March 6, 2013

Internet resources about Microgastrinae. Part IV

This is the fourth part of a series of posts discussing available, free, Internet resources on microgastrine wasps (Braconidae). The interested reader can retrieve the complete series by searching for the Tag "Internet Resources" within this blog.

The post of today will deal with a journal website: Annales historico-naturales Musei nationalis hungarici. The reason why such a site is included here is because of the amount of papers it has on Braconidae, as free pdfs. If one does a search in the journal (using "Braconidae" as keyword and searching in "all fields") it is possible to retrieve 63 papers, 60 of them downloadable as pdf documents. And at least half of those papers are about Microgastrinae.

The main reason for so many papers on Braconidae (and indeed on microgastrines) is due to the prolific work of the Hungarian braconid expert, Dr. Jenő Papp, a former researcher with the Hungarian Natural History Museum. Jenő, now retired (but still working and actively publishing at the age of 80!), has described around 750 new species of Braconidae, including 130 or so Microgastrinae. Especially important is his series of 12 papers "A survey of the European species of Apanteles..." where he dealt with the Palearctic fauna of Apanteles -which at that time included most of Microgastrinae, with the exception of Microgastrinae, Microplitis and a couple of small genera. Altogether with the work of Nixon (a British researcher, to be featured in future posts here), the papers of Papp should be consulted by anyone studying specimens in the Holarctic region -i.e. North America, Europe and temperate Asia. Thanks to the open access provided to many of those papers by the "Annales historico-naturales Musei nationalis hungarici" it is now possible to download and study Papp's work.

What I find most amazing of Jenő, a great researcher and character, is that most of his career happened during the socialism times in Hungary. As a result, it was difficult for him to access other European collections (especially those from Western Europe). However, he managed to keep publishing. And, as far as I know, he was the first braconid expert from Europe to embrace the new generic concepts of Microgatrinae proposed by Mason in 1981. Papp produced a paper in 1988 (part XI of his series on Apanteles) where he transferred the older names of European species to the new genera described by Mason.  

Jenő Papp (right) and the author at the 7th International Meeting of the International Society of Hymenopterists (Kőszeg, Hungary, June 2010). In the background, Ovidius Popovici (extreme left) and another Rumanian researcher on Procotrupoidea wasps, while the Australian braconid expert Andy Austin is to the right.
I have deviated myself a bit in this post to talk about Papp, because am not aware of many sites that have acknowledged his significant contributions to Braconidae. Thus, I hope this humble post serves as a modest homage to him. [I also apologize for including a photo of me, I do not like to do that, but do not have other photo of Jenő to share -and did not want to cut or edit the picture].

Back to the website being featured today, I have no major criticism of it. In times when, unfortunately, is necessary to pay for access to research papers in many cases, I find hard to criticize a journal that allows free downloads of its articles as pdfs. If any suggestion is allowed, it would be to try providing access to the remaining works -for example, there is one paper from Papp about Microgaster that is very important but still not available. But I should not be complaining...

Sites as the one mentioned above provide an opportunity for the interested researcher to stock her/his research library on Microgastrinae. And for that there is only one word: Thanks


  1. You are very welcome! In time I hope to add more sites which contain useful information and resources about microgastrines... I just need more spare time to work in the blog ;-)
    Thanks for your encouragement,

  2. Thank you for helping people get the information they need. Great stuff as usual. Keep up the great work!!!
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