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 don’t 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 ...
Taxonomy Special Interest Group meeting NHM 3rd December
'The inaugural meeting of the Royal Entomological Society Taxonomy Special Interest Group will be held at the Natural History Museum on Thursday 3rd December 2015, Flett theatre 2.00-5.30 pm
Taxonomy has been in something of a crisis, in terms of scientific credibility and, consequently, funding, for several decades. However, a significant renaissance is taking place as traditional morphology-based taxonomy embraces molecular biology, and exploits an armoury of imaging technology to become a cutting-edge discipline.
Conservation relies on monitoring and cataloguing – impossible without correct identification. Insect identification, especially for many important groups, has been regarded traditionally as a difficult process. The aim of the Royal Entomological Society’s Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects has been to facilitate that process, and they have played an important role. However some older handbooks can be difficult to use, and may deter enthusiasts from tackling important groups to which they were initially attracted.
The primary aim of the meeting will be to discuss the future of insect taxonomy in the light of the technological advancements currently available. How can we make insect identification and descriptive taxonomy easier, faster and more obviously relevant? There is recognition among the UK research councils that taxonomy needs support, and yet we fail regularly to present a business model that attracts their support.
Talks are welcomed on any insect taxonomy-related subject, but in particular those that address modernisation of insect taxonomy, and the presentation of taxonomy in user-friendly ways that take advantage of molecular and/or imaging technology.
If you wish to offer an oral presentation or a poster, or attend without presenting, please visit the RES Website http://www.royensoc.co.uk/content/taxon … ember-2015 and fill in a registration form as soon as possible. NHM can accommodate up to 200.
Andrew Polaszek (Convenor) email@example.com
Suggested accommodation for Birmingham
Staff at Birmingham Museum recommend the following hotels for people staying overnight:
Bloc hotel, just up from St Paul’s square in the Jewellery Quarter
Travelodge, Upper Dean Street
http://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/503/ … Ring-hotel
Ibis Budget, Birmingham City Centre
http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-5678-ibis- … dex.shtml#
Hampton by Hilton on Broad Street
http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels … index.html
http://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-ho … tAodLSIA6g
Conference centre at Aston University
Premier Inn on Waterloo Street
http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/BIRS … loo-street
Copthorne, by the library
'The Spires' serviced apartments
http://www.thespires.co.uk/birmingham-s … and-suites
Bursaries for Courses and Field Meetings
The Dipterists Forum is offering up to two places at half price on the Preston Montford course on calypterate flies (19 – 21 February 2016) and up to three places at half price on the Summer field meeting in Canterbury (2 – 9 July 2016). If you would like to take up this offer please apply by e-mail to the chairman, Howard Bentley, firstname.lastname@example.org, giving your reasons for applying and saying why you wish to attend the meeting. Applicants must be members of the Forum. Applications should reach me not later than two months before the start of the relevant meeting.
Summer Field Meeting 2016 - Canterbury
Our Summer field meeting for 2016 will be held at Christchurch University, Canterbury from the 2nd to the 9th July. Accommodation is in single en suite rooms, and there will be a large workroom available throughout the week and free car parking for all participants. Kent offers a varied range of habitats including chalk grassland, woodlands, marsh areas and coastal sites. The total cost for the week, including breakfasts and evening meals, will not exceed £350, and may be less than this depending on the number of attenders.
To secure your place please send a £40 deposit (cheques made out to the Dipterists Forum) to the Treasurer, Victoria Burton, 68 South Road, Drayton, PO6 1QD. If you prefer to pay by bank transfer please e-mail email@example.com for our account details. The balance of the payment will be required in advance of the meeting.
Changes to DF Constitution
Changes to the Dipterists Forum Constitution
Notice is hereby given of changes to the constitution of the Dipterists Forum for approval by the Annual General Meeting to be held on the 21st November 2015.
1. The Addendum at the end of the Constitution will be removed.
2. Sections 7f to 7i of the Constitution will be removed.
3. New sections 7f to 7k with the following text will be inserted into the Constitution:
f) The Chairman shall be elected for a period of two years, and for the two succeeding years may serve as Vice Chairman. All other Officers with specific responsibilities shall be open to re-election at each AGM.
g) Ordinary members of the committee who have no specific responsibilities shall stand down after serving a two year term of office, to be re-elected or replaced by new elected members. When ordinary members are appointed to take specific responsibilities during their terms of office they need not stand down, but should stand for re-election as specified in part f above.
h) The Officers with specific responsibilities referred to in parts f) and g) above shall be Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Bulletin Editor and Dipterists Digest Editor.
i) The General Committee may at its discretion call a Special General Meeting. Twenty or more fully paid-up members may request in writing that the General Committee call a Special General Meeting stating the reasons, and the General Committee shall decide within 28 days to call such a meeting, or state their reasons for refusing to do so in the next appropriate circular to the entire membership. The General committee shall give at least 14 days notice to the membership of any Special General Meeting.
j) At Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings 20 fully paid-up members shall constitute a quorum.
k) Changes to the constitution shall be subject to majority voting at an Annual General Meeting or at a meeting called for that purpose.