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 ...
just a reminder to those who have not paid their 2015 subs yet that no more publications will be sent until up to date. If you are not sure whether you have paid you can email me via this site or directly and I will check. We send out the Spring Bulletin to everybody who paid a subscription in the previous year but no more after that.
Biological Recording awards
The NBN has established a new national award scheme in partnership with BRC and NFBR to recognise significant achievement in biological recording and information sharing. This is an annual award made to groups or individuals who are making outstanding contributions in this area. Announced on 5th August and with a closing date of 30th September the window of opportunity to make nominations is quite small for the Bulletin to inform you. For more information check the Latest News section at http://nbn.org.uk/
Forthcoming events of interest to Dipterists 2015-2016
27 September 2015, 10-4pm. The natural history of soldierflies and allies. How to recognise the families and key out the species with the help of specimens from the OUMNH. You will find out about the soldierflies and allies recording scheme, and where to go for further help and identification advice. Tutor Martin Harvey. Oxford University Museum of Natural History. 10 places available. Cost £15, tea and coffee included, bookable via the museum website: http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/visiting/whatson.htm . Contact Zoë Simmons on 01865 272994 or firstname.lastname@example.org
3 October 2015, 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
10-17 October 2015, DF Autumn Field Meeting to New Forest and Isle of Purbeck. A two-centre trip, based partly in Bournemouth and partly in Swanage. It is intended to use this opportunity to make a serious effort to record the New Forest, which has not been intensively visited for many years. The Swanage base allows access to Isle of Purbeck. Contact Roger Morris for details (7 Vine Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, email: email@example.com).
14 November 2015, BENHS Annual Exhibition and Dinner, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. See http://www.benhs.org.uk/. Please come and bring your best pinned flies to swell the Diptera section.
20-21 November 2015, Dipterists Day and AGM, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Chamberlain Square, B3 3DH. The Museum collection will be open to DF members on Friday 20 November, the AGM being held the following day. For Friday, the meeting is in the Museum Collection Centre at 25 Dolman Street, B7 4RQ. As a result of this change to the normal sequence of events, there will be no Dipterists’ dinner, rather any social activities will have to be informal, arranged by attending members at the time.
12 & 13 December 2015, 10am-6pm daily, DF Beginners Workshop ‘Introduction to Fly Families’ – John & Barbara Ismay and Oxford University Museum of Natural History, South Parks Road, Oxford (www.oum.ox.ac.uk ). Please contact John and Barbara Ismay, 67 Giffard Way, Long Crendon, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP18 9DN (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance to book your place at the workshop. Places are limited to 12 participants, so early booking recommended.
30 January 2016, Tachinidae Identification Workshop. Tutors: Matt Smith and Chris Raper. Dinton Pastures, Pelham-Clinton Building, Hurst, Reading RG10 0TH. See: http://www.benhs.org.uk/.
19-21 February 2016, DF Advanced Workshop on Flies in the Sarcophagidae, Calliphoridae & Rhinophoridae. . Tutors: Steven Falk and Daniel Whitmore. Preston Montford Field Studies Centre, Shrewsbury. Details posted in this issue and will be on FSC website: http://www.field-studies-council.org/prestonmontford/
19 March 2016, BENHS Annual General Meeting and Presidential Address. University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PW.
2-9 July 2016, DF Summer Field Meeting to Kent based in Canterbury.
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. Contact John Showers on: email@example.com
The Devon Fly Group will be holding regular field meetings throughout the year. Contact Martin Drake (01460 2206650, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Bulletin of the Dipterists Forum
Today we have been trending #worldrobberflyday on twitter and on Facebook. People have been adding images and sharing information from across the globe. Have a look if you are on twitter as some of the images are amazing! Also very interesting to find out how many people are working on this group!
p.s. I randomly picked today as i became fed up with the number of 'international love a vertebrate' days that there were!