Imre Loksa

(1923 - 1992)

The last student of the classical European, Verhoeffian myriapodology, expert of numerous soil-dwelling arthropod groups, prominent follower of early cenology, Hungarian zoologist Prof. Dr. Imre LOKSA deceased suddenly on 21st of July, 1992, in Budaprest, Hugary, at age of 69.
Born on 24th pf April, 1923, in Budapest, he graduated in 1946 from the Eötvös Lorand University of Budapest, as teacher of biology and geography. He was immediately employed at the same university, Department of Zootaxonomy, where he has afterwards worked for more than 45 years, including six years of being the head of department. His scientific activity in his entire life was heavily influenced by his zoology professor at the university, Dr. Endre Dudich, a well-known cave researcher, who, with his school-producing educational attitude and extensive scientific knowledge raised and launched a coherent group of telented students. These persons later all became prominent scientists of their special fields on zoology, haeds of departments and directors of different institutes in Hungary and abroad, and include such names as coleopterist Zoltan Kaszab, acarologist and ecologist Janos Balogh, hymenopterist Laszlo Moczar ; Arpad Soos, Jozsef Szent-Ivany, Gyula Fabian, Mihaly Kosztarab and many others.

Imre Loksa in the early years of his studies specialized on spiders (Arachnida), and kept this group in the focus of his attention until the very end. However, during the fortyyears of permanent contact with university students, he soon realized that numerous other soil-dwelling arthropod groups are less attractive or completely neglected by the current Hugarian zoology. Being convinced by the importance of these (in species number) relatively smaller invertebrate taxa, he became an accepted expert on Isopoda, Chilopoda, Diplopoda, Pauropoda, Symphyla, Collembola, Protura, Diplura, Machilidea, Lepistatidea. Although his taxonomic contributions to some of these groups (especially those of the exotic faunas) may leave more or less to be desired, there can be no doubt that his merits are inevitable in term of teaching and popularizing these lesser-known animal groups in Hungary.There is no better proof for that than his two volumes on spiders in the Fauna Hungariae Series, his unsurpassed textbook of zootaxonomy, several popular, well-illustrated books, and the countless number of smaller articles, lectures and television programs.

His ramifying faunistical and cenological investigations on the soil fauna were summarized in his exhausting (sic) publication, the 500-page monograph "Die Bodenzoologischen Verhältnisse der Flaumeichen-Buschwälder Südostmitteleuropas", published in 1966.

Imre Loksa was an extensive collector, working tirelessly in almost every territory of Hungary. He especially liked to collect in caves, and visited virtually all known Hungarian caves. He left behind an enormous amount of untreated material, wich certainly hides a lot of interesting data about the soil fauna of Hungary. His collection may give work to specialists of the different groups for several years, on the international level as well.

He was the President of the Zoological Section in the Hungarian Biological Society, member in the Zoological Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, editorial member of the periodical Acta Zoologica Hungarica.

He will be always remembered by the hundreds of students who where educated in zoology by his wide scientific knowledge and by his modest, peaceful, willing character. A complete list of Imre Loksa's myriapodological publications, and reprints (in limited amount) are available upon request from Dr Zoltan Korsos, Zoological Department, Hugarian Natural History Museum, Baross u. 13, H-1088 Budapest, Hungary.

Zoltan Korsos, April 1993
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