California Academy of Sciences - To Explore, Explain, and Protect the Natural World

Paul Arnaud, Jr.

Curator Emeritus
Department of Entomology

B.A. San Jose State University (1949); M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University (1950, 1961). Entomologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington D.C. (1956-57). Systematic Entomologist, California Department of Agriculture (1957-59). Research Entomologist, California Academy of Sciences (1959-63); Assistant Curator (1964-65); Associate Curator (1965-71); Curator (1972-95); Curator Emeritus (1995- ); Chairman, Department of Entomology (1968-78, 1988-90, 1994). Member, Entomological Society of America, Entomological Society of Washington, The Lepidopterists' Society, The Pacific Coast Entomological Society (President, 1961; Treasurer, 1964-81, 1993-94; Chairman, Historical Committee, 1982-1992); Editor, The Pan-Pacific Entomologist (1983); Sigma Xi. Member, International Scientific Committee, Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (1984 - ). Member, Sefton-Stanford Orca Expedition to Gulf of California (1953). Editor and Publisher, Myia, volume 6 in preparation. Fellow, California Academy of Sciences.

At the age of fifteen I discovered the fascinating field of insects through membership in an Insect Club at Sequoia Union High School in Redwood City, California. In college I decided to specialize in the Diptera (two-winged flies), and enrolling at Stanford University selected for research the genus Paradejeania of the parasitoid family Tachinidae. My doctorate thesis was based on field work conducted in Japan to study speciation and distribution of the biting midges (no-see-ums) of the genus Culicoides, sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Army, Office of the Surgeon General.

Since then my interest has centered about the systematics, host associations, biology, and distribution of certain genera of flies in the families Empididae, Thaumaleidae, and Tachinidae. A genus of special interest is Hilara, which is remarkable in that males of certain species produce silken "balloons" that are presented to females during the courtship dance and are thought to serve several functions - to provide a "come hither" invitation to the female, to distract the female from her predaceous inclinations, and to serve as a stimulus to mating. Adults of this genus are attracted to bodies of fresh water (creeks, ponds, rivers, lakes) over which they skim or swarm, often in groups.

Most of the one hundred or so species of Hilara now known to occur in western North America are new to science. The composition and nature of this radiation and the relationship of North American hilaras to other members of the Palearctic fauna require further investigation.

Fieldwork is indispensable to entomological research, and my efforts to increase the knowledge of Diptera have taken me throughout western North America -- from Baja California to Alaska. A byproduct of my fieldwork has resulted in the discovery of several hundred new insect species that have been described by other entomologists and over 460,000 processed specimens have been added to the Academy collections.

As part of an interest in the history of science, I have studied the contributions of a number of twentieth century Dipterists, which have led to articles of Charles Howard Curran (1981) and more recently on Willis Wagner Wirth and Guy Eaden Shewell (in press).

Arnaud, Jr., P.H. 1956. The heleid genus Culicoides in Japan, Korea, and Kyukyu Islands (Insecta: Diptera). Microentomology 21: 84-207.

-------------------. 1963. Perumyia embiaphaga, a new genus and species of Neotropical Tachinidae (Diptera) parasitic on Embioptera. American Museum Novitates 2143:1-9.

-------------------. 1978. A host-parasite catalog of North American Tachinidae (Diptera). Miscellaneous Publications, U.S. Department of Agriculture 1319:1-860.

-------------------. 1979. A catalog of the types of Diptera in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences. Myia 1:1-505.

Arnaud, Jr., P.H. and T.C. Owen. 1981. Charles Howard Curran (1884-1972). Myia 2:1-393.

Arnaud, Jr., P.H. and I.A. Boussy. 1994. The adult Thaumaleidae (Diptera: Culicomorpha) of western North America. Myia 5: 41-152.