Laboratory of Insect Taxonomy

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Laboratory of insect taxonomy is one of the biggest subdivisions of the Institute staffed by unique group of highly qualified specialists on all the large insect groups. On the basis of the laboratory, the St. Petersburg entomological taxonomic school, possessing the richest scientific traditions and experience in education of scientific staff was officially recorded. The main directions of studies performed in the laboratory include the study of taxonomic diversity of Russian and world fauna on the basis of advanced studies in comparative and functional morphology of representatives of different taxonomic groups and regularities of their geographical distribution; development of problems concerning classification, evolution, and phylogeny. Fundamental taxonomic revisions of separate insect groups, and also studies of the genesis of regional and global faunas and their inventory was and still is the priority of these studies.

During last ten years, 14 monographs including those published in such known series as “Fauna of Russia and adjacent countries» and “Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS”, and also numerous papers in revised Russian and foreign scientific journals were published by the staff of the laboratory; in these papers, up to 300 new taxa are described annually. At present, an important aspect of laboratory activity includes close integration of classic and most modern cytogenetic and molecular-genetic methods, and also involvement of not only recent, but also fossil forms for substantiation of phylogeny and formation of the system. Much attention in the laboratory is paid to the formation of specialized computer taxonomic, bibliographic, and collection databases on the most intensively studied insect groups. The largest web-site of the web-portal of the Zoological Institute RAS “Beetles (Coleoptera) and coleopterologists” constantly develops; at present, it is the largest scientific and scientific-popular coleopterological site in the world.

Laboratory Structure

47 employees (35 researchers, 10 collection keepers and 2 research interns).

Department of lepidopterans

Department of coleopterans

Department of hymenopterans

Department of dipterans

Department of orthopteroids

Department of hemipterans

Department of lower Paraneoptera

Department of neuropterans

Department of karyotaxonomy

Topics of State Assignments

“Taxonomic diversity of the main Insecta orders and its zoogeographical and ecofaunistic analysis”.
PI: Head of Laboratory, Doctor of Biological Sciences S.Yu. Sinev.
No. AAAA-A19-119020690101-6.

“Comparative cytogenetics, karyosystematics and molecular genetic studies on the formation of taxonomic diversity and ecological adaptations in animals”.
PIs: Doctor of Biological Sciences V.G. Kuznetsova; PhD N.I. Abramson.
No. АААА-А19-119020790106-0.

“Taxonomic diversity of the main Insecta orders and its zoogeographical and ecofaunistic analysis”.
PI: Head of Laboratory, Doctor of Biological Sciences S.Yu. Sinev.
No. АААА-А17-117030310210-3.

“Ecophysiological and morphological adaptations of insects in the context of general biodiversity”.
PI: Doctor of Biological Sciences O.G. Ovtshinnikova.
No. АААА-А17-117030310205-9.

“Comparative cytogenetics, karyosystematics and molecular phylogenetics of insects and other invertebrate animals”.
PI: Doctor of Biological Sciences V.G. Kuznetsova.
No. АААА-А17-117030310018-5.

Laboratory collections

Rich entomological collections of the Zoological Institute were initiated by Peter the First already in 1714, when the Court Natural Cabinet (Kunstkammer) was established. Till 1820-ies, however, no scientific work on this collection was performed. Development of entomological studies is associated with names of E.F. Menetrie and A.F. Moravitz; they had put entomological collection into order and also seriously studied butterflies, beetles, and hemipteran insects. The nineteen century was the period of accumulation of collections (including entomological collection) in the Zoological Museum. Especially many material was obtained by expeditions organized by the Academy of Sciences, in particular, the expedition of I.G. Voznesensky into Russian belongings in North America (Alaska and California); expedition of R.K. Maak and G.I. Radde into East Siberia and Amur area; expedition of A.L. Chekanovsky into northern regions of East Siberia, and others. In the end of the century, the Zoological Museum enriched itself with most valuable material collected in Central Asia by expeditions of N.M. Przhevalksy, V.I. Roborovsky, P.K. Kozlov, G.N. Potanin, G.E. Grum-Grzhimailo. Together with numerous collections bought from foreign museums and private persons, these material gave an ability to begin intense studies of insect fauna of our country.

At present, all the studies conducted in the laboratory a based on the work with the basic collection of the Zoological Institute. This collection is the largest in Russia and one of the largest in the world depository of representatives of Palaearctic and world entomofauna on the whole (more than 20 million samples). It comprises many thousands of unique, including type (standard) specimens of species. This collection is replenished first of all due to participation of the laboratory staff in numerous expeditions into different regions of Russia, and frequently far beyond its limits, mainly into South-East Asia an, Africa, and South America.

Main publications of the Laboratory

Sinev S.Yu. (Ed.) 2019. Catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Russia. Edition 2. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 448 p. [Russian]

Belokobylskij S.A., Lelej A.S. (Eds). 2019. Annotated catalogue of the Hymenoptera of Russia. Volume II. Apocrita: Parasitica. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 594 p. (Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS 323. Supplement 8). [Russian]

Gavrilov-Zimin I.A. 2018. Ontogenesis, morphology and higher classification of archaeococcids (Homoptera: Coccinea: Orthezioidea). St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS, 260 p. (Zoosystematica Rossica. Supplementum 2). [Russian]

Belokobylskij S.A., Lelej A.S. (Eds). 2017. Annotated catalogue of the Hymenoptera of Russia. Volume I. Symphyta and Apocrita: Aculeata. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 475 p. (Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS 321. Supplement 6). [Russian]

Rosa P., Belokobylskij S.A., Zaytseva L.A. 2017. The Chrysididae types described by Semenov-Tian-Shanskij and deposited at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint-Petersburg (Insecta: Hymenoptera). St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 266 p. (Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS. Supplement 5). [Russian]

Mironov V.G. 2017. A systematic catalogue of the tribe Eupitheciini (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) of the fauna of Russia. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 160 p. [Russian]

Danzig E.M., Gavrilov-Zimin I.A. 2015. Palaearctic mealybugs (Homoptera: Coccinea: Pseudococcidae). Part 2. Subfamily Pseudococcinae. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 619 p. (Fauna of Russia and neighbouring countries. New series 149. Insecta: Hemiptera: Arthrodignatha). [Russian]

Emeljanov A.F. 2015. Planthoppers of the family Cixiidae of Russia and adjacent territories. St. Petersburg-Moscow: KMK Scientific Press Ltd. 253 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 177). [Russian]

Sinev S.Yu. 2015. World catalogue of bright-legged moths (Lepidoptera, Stathmopodidae). St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 84 p. [Russian]

Astafurova Yu.V. 2014. Bees of the subfamilies Rophitinae and Nomiinae (Hymenoptera, Halictidae) of the Russia and adjacent territories. St. Petersburg-Moscow: KMK Scientific Press Ltd. 383 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 176). [Russian]

Gnezdilov V.M., Holzinger W.E., Wilson M.R. 2014. The western Palaearctic Issidae (Hemiptera, Fulgoroidea): an illustrated checklist and key to genera and subgenera. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 124 p. (Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS 318. Supplement 1). [Russian]

Danzig E.M., Gavrilov-Zimin I.A. 2014. Palaearctic mealybugs (Homoptera: Coccinea: Pseudococcidae). Part 1. Subfamily Phenacoccinae. St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 678 p. (Fauna of Russia and neighbouring countries. New series 148. Insecta: Hemiptera: Arthrodignatha). [Russian]

Sinev S.Yu. 2014. World catalogue of blastobasid moths (Lepidoptera, Blastobasidae). St. Petersburg: Zoological Institute RAS. 108 p. [Russian]

Baryshnikova S.V. 2013. Bucculatricid moths (Lepidoptera, Bucculatricidae) of the fauna of Russia and adjacent territories. St. Petersburg-Moscow: KMK Scientific Press Ltd. 160 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 175). [Russian]

Krivokhatsky V.A. 2011. Antlions (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) of Russia. St. Petersburg; Moscow: KMK Scientific Press Ltd. 334 p. (Keys to the fauna of Russia published by the Zoological Institute RAS 174). [Russian]

Mironov V., Galsworthy A.C., Xue D. 2010. A Revision of the genus Eupithecia (Lepidoptera, Geometridae) of China. Stenstrup: Apollo Books, 322 p.

Sinev S.Yu. (Ed.) 2008. Catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Russia. St. Petersburg; Moscow: KMK Scientific Press Ltd. 424 p. [Russian]

Lvovsky A.L., Morgun D.V. 2007. Rhopalocera of Eastern Europe. Moscow: KMK Scientific Press Ltd. 443 p. [Russian]

Grants of the Laboratory

RSF No. 20-14-00097. “Insects of Russia through digital view of collections” (PI A.Yu. Solodovnikov).

RSF No. 19-14-00202. “Hybrid speciation without polyploidy: origin and evolution of pre- and postzygotic barriers between hybrids and parental forms” (PI V.A. Lukhtanov).

RFBR No. 19-04-00027_a. “Phylogenetic and morphobiological fundamentals of the systematics and global biodiversity of the problematic groups of Higher Hymenoptera” (PI S.A. Belokobylskij).

RFBR No. 19-04-00565_a. “Coleopterous insects in different climatic belts: taxonomy, morphology, trophic associations and spatial distribution” (PI B.A. Korotyaev).

RFBR No. 19-54-18002_Bolg. “Evolutionary aspects of reproductive biology and cytogenetics of hemipteroid insects (Hemiptera)” ” (PI I.A. Gavrilov).

RFBR No. 19-34-50027. “Taxonomy, phylogeny and evolution of Colias butterflies (Lepidoptera, Pieridae): the role of interspecific hybridization in the group formation” (PI N.A. Shapoval).

RFBR No. 18-04-00243_a. “Change of composition of the order of beetles (Coleoptera) in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic” (PI A.G. Kirejtshuk).

RFBR No. 18-04-00065_a. “Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the subtribe Issina (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Fulgoroidea: Issidae)” (PI V.M. Gnezdilov).

RFBR No. 18-04-00354_a. “Morphogenesis of the male terminalia of Diptera Calyptratae in the evolution of Cyclorrhapha (Diptera)” (PI O.G. Ovtshinnikova).

RFBR No. 18-34-00099_a. “Parasitoid wasps of economic importance from the family Pteromalidae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) in the fauna of Russia: biodiversity, distribution and host relations” (PI E.V. Tselikh).

RFBR No. 18-34-00756. “Interspecific hybridization and mitochondrial introgression in butterflies (Lepidoptera)” (PI N.A. Shapoval).

RFBR No. 17-04-00754_a. “Biodiversity of the Lepidoptera of Russia: a review of the fauna based on the generalization of modern taxonomical, molecular and faunistic data” (PI S. Yu. Sinev).

RFBR No. 17-04-00828_a. “Analysis of holokinetic chromosomes and their changes in evolution of insects” (PI V.G. Kuznetsova).

RFBR No. 16-04-00412_a. “Taxonomic study of largest groups of the Coleoptera based on morphological, ecological and zoogeographic data” (PI B.A. Korotyaev).

RFBR No. 16-04-00197_a. “Parasitic and Aculeata Hymenoptera: relevant problems of the systematics, phylogeny and biodiversity” (PI S.A. Belokobylskij).

RFBR No. 16-04-01143_a. “The processes of divergence and convergence in evolution of hemimetabolous insects and origin of modern fauna of fulgoroid cicads (Hemiptera, Fulgoroidea), orthopterans (Orthoptera) and cockroaches (Blattodea)” (PI L.N. Anisyutkin).

RFBR No. 15-04-02971_a. “Genesis of main taxonomic groups and substantiation of system of the order Coleoptera (Insecta)” (PI A.G. Kirejtshuk).

RFBR No. 15-04-03457_a. “Stages and trends of Eremoneura genital morfogenesis (Insecta, Diptera)” (PI O.G. Ovtshinnikova).

RFBR No. 15-29-02466_a. “Revision of the taxonomic and genetic structure of the Hymenoptera biodiversity of Russia in the aims of efficient use of its natural potential” (PI S.A. Belokobylskij).