M.Sc. Valerio Caruso




0711 / 8936-242
0711 / 8936-100


My research aims to investigate and document the biological diversity of German scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae), probing the dark diversity of this family and challenging the poor knowledge of its extreme species diversity, with a specific focus on the genus Megaselia Rondani. I use integrative taxonomy (combining morphological and molecular methods) to identify/describe species and investigate the phylogenetic position of taxonomically difficult genera and species.


Phoridae are a large family of Diptera with about 4300 species known worldwide. This hyperdiverse family counts parasitoids, parasites, scavengers, predators, fungivores and herbivores among its members. Some species are agricultural pests, while others are useful as biological control agents of pests. Phorids are also an important group of pollinators. Megaselia, with more than 1700 described species, which probably represent only a small fraction of its true diversity, is one of the most biologically diverse genera in the animal kingdom.




Education and training

07/2020 – Present

Doctoral candidate at the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart, Department of Entomology, within the project GBOL III: Dark Taxa.

06/2016 – 06/2020

Naturalistic guide at the Botanical Garden of Rome, La Sapienza (G.Eco Associazione Culturale).

05/2019 – 06/2019

INVALSI test reviewer (IEA TIMSS). INVALSI test reviewer of biology, chemistry and physics of elementary and middle schools.

23/09 – 26/09/2019

1st place in Prize UZI- CSFI 2019 (Italian Zoological Union) for the redaction of the identification key to the genera of Tachinidae (Diptera), during the UZI conference at University of Rome “Roma Tre”.

10/2015 – 3/2018

Master’s Degree in Natural Science; University of Rome “Sapienza”; Vote: 110/110 with honors.

21/12 – 22/12/2017

Training course for per operators of botanical gardens, zoos, aquariums, protected areas and museums. LIFE ASAP (Alien Species Awareness Program).

2009 – 2015

Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science; University of Rome “Sapienza”; Vote: 100/110.

03/2014 – 06/2014

Census and monitoring of the entomofauna: ants (Training activity on the main methods of study, sampling and monitoring of ants); University of Rome “Sapienza”.