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From the introduction:
"The Tephritidae, true fruit flies, are a family of attractive picture-winged flies. With 471 genera and 4,257 species, the taxonomic diversity of this single family of two-winged flies is far greater than that of mammals. Fruit flies are of critical importance to man as pests of his fruit. To deal with fruit flies or any other organism, one must have a name, that name being the key to all other information about the organism. To master identification and nomenclature requires a host of products, from catalogs to monographs. We have attempted here to provide all the necessary tools to understand fruit flies in a single work. And this work will provide the user greater access and flexibility in using the information than has ever been possible before. Users will be able to easily identify the 197 most important fruit flies. They will have electronic (digital) access to all the essential nomenclatural data on all fruit flies, as well as the literature on them. The only element missing from our synthesis is associate data, i.e., an index to the hosts, parasites, etc., of fruit flies. While such data was accumulated. the time required to verify and correct the nomenclature of these associated organisms would have greatly delayed what is long overdue. Hence, the first edition is being issued without information about organisms associated with fruit flies The great advantage of automated data processing (ADP) is the ability to easily revise and add new data. Given support, we envision a new edition which will provide information about associates of fruit flies. So, we offer this as the first fascicle of what we have envisioned as the Biosystematic Database of the Flies of the World (Thompson & Knutson 1987).
More information about fruit flies is provided here than has ever been provided before in a single source. And we have this information in a format that provides a greater degree of access than ever before. However, we are well aware that existing technologies have advanced further than our efforts to accumulate and verify data. So while we believe we are close to the bleeding edge of technology, we do recognize that more could have been accomplished. Hence, we remain committed to continually developing and utilizing the best technologies to deliver the best and most comprehensive information to users. This work is provided in its complete form only on CD-ROM in the serial, Diptera Data Dissemination Disk, volume 1, a copy of which is distributed with this book. A more abbreviated version is also provided in the traditional printed format. Naturally a copy of the traditional format is also available on the CD-ROM as an Adobe Acrobat readable file.
This work summarizes our knowledge of the biosystematcs of world fruit flies as of 31 December 1995. Papers subsequent to this date that have come to our attention have also been included. The bibliography includes all references that deal directly with fruit fly nomenclature and taxonomy. Many papers dealing with other aspects of tephritid systematics, host plants, associated organisms, distribution, and other aspects of their basic biology are also included, but the coverage is not as complete."