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 ...
Forthcoming events calendar 2016-17 for all interested in flies
Here are lots of good events to help you enjoy and learn more about flies! Great to see so many events being organised by local groups around the country as well as the regular meetings........ Judy
2 March 2016, Verrall Lecture ‘Collections- the Last Great Frontiers of Exploration’ by Maxwell V. L. Barclay, Curator and Collection Manager, NHM. Venue: Ondaatje Theatre, Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR. Time: 16:00 for tea, lecture 16:30-17:30. (http://www.rgs.org/aboutus/visiting+the+society.htm). Verrall Supper, details from Professor Simon Leather (email@example.com)
5 March 2016 (NOTE CHANGE) Devon Fly Group Indoor meeting. Woodah Farm (DWT reserve base in Teign valley). This is an opportunity to let others know about what you have seen during the year, to show photos, to talk about any studies or research you’ve been involved in, to share skills and knowledge, and to ask questions (for example about identification). It will all be very informal. Note this very active group plans 7 field meetings in the county this year, each one to target a different rare/scarce fly. See end of this calendar for contact.
5 March 2016 Staffordshire Invertebrate Science Fair. The emphasis will be on the recording and conservation of invertebrates. Lots of organisations and societies will be present to chat to. DF will have a stand. Steven Falk has confirmed he will come to be keynote speaker for the event. He will also be selling and signing his book. Staffordshire University Science Centre, Leek Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2DF, UK. Contact Andy Jukes: firstname.lastname@example.org
19 March 2016, BENHS Annual General Meeting and Presidential Address. University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PW. See: http://www.benhs.org.uk/site/
7-8 May 2016, BENHS at Sussex University. ‘Collecting and Recording Insects’. Combined talks and indoor and field meetings for both experts and those who would like to extend their entomological interests. Open to student entomologists. Opportunities to collect on campus and contribute to a campus invertebrate list and pass on specialist knowledge to less experienced participants. Contribution by Dipterists Chris Raper & Matt Smith on the Saturday. See http://www.benhs.org.uk/site/?q=node/127
12-14 May 2016, NFBR conference at Lancaster University. There will be a field trip to the Forest of Bowland AONB and the focus will be a celebration of national schemes and societies.
20-22 May 2016, DF Spring Field Meeting. Somerset Levels, Accommodation in nearby villages. Meet at the Avalon Marshes Centre, Shapwick Road, Westhay, Glastonbury, BA6 9TT. Please keep checking the DF website for news on this. Contact: Roger Morris email: email@example.com
25 May 2016, 10.00am – 4.00pm . An Introduction to Hoverfly Identification, The Gateway, Chester Street, Shrewsbury. Cost £45. Tutor Nigel Jones. A Manchester Metropolitan University course. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
20-26 June 2016 National Insect Week. See http://www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk/ for events.
2- 9 July 2016, DF Summer Field Meeting to Kent, Canterbury area. Early booking is advised, and a deposit of £40 is required. A further payment will be requested by early April and the full amount payable by early June. In order to secure a place please contact Victoria Burton (treasurer) at: email@example.com
22-24 July 2016, “Celebrating Biological Recording”. Event organised by NFBR, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Field Studies Council at Preston Montford Field Studies Centre, Shrewsbury. Field trips to local sites throughout the weekend and an after dinner speaker on Saturday night. This event will celebrate the 30th anniversary of NFBR and the 20th anniversary of the FSC/MMU’s Biological Recording courses. Website: http://www.field-studies-council.org/prestonmontford/
30 July 2016, ‘AES Introduction to Flies Workshop’ 11:00 – 16:30, at Angela Marmont Centre, Natural History Museum, London. Contact: Victoria Burton: firstname.lastname@example.org
1-5 August 2016, Introduction to Diptera. Tutors Stuart Ball and Roger Morris. Preston Montford Field Centre, see: www.field-studies-council.org
5–8 August 2016, Identifying Hoverflies. Tutors Stuart Ball and Roger Morris. Preston Montford Field Centre, see: www.field-studies-council.org
6-8 September 2016, Ento '16 - Royal Entomological Society Annual National Science Meeting. Harper Adams University, Edgmond, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB. See http://www.royensoc.co.uk/
1 October 2016, AES Annual Exhibition and Trade Fair, Kempton Park, London Sunbury-on-Thames, TW16 5AQ, UK. DF will have a publicity stand and publications for sale. See www.amentsoc.org
DF Autumn Field Meeting. Please keep checking the DF website for news on this. Roger Morris says usual attenders will get an email when location finalised.
5 Nov 2016, Bedfordshire Invert Group Conference. Malcolm Smart and Martin Harvey will be speaking. Details from Alan Outen email: email@example.com
5 Nov 2016 Worcester Entomology Day. Contact Rosemary Winnall , Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ,Tel. 01299 266489 or 07732 203393
12 November 2016, BENHS Annual Exhibition and Dinner, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. See http://www.benhs.org.uk/ . Bring your best fly exhibits for the Diptera table.
26-27 November 2016. Likely to be the dates for the DF AGM, but venue to be confirmed.
11 December 2016, Shropshire Entomology Day. Organised by the Field Studies Council: www.field-studies-council.org . More details when they are available.
Spring 2017, DF Advanced Workshop. The proposed fly families are Ephydridae and Drosophilidae, with Martin Drake and Peter Chandler tutoring.
Throughout the Year:
BENHS Dinton Pastures Open Days in the Pelham-Clinton Building, Hurst, Reading. Open 10:30-16:00 on second and fourth Sunday in each month except April to September when only on the second Sunday of each month (except for August when there are no Open Days). We encourage you to bring along your pinned flies and use the Diptera Collections and library for identification. Other Dipterists are usually present meaning good chat and assistance with identifications may be possible. The grid reference for Dinton Pastures is SU 784718, turn left off the B3030 driving North from Winnersh. The site is about 15 minutes walk from Winnersh station, which has trains running on a half-hourly service from Reading and Waterloo. See: www.benhs.org.uk
The Northants and Peterborough Diptera Group hold meetings every weekend from end of April until sometime in September/October. See: northantsdiptera.blogspot.co.uk or contact John Showers on email: email@example.com
The Devon Fly Group will be holding regular field meetings throughout the year. Contact Martin Drake (01460 2206650, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
New blog from NHM_Diptera about Musca domestica
Team diptera are producing species pages on common flies and linking them to details of the specimens in the collection
http://blog.nhm.ac.uk/2015/12/16/whats- … f-diptera/
open for suggestions.
Spring 2016 Bulletin of the Dipterists Forum
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