The Diptera ("di-ptera" = two-winged) or "true flies" is the largest order of animals in the UK with around 7,000 known species and new ones being discovered every year. They are found in all habitats from the sea shore to mountain tops. Whilst some are agricultural pests or vectors of disease, the great majority are beneficial. They are extremely important as predators on other pests and diseases, as pollinators, as food for other animals and the immature stages of the bulk of the species are involved in the decay of organic matter and the recycling of material back into the soil.
Entomologists who specialise in these insects are "dipterists". In 1993, a group of people who wanted to find out more about every aspect of their lives, including the habitats they require, set up the Dipterists Forum. There is a great deal still to learn about flies. Mapping the distribution of some groups is a major achievement of the Dipterists Forum to date, but the immature stages of the majority of species are still unknown. Many species are becoming increasingly rare as a result of habitat loss and climate change.
Why not join the Dipterists Forum and help us find out more about flies? There is so much still to learn; we welcome beginners and there are always people who can help you out in the early stages. You dont need to be an expert, or even to leave your own garden, to contribute to our knowledge of these fascinating insects. Flies need your help! Read more ...
Rearcher post - Dipteran Larvae
There are 6 research positions being advertised by the NHM for two new posts.
Researcher- Life Sciences
Vacancy reference: DS/RLS/NHM
Location: South Kensington
Employment type: Permanent
Area of business: Science
Closing date: 04/05/2014
The successful applicants will join a large science group that comprises a group of approximately 300 scientists, that houses some of the largest and most significant scientific collections in the world, that is home to an internationally important natural history library, that includes a suite of advanced analytical and imaging facilities, and that has the opportunity to communicate science to a huge national and international audience.
Applications are open to researchers across the breadth of the NHMs activities in Life Sciences. We are especially interested in applicants that combine disciplinary expertise with a demonstrated ability, or potential, to use that expertise to address interdisciplinary questions of broad significance, including key transitions in the origin and evolution of life; discovery of biodiversity; global environment change; food security and agro-ecosystems; and neglected and emerging diseases.
Please note: Candidates should also attach two documents to their online application:
1. Cover letter with statement of research (including proposed use and/or development of the collections)
2. Full academic CV and the names and contact information for three professional referees
Informal enquiries may be made to the following people:
· Environmental/Biodiversity Genomics Dr David Bass (firstname.lastname@example.org)
· Freshwater biodiversity Dr Steve Brooks (email@example.com)
· Parasites / Vectors Dr Martin Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
· Flowering plants Dr Sandy Knapp (email@example.com)
· Insect diversity Dr Paul Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
· Diptera larvae Dr Erica McAlister (email@example.com)
Salary: £33,668 £59,510 per annum plus benefits
1. PhD in relevant area of life sciences
2. Extensive postdoctoral experience
3. Expertise in a relevant field of life sciences
4. Record of scientific publication in international journals
5. Success in obtaining external funding to support research (can include fellowships)
6. Depending on candidate, demonstrable fit of proposed research programme to priority areas detailed above, and/or Science Strategy
7. Good interpersonal skills
8. Good written and oral communication skills
9. Good analytical skills
10. Effective use of information technology
One is for a Dipteran Larval specialist of which I am the contact for. Please can you send my contact details on to anyone who you think would be interested. It would be great to have some working on both the morphological as well as the molecular components of larval taxonomy
we have a researcher at the museum who is looking into venomous flies!
and the groups he is interested in are Tabanidae, Muscidae but most importantly Asilidae
Now he is wanting to catch some of the larger species in the UK to first determine the processes etc and asked me about asilidae larval collections!
does anyone have any suggestions about where there may be a place that he can almost (i know this is a long shot) be guaranteed collecting some larvae?
Jas Edward Diptera Collection
Craig Slawson asks:
I am just working through a report by David Emley on the Jas Edward Diptera Collection, this comprises c2,500 records of Diptera, mainly from Staffordshire, but there are records from all over the country - I'm wondering whether to send the list to each relevant LRC or sent the whole thing to Dipterist's Forum or do both! - as a Dipterist what do you think would be the best option
Here's an opportunity to ensure that an important Diptera collection gets fully verified by expert Dipterists before it's finalised and uploaded to NBN Gateway - which I'm sure is what Craig would like to do.
Peter Chandler has an interest in historic collections.
We don't have a Staffordshire County Recorder but Pete Boardman and Phil Brighton are nearby.
If Craig turns it into a spreadsheet, what is the likelihood that it could then circulate around all or most of the schemes for verification and then returned to him as a verified dataset?
Don't be shy, we all want to discover methods to improve NBNG data quality and here's one opportunity to take part in that and get to see records from a collection.
8th International Congress of Dipteriology - Potsdam, Germany
A reminder that the Congress (10th -15th August 2014) is open for registration, the post congress tours are now also open for booking and the early registration deadline ends in February
Dates Delegates Students*
Until February 1, 2014: Early Registration 350.00 200.00
Until July 1, 2014: Regular Registration 400.00 225.00
From July 1, 2014: Late Registration 450.00 250.00
1-day Congress ticket for Friday, August 15 100.00 55.00
Should be very good with lots of interesting sessions lined up
All information is on the website http://www.icd8.org/
Details of this Digital Asset Manager are in the last Bulletin (#76) - great for managing all your digital images and much better than the default one you get with your camera if only for the hierarchical tree of categories you can build up to your own specifications (e.g. all the hoverfly species individually named)
I'm only posting this in case you happen not to have solved a glitch with the beta release that occurred on 1 Jan 2014 - it didn't work at all. Just download the new version.
[remember the minellium bug]