Art Borkent is a world expert on the biosystematics of Ceratopogonidae (biting midges, no-see-ums), Corethrellidae (frog-biting midges) and Chaoboridae (phantom midges) and has broad interests in the phylogenetic relationships of all nematocerous Diptera at the family level. A major work published in 2012 described the pupae of each of the families of the Culicomorpha, providing homologies and a new phylogenetic interpretation of the relationships between the included families. His current work on Ceratopogonidae concentrates on the phylogenetic relationships between the genera and the incredible fossil amber record of this family. A monograph published in 2014 provides the first detailed descriptions of the pupae of Ceratopogonidae at the generic level, the first comprehensive key to these, and a new phylogenetic interpretation of some genera, based on the pupae. A table gives a complete listing of all references describing any immature stage (eggs, larvae, pupae). Current projects include writing chapters for the Ceratopogonidae (including males for the first time), Corethrellidae, Chaoboridae and the larval family key (with Brad Sinclair) for the upcoming Manual of Afrotropical Diptera (spearheaded by Ashley Kirk-Spriggs). Other projects include interpretation of the Ceratopogonidae of the cloud forest at Zurqui de Moravia, Costa Rica (see below), as well as revisions of several genera. Revisions of various Costa Rican taxa continues (especially of Parabezzia, various subgenera of Forcipomyia, and a few rare small genera). The next two years will hopefully see publication of a major work on the phylogenetic relationships of all genera of Ceratopogonidae of the world.
A 456-page world revision of the Corethrellidae published in 2008 resulted in being awarded the 2010 J.O. Westwood Medal by the Royal Entomological Society for the best taxonomic work on a group of insects, worldwide (presented biennially). Borkent was assistant editor on the massive two volume Manual of Central American Diptera and wrote chapters for three families and co-authored another four.
This year will see the summary publication of the results of the Zurquí All Diptera Biodiversity Inventory in Costa Rica (ZADBI), with co-Principal Investigator Brian Brown (Los Angeles County Museum) and with the support of National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio). The project seeks to inventory to the species level all species of Diptera in a 150 X 266 meter area of cloud forest, the first such inventory of any megadiverse group of insects anywhere in the tropics. There are over 50 expert systematists willing to identify the material. More details are given in Borkent and Brown (2014) and issues 49-56 of the Fly Times.
A catalog of the Ceratopogonidae (pdf, 2.7 MB) of the world currently recognizes (as of 9 February 2015) 6267 extant and 284 extinct valid species (pdf, 52 K). The complete catalog includes all species of Culicoides in a single alphabetical list. Another document provides our current, and rather messy, understanding of the subgeneric classification (pdf, 408 K) of this large genus. The distribution of the species of Europe has been summarized with Rysard Szadziewski and Patrycja Dominiak. Both Nearctic and Neotropical catalogs have been published in recent years (see publication list). Three subfamilies, one tribe, 13 genera, and 279 species have been described by Art Borkent (some with co-authors) as new taxa (pdf, 70 K) in Ceratopogonidae, Chironomidae, Corethrellidae, Culicidae, Cecidomyiidae, and Dixidae.
A good source of further information about Ceratopogonidae is the Ceratopogonidae Information Exchange.
Working independently since 1989, he is a research associate with the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, U.S.A. and Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad in Costa Rica. A list of Art Borkent's publications is available in pdf (144 K).
Address: 691-8th Ave. SE, Salmon Arm, British Columbia, V1E 2C2, Canada.
Phone: (250) 833-0931