Study of Insects | Mites | Spiders
The Department Terrestrial Invertebrates consists of three collections: Acarology, Arachnology and Entomology. The research focus of the department involves projects in these three collections and the specialists working on it.
Currently the focus is:
Although there were entomology collections, especially butterflies, that predate the inception of the Department, the Entomology Department was formally established on 1 May 1975, when Gunderico Wladimiro Santos Ferreira (1921–1999), who had studied at the University of Coimbra, Portugal and was formerly employed at the University of Lourenço Marcques, Moçambique, took up the position of entomologist. Three months later, during April, he was joined by his wife, Maria Corinta Ferreira (née Melo) (1922–?2003), who had held the position of Director of the Institute for Scientific Research of Moçambique (employed 1959–1974) and Professional officer at Museu Dr Álvaro de Castro, Lourenço Marques (employed 1948–1959), prior to her appointment at the National Museum. Both received leave of absence from Bloemfontein to attend pension-related court cases in Mozambique in 1979 and never returned to the Museum… READ MORE
Lizel Hugo-Coetzee obtained her BSc, BSc Hons and MSc at the University of the Free State, majoring in Entomology. She obtained her PhD in Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University in 2006. Her thesis title was: Spatial patterns in the microarthropod community associated with Azorella selago (Apiaceae) on the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands.
She started working at the National Museum in January 2006 as a Museum Scientist. Lizel is a Research Associate of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of the Free State.
Lizel has been appointed Head of Department in January 2017. Her main interest is the taxonomy of oribatid mites in South Africa, as well as some ecological aspects of oribatid mite communities.
Gimo holds a BSc in Biology, MSc and PhD in Entomology. He obtained his PhD degree at the University of Pretoria in 2019, under supervision of Clarke Scholtz, Catherine Sole and Adrian Davis. Gimo started working at the National Museum in July 2019 as Principal Museum Scientist. He also is a research fellow associated with the Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences at Walter Sisulu University.
Gimo is an entomologist with interests in understanding the systematics and biogeography of dung beetles and related scarab beetles. He is cataloguing and describing the impressive biodiversity of Afrotropical dung beetles to address broader evolutionary questions, such as the role of geological uplift and climatic changes in the late Cenozoic in the diversification and possible extinction of scarab beetles in southern Africa.
B.Sc Entomology (UFS); M.Sc. Entomology(UFS)
Burgert began his entomology career in 2008 as Senior Research Technician: Natural Sciences at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg. From 2009–2016 he was employed at the same institution as Curator of Entomology, focussing his research on Afrotropical Diptera, specifically Muscidae. During his time at the museum he served as Graphics Editor for the International (and museum) journal African Invertebrates. In 2014 he took over as Managing Editor of African Invertebrates until his departure from the Museum. He still acts as subject editor for the Taxonomy discipline in the journal. He also served as co-facilitator and trainer of Georeferencing workshops for SANBI since 2012.
In 2014 Burgert obtained his Masters degree for a thesis titled: Systematics of the shoot fly subgenus Atherigona s. str. (diptera: muscidae) of South Africa.
Burgert’s research interests are systematics, taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of true flies (Diptera), with special emphasis on Muscidae and Athericidae. He is also interested in Cybertaxonomy and literature mark-up, as well as Collections data quality assessment and use, which includes georeferencing and collections information management.
Museum Scientist - Arachnology
Jan Andries Neethling MSc firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan registered for B.Sc Microbiology at the University of the Free State in 2006, obtaining the degree with distinction in 2009. In 2010 he registered for third year B.Sc Entomology, obtaining distinctions in all the registered subjects and was consequently accepted into the Honours program at the Zoology and Entomology department in 2011 where he specialised in Arachnid taxonomy, but also did courses in Forensic Entomology and Plant-Insect Interactions.
At the end of 2011 he obtained his Honours (cum laude) with his thesis: “Effect of moon phases on the activity patterns of trapdoor spiders, scorpions and solifugids at the Free State National Botanical Gardens”.
He recently (2015) obtained his Master of Science (cum laude) with his thesis: “Revision of the South African Geogarypidae (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones)”, which represents the first holistic taxonomic study of a South African pseudoscorpion family, taking both molecular and morphological characters into consideration.
He is currently busy with the taxonomic revision of the South African Pseudoscorpionida fauna.
Trudie Peyper is a National Museum Staff Member in the Arachnology Department
Trudie Peyper grew up in Bloemfontein. She completed a B Agric degree at the University of the Free State. She started to work at the Museum in 1984 and is currently a Chief Research Assistant in the Arachnology Department.
Mabocha Jarmaine Magoai – Research Assistant
Jarmaine obtained a B.Sc. degree in Entomology at the University of Pretoria and is currently an intern working in the Entomology collection. She is tasked with data basing of specimen data, verifying captured data, and general curation of specimens
Growing up, Jarmaine wanted to know about the dynamics of the environment, hence the field of Science. She loves nature and would like to further her studies in conservation.
Sarah Mokwena – Intern Data Capturer: Entomology
Sarah obtained her BSc in Entomology and Microbiology and BSc Hons in Entomology at the University of Fort Hare. She is tasked with data basing insect specimens in the Entomology collection.
From a young age she has always been curious how animals as small as insects could have such a vast impact on the environment and its ecosystem. She would like to continue her studies focusing mainly on Insect ecology.
Project 556: A revision of the Hermannielliidae (Acari, Oribatida) of South Africa.
Project 555: Effects of climate and topography on spatial patterns of genetic structure in southern African dung beetles.
Project 457: Systematics of Afrotropical Athericidae (water snipe flies).
Project 542 Diversification and expansion of the National Museum Entomology collection
Project 504: Systematics of the endemic, Afrotropical, dung beetle genus, Odontoloma (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae)
Project 505: Revision of the South African pseudoscorpion fauna (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones).
Project 538: The undiscovered dung beetle fauna from Mabu forest, Mozambique
Gimo M. Daniel
Daniel, G.M., Strümpher, W.P., Josso, J.-F. 2023. Dung beetle fauna from Mount Mabu, Mozambique. Part 1: A new species of Onthophagus Latreille, 1802, and a checklist of species belonging to d'Orbigny's group 3 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae). Zootaxa. 5258 (4): 429–442.
Daniel, G.M., Strümpher, W.P., Josso, J.-F. 2023. Dung beetle fauna of Mabu. Part 2: Pedaria ricardogutai (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), a new species, with an annotated checklist of species of Pedaria Laporte, 1832 from Mozambique. Zootaxa 5325(3), 409-418.
Burgert S. Muller
Jan A. Neethling
Neethling, J.A. & Neethling, C. 2023. A systematic revision of the South African Gymnobisiidae (Pseudoscorpiones: Neobisioidea). Zootaxa, 5256(6), 501-543.