History of Symphytos


In the early 1980's, Henri Goulet and I thought about the initiation of a sawfly newsletter. Such a publication would serve as an avenue of communication to help bring together those interested in the Symphyta. It would also serve as an outlet for news, information, and literature. The idea of a newsletter was not innovative. Our decision was partly based on the success of established examples for other taxa, such as Sphecos, Proctos, and Chalcid Forum.

Henri and I decided to alternate production and distribution responsibilities. Questionnaires were sent to potentially interested people, and, with the help of those who responded, the first issue of Symphytos appeared in February 1984. The newsletter contained announcements, current research of individuals, material requests, and essentially anything else that may have been of interest to the "sawfly world." Current literature and directories were also included with each issue. Mailings went out to 100-120 individuals as well as to some libraries.

Because of the time involved and our increasing work assignments, and because the production of a newsletter was not a priority for either of us, the last issue (no. 4) appeared in January 1988. We have often been asked "what happened" to Symphytos and if it would resume publication, since many people did find it informative and helpful. We are pleased that our efforts were appreciated.

We are happy with the efforts of Chip and Alexey to bring Symphytos back to life. We urge everyone to provide input, share experiences, and to visit the website often.

Dave Smith

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