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 ...
The Spring Dipterists Bulletin deadline - 31st December
Its that time again. To ensure a good read in the spring, please could we have lots of interesting articles, notes, hot topics, book or equipment reviews cartoons, photos etc. for the Bulletin. Deadline for submission is 31st of December, rushing up soon. Please see instructions in the Bulletin as to how to submit material and please sent to Darwyn and myself. Thanks, Judy (Assistant Editor)
Forthcoming events of interest to Dipterists
Events for 2013-2014:
18 January 2014 10:30-16:00. Identifying and recording Soldierflies and their allies. Tutor Martin Harvey. NHM, London. See: www.benhs.org.uk
8 February 2014 10:30-16:00. Tachinidae identification workshop. Tutors Matt Smith and Chris Raper. Pelham-Clinton Building, Dinton Pastures, Hurst, Reading. See: www.benhs.org.uk
21-22 February 2014. DF Identification Workshop ‘Bibioniidae, Sepsidae and Scathophagidae’. Preston Montford Field Studies Centre, Shrewsbury. Details posted on this website and on FSC website: http://www.field-studies-council.org/prestonmontford/
22-23 March 2014,10.30-16.00 each day. Identifying Craneflies. Tutor John Kramer. Pelham-Clinton Building, Dinton Pastures, Hurst, Reading. See: www.benhs.org.uk
16-18 May 2014 DF Spring Field Meeting to Swanage. Chance to visit Studland Heath and other good areas. Contact Roger Morris (7 Vine Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, email: email@example.com
23-29 June 2014, NATIONAL INSECT WEEK See: http://www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk/
5-12 July 2014, DF Summer Field Meeting to Bangor, N Wales. Accommodation in University halls of residence. Contact Roger Morris (7 Vine Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3-8 August 2014, RES 10th European Congress of Entomology, York. See: http://www.royensoc.co.uk/meetings
10-15 August, 2014. 8th International Congress of Dipterology in Potsdam, Germany. See congress website at www.icd8.org
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
April-Sept/Oct 2013 & 2014 The Northants and Peterborough Diptera Group hold meetings every weekend from end of April until sometime in September/October. Contact John Showers on: email@example.com
The ownership and governance of BRC
Call for evidence:
The ownership and governance of NERC centres
NERC is considering the merits of establishing its research centres as independent bodies, outside of the public sector.
This includes BRC.
http://www.nerc.ac.uk/about/consult/cen … eConsent=A
Seth Irish has contacted me and asked me to put what follows onto the website.
The University of Durham is looking for a Ph.D. student to undertake research into the possible involvement of Musca autumnalis in the transmission of bovine tuberculosis. These are the details:
Advert for FindAPhD.com
1. Title, name, email address of 1st Supervisor
Professor Steve Lindsay, S.W.Lindsay@durham.ac.uk
2. Title, name, email address of 2nd Supervisor
Dr Philip Stephens, Philip.Stephens@durham.ac.uk
3. Funding Status (Choose from list – see attached key for descriptions)
Awaiting Funding Decision
4. Application deadline or applications accepted all year round
6th Feb 2013
Can face flies, Musca autumnalis, transmit tuberculosis from badgers to cattle?
5. Project description
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an infectious disease of considerable economic and social importance in the UK where its control has cost the taxpayer £500m over the past decade. Currently, control is targeted at culling badgers. Badger-to-cattle transmission of the bovine tuberculosis (bTB) agent Mycobacterium bovis remains poorly understood. We hypothesize that the cattle face fly, Musca autumnalis, may vector M. bovis, from infected-badger faeces directly to cattle, since the flies are common where bTB occurs, they land frequently on the nostrils and mouths of cattle and are attracted to badger faeces. We propose to explore this relationship by carrying out field and laboratory research to investigate the dynamics of possible transmission.
6. Funding Notes (max 100 words)
This project is in competition with others for funding. Success will depend on the quality of applications received, relative to those for competing projects. If you are interested in applying, in the first instance contact the supervisor, with a CV and covering letter, detailing your reasons for applying for the project.
Anyone interested is invited to contact Professor Lindsay.
Diptera training in 2013 (FSC Biodiversity Fellows)
During 2013 we are offering some free and discounted training to dipterists as part of the FSC Biodiversity Fellows project (Defra fund for biodiversity in the voluntary sector).
UPDATE AS OF 10/05/13
PLEASE NOTE - THESE EVENTS ARE ALL FULLY BOOKED so I've removed them from this post. Many thanks to everyone who has booked on them or contacted me about them