The Milichiidae from 'De Kaaistoep', The Netherlands


The Milichiidae fauna of the Netherlands is quite well known due to early collectors like De Meijere and currently activ collectors like Jan Willem van Zuijlen. In the checklist for the Netherlands (Beuk 2002) nine valid species are listed and two nomina dubia . The only recent paper on the milichiid fauna of the Netherlands is by Beuk & Brake (1996).

Why online?

The Milichiidae specimens from the 'De Kaaistoep' were identified and the data digitized. Instead of publishing a paper I decided to publish online only, because this enables me to continually update and improve the data for each species, while still enabling the user to view only data from this project. Everybody who reads this page and associated pages is welcome to act as a reviewer by adding comments. I will periodically review the comments and incorporate your suggestions into the text.

To add a comment to data on the taxon pages you have to click on the title of the node (e.g. the description, image or specimen). The node will open and at the bottom of the page you can click on 'Add new comment'. If you want to stay anonymous you can just make a comment without logging in (to avoid spam comments, comments are not published immediately, but have to be activated by me first. However, I promise only to delete spam comments, not critical ones). Otherwise you can either state your name in your comment or you register for an account and wait for me to activate your account. As soon as your account is activated you can log in and add comments under your user account.

'De Kaaistoep'

De Kaaistoep lies immediately west of the urban area of Tilburg, province Noord-Brabant, in the south of The Netherlands. It belongs to the TWM Gronden BV (´Tilburgsche Waterleiding Maatschappij´, the Waterworks Company). Since 1994 the agricultural area has transformed into a more natural landscape (Van Wielink 1999). The western part of De Kaaistoep, the actual site of traps, consists of open grassland on poor sandy soil interrupted by straight rows of deciduous trees and shrubs. Four artificial small pools were dug in 1994 and a big one of about 1 ha in 1998. Other measures were the planting of indigenous trees, the removal of exotic ones, and mowing of the grasslands in autumn (Felix & Van Wielink 2008).

Materials and Methods

Specimens were collected in Malaise, window and beer traps between 1998 and 2009.

The following description from the window traps was copied from Felix & Van Wielink 2008 : "From April 19. 2002 until July 3, 2004 three window traps were used [...]. The transparent acrylate screens were 1 × 2 m each and intercepted flying insects at a height of 1.25 until 2.25 m above the soil. A PVC gutter, 20 cm wide and 7 cm deep, sampled the falling insects. Water with 4% formaldehyde and a few drops of detergent, was used as conservation liquid. The gutter was emptied by a tube with a tap, on which a piece of nylon stocking was bound. The liquid was recycled and used again for several times if possible. Insects were collected from both flight directions. The traps were inspected and emptied every week. The first trap was positioned between A5 and A6 [two Quercus robur trees] beneath the crowns of the trees. On the top it was covered by a screen to prevent insects falling from above into the device. This trap functioned with small intervals from April 19, 2002 until January 30, 2004. The second and third window traps were placed in the open field at a distance of about 50 m from both row A and B [rows of oak trees]. Trap 2 intercepted insects flying from the south and the north, whereas trap 3 intercepted the east and west direction of flight. Traps 2 and 3 functioned from April 19, 2002 until May 23, 2003 and from May 24, 2002 until May 23, 2003, respectively. After a year trap 2 was also placed in an east west interception direction, but it was placed as low as possible with an interception height of about 60 cm just above the top of the dominant vegetation, whereas trap 3 was placed as high as possible (interception 1.50 until 2.50 m). In this way trap 2 functioned from May 23, 2003 until July 3, 2004, and trap 3 from May 23, 2003 until March 12, 2004, with intervals. Three times storm winds broke the windows to pieces which gave rise to intervals with non-functioning traps. Especially the highest screen was susceptible to damage by wind."

Two beer traps were run for a period of 24 weeks. These traps filled with beer of the brand Bavaria hung in oak trees at a height of approximately 4 m. Furthermore an experiment with 6 different brands of beer (Alfa, Bavaria, Brand, Dommelsch, Grolsch, and Heineken) was conducted to test if the brand of beer used in a trap would have any effect on the results. For this test 6 beer traps were hung on a bicycle wheel and this bicycle wheel hung in an oak tree at a height of 4 m. This beer carousel was operated for a period of four weeks and sampled each week (Van Zuilen, pers. comm.).

The specimens are stored in 70% Ethanol. Most of the specimens were send back to the collector, van Zuijlen with reference specimen deposited in the Natural History Museum, London and in my personal collection. All specimen data have been digitized and specimen IDs have been given to individual specimens or lots of the same sex.


Species list:

All species in the list are linked to the respective taxon page which shows nomenclatural and taxonomic data, images, citations, a list of specimens and a distribution map showing only data of specimens digitized by me. There is a second link to a static taxon page which shows the respective page at the time of publication of this online paper (all produced on 21. Apr. 2011). For a table of Milichiidae collected in the De Kaaistoep project check All together 187 Milichiiidae specimens were identified.

During the test with different brands of beer altogether seven specimens of Phyllomyza donisthorpei and P. equitans were collected in traps with Alfa, Bavaria, Brand, Dommelsch, and Heineken beer. The low number of specimens does not allow for any statistical validation, but it looks like these Phyllomyza species don't differentiate between different brands of beer. During the other trap series with Bavaria beer, specimens of Desmometopa sordida, Neophyllomyza acyglossa, Phyllomyza beckeri, P. donisthorpei, P. equitans, P. rubricornis, and P. securicornis were collected.


Many thanks to Jan Willem van Zuijlen, who collected all the specimens. Any comments and reviews are greatly appreciated.

How to cite

The first version of this publication was published on 21. Apr. 2011 by Irina Brake. Please cite like this:

Brake, I. 2011: The Milichiidae from 'De Kaaistoep', The Netherlands. Milichiidae online,, accessed on [precise date when you last viewed the online publication].

Have a look at The Carnidae from 'De Kaaistoep' or the Milichiidae of the Lake Kerkini region in Greece!

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith