Calling all bee, sawfly, beetle and fly experts (amateur or professional)!

The Darwin Tree of Life is a large collaboration between 10 different Universities and research institutes. The goal of DToL is to determine the complete genome (DNA) sequence of every species in the UK. It is only 20 years since the human genome sequence was hailed as a major leap forward for science, so it is mind-blowing to now try to sequence everything. So far, we have over 2000 species in the process of genome sequencing and over 400 species completed. But we need help.

When each genome sequence is finished and released for science, a short scientific paper is published (a “Genome Note”). To make these interesting, each Genome Note has a brief introduction describing the biology of the sequenced species. We are looking for professional and amateur scientists to volunteer to write introductions (you get fame not money: your name on the published paper). Introductions should be 200-300 words in length, referenced, contain information on the habitat, distribution and abundance of the species, any unusual biological features, and possible uses for the completed genome sequence (see these examples).

Right now, we are looking for volunteers to help write Introduction sections for the following.

Hymenoptera – bees

  • Andrena dorsata, Andrena haemorrhoa, Andrena minutula, Megachile ligniseca

Hymenoptera – parasitica

  • Alloplasta piceator (Ichmeunonidae)

Hymenoptera – sawflies

  • Athalia rosae, Rhogogaster chlorosoma, Tenthredo mesomela


  • Carabidae: Ophonus ardosiacus
  • Coccinellidae: Halyzia sedecimguttata
  • Elateridae: Agrypnus murinus


  • Clusiidae: Clusia tigrina
  • Polleniidae: Pollenia amentaria
  • Syrphidae: Cheilosia pagana, Cheilosia urbana, Dasysyrphus albostriatus, Epistrophe grossulariae, Eristalinus sepulchralis, Platycheirus albimanus, Sphaerophoria taeniata, Volucella inflata, Xylota sylvarum
  • Tachnidae: Cistogaster globosa, Tachina lurida

If interested, contact or if you are interested in writing Introductions for other animals, plants or fungi, there is an online form.


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Turnip Sawfly (Athalia rosae) - one of the species sequenced for Darwin Tree of Life
Martin Harvey