea in order to identify and date the origin of the family Tipulidae. Among extinct and extant lineages of Tipuloidea, a relatively well supported clade can be recognized as the lineage that gave rise to present-day Tipulidae.

Phylogeny and intercontinental biogeography of Phlebotominae

The circumtropical Phlebotominae are a subfamily of the Psychodidae, an old family of the Diptera of which the phylogeny is still unexplored. Phlebotominae, also known as sandflies, are notorious because their females take blood meals and many species act as vectors of various forms of Leishmaniasis disease in humans and other animals, Bartonella bacteria, and several arboviruses. Besides providing information on character evolution in the Lower Diptera, resolving the phylogeny of the Phlebotominae can help to locate and date the origin(s) of the vector-ship of the sandflies.

Molecular phylogeny of the major clades of the Tipulomorpha

A newly formed consortium of cranefly specialists around the world has agreed to start a world-wide morphological and molecular research on the phylogeny of the major clades of the Tipulomorpha. The Tipulomorpha are the largest group of the Diptera, containing more than 18.000 recent described species. They also belong to the oldest groups of the Diptera and understanding the evolution of this large group will help to solve many problems that still exists regarding the origin and early diversification of the order.


Higher level phylogeny of Tipulomorpha (among others)

  • Guilherme Ribeiro, Universidade Federal do ABC, Santo André, SP, Brazil
  • Yang Ding, Department of Entomology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
  • Ewa Krzeminska, Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland
  • Wieslaw Krzeminski, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Krakow, Poland
  • Takeyuki Nakamura, Shirakami Institute for Environmental Sciences, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki City, Japan

Higher level phylogeny of the Psychodidae

  • Gregory Curler,Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, U.S.A.
  • Rudiger Wagner, University of Kassel, Institute of Biology, Kassel, Germany


Main collections used: Naturalis, Leiden; Natural History Museum, London; National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington; Fossils collection, University of Cracow.



Not applicable.

Available student projects