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This issue of "ZooKeys" celebrates the 75th birthday of Alexandr P. Rasnitsyn, a pioneer in the alaeontology and phylogeny of Hymenoptera, as well as a leader generally in insect systematics and evolution. Born in Moscow, Russia, on 24 September 1936, he developed his passion for Hymenoptera at an early age. After completing his degrees in 1960 he joined the Arthropoda Laboratory in the Paleontological Institute of the USSR (now Russian) Academy of Sciences, Moscow, and worked his way from Technician to the Head of the laboratory, in this capacity leading the most productive group of paleoentomologists for 28 years. He has co-authored and edited several keystone books on insect paleontology and evolution, including History of Insects (2002), the first large-scale work of its kind in English. Rasnitsyn served as the first President of the International Palaeoentomological Society, and was bestowed Honorary Membership by the Russian Entomological Society and in 2008 with the Distinguished Research Medal of the International Society of Hymenopterists.
Herein colleagues from around the world have presented original contributions to the systematics of diverse insect orders, living and fossil, as a tribute to this pioneer of Hymenoptera and paleoentomological research. Numerous new taxa are described and their phylogenetic implications explored. A biographical sketch and a list of Rasnitsyn's more than 360 scientific publications (spanning 52 years) are provided.