Evaluation report Doctoral (PhD) thesis: „Biosystematic study of

Katedra zoologie a rybářství
Česká zemědělská univerzita v Praze,
Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6 - Suchdol
Tel.: +420 224 383 061
e-mail: [email protected], www.af.czu.cz
Evaluation report
Doctoral (PhD) thesis: „Biosystematic study of model taxa of the family Tachinidae (Diptera)“
(Studium biosystematiky modelových taxonů čeledi Tachinidae (Diptera)
Author: Erikas Lutovinovas
Study programm: Biology (1501V-Zoology)
Faculty of Sciences, Masaryk University, Brno (Přírodovědecká fakulta Masarykovy Univerzity v Brně)
The thesis consists of 66 pages of the text (including some figures and reference lists) and additional
nearly 20 pages of figures, reference list, list of publications of the author, c.v., etc. Some
publications of the author are on the CD included.
The thesis is divided into three separate parts: (1) Molecular phylogeny in the subfamily Tachininae
(Diptea: Tachinidae), (2) Taxonomic approach to the Dinera carinifrons (Fallén) species complex and
(3) An eco-faunistic overview of the Lithuanian Tachinidae (Diptera). All three parts are subdivided
into ordinary paragraphs: „Goals and objectives“, „Survey of researches about the subject“, „Material
and methods“, „Results“, „Discussion and conclusions“, „Figures“ and „References“.
1) The topic of the thesis is highly relevant especially because it combines classical "morphological"
taxonomy with modern genetic and statistical methods and also involves faunistic studies.
2) The selected methods of study are adequate with respect to goals.
3) The new findings included in the thesis and other papers of the author are numerous.
4) Benefits for the further development of science are considerable and the scope of the work can be
considered adequate.
5) PhD thesis clearly achieved its goal.
The following comments are decidedly formal in nature and do not reduce the quality of the work as
a whole.
The thesis contains only a few typing errors and inaccuracies such as:
- „they regulates“ (p. 10), - „ordineum naturalem in familias doisposita“ (p. 12), - in many
publications pages are omitted (e.g. on p. 13: Sheenan, p. 34: Zwickl, p. 48: Belshaw, p. 51: Zelditch,
p. 72: several), - aediagus (p. 15), - assighed (p. 19 – several times also on the following page), Triarthria setipenns (p. 20), - famlies (p. 22), - brackets are erroneously in italics on many places (e.g.
p. 33), - Palaearctics (p. 61), - I recommend to change statement „absent in … (an area, trap, etc.)“ for
„has not been found in …..“, - in many places in the text are mistakenly brackets in italics (e.g. p. 33)
I have several questions to start scientific debate:
Katedra zoologie a rybářství
Česká zemědělská univerzita v Praze,
Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6 - Suchdol
Tel.: +420 224 383 061
e-mail: [email protected], www.af.czu.cz
1) What do you think is a reason of the fragmentation of the family into so many genera (about 4
species per genus in the Palaearctis), which is not common in other groups (e.g. genus Rhamphomyia
contains now about 600 described species, Platypalpus more than 500 species).
2) I hesitate about usefulness of phylogenetic analyses: what information they should give to us if
only very partial materials are at hand (and never be complete). I would prefer funding field insect
collecting (saving at least in collection species on verge of extinction) instead of treating old materials
stored in old collections.
3) How the length of palpus was measured? Usually its base is deeply embedded inside mouth cavity.
4) If Dinera carinifrons “A” proved to be identical with D. fuscata, why not change position of
quotation marks as D. “carinifrons A”, maybe this will be more transparent. What means in ICZN:
Dinera (carinifrons)?
5) Your statement: „Malaise trap yielded more small species“ (p. 63) is a common misunderstanding
appearing frequently in the literature. In fact the ability of the trap to capture large flies (not only
tachinids but also calliphorids, muscids, etc.) depends on the construction type of the trap: (1) the
higher and broader is the „roof“ of the trap, the more „large“ flies it collects, and (2) large flies
readily escape from bottles mounted as usually (by means of a holder without overlap into the
bottle), however, if trap is mounted to bottle by means of a transparent transition tunnel with an
overlap inside the bottle at least 3-5 cm long, large flies are readily collected because they are unable
to escape.
Finally, I can only conclude that the submitted work meets the requirements for this type of work
and therefore I propose it to be taken as the basis for the defense and on its basis the author is
assigned the title of "Philosophiae Doctor (PhD)"
I evaluate the submitted thesis by the degree of A
Prague, 14 April 2014
Prof. RNDr. Miroslav Barták, CSc