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 2015 spring workshop at Preston Montford (20-22 February) will look at Acalyptrates; covering family identification first (especially the awkward groups) then taking several less well known families to species level. More information can be found in the Dipterists Forum Bulletin and on the FSC website and the workshop is already listed on this website in "forthcoming events" posted by Judy.
Unfortunately the printed FSC course guide for 2015 retains the advert for our previous Scathophagidae, Bibionidae and Sepsidae workshop. FSC staff are aware of the error and I hope this does not cause too much confusion as the FSC website does have the correct information. Please disregard the information in the printed course guide.
The spring workshop in 2016 will cover Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae and Rhinophoridae, which has been a popular choice in the voting in recent years. This is still a way off, but if you come across these Calyptrates during the winter months this could be an incentive to hold onto some specimens?
Forthcoming events of interest to Dipterists 2014-2015
24-25 January 2015, 10am-5pm daily ‘Introduction to Fly families (Diptera)’ – 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: email@example.com) in advance to book your place at the workshop. Places are limited to 14 participants, so early booking recommended.
31 January 2015, Tachinidae identification workshop – tutors Matt Smith and Chris Raper. An introduction to sampling and identifying Tachinidae, with new draft keys for a revised RES Handbook available for testing and the chance to have your specimens checked and verified by the organisers of the National Recording Scheme. The Pelham-Clinton Building, Dinton Pastures Country Park, Davis Street, Hurst, Reading RG10 0TH. For more information on Tachinidae and the recording scheme see: http://tachinidae.org.uk/
20-22 February 2015, DF Advanced Workshop on Acalypterate Flies. Tutors John & Barbara Ismay and Alan Stubbs. Preston Montford Field Studies Centre, Shrewsbury. Details will be posted on this website nearere the time. See FSC website: http://www.field-studies-council.org/prestonmontford/
14- 15 March 2015, ‘Introduction to Fly families (Diptera)’ – tutors John & Barbara Ismay The Pelham-Clinton Building, Dinton Pastures Country Park, Davis Street, Hurst, Reading RG10 0TH. Please contact Dr. Mike Edwards, BENHS Indoor Meetings Secretary, 53 Great Cranford Street, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 3SQ (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance to book your place at a workshop.
15-17 May 2015, DF Spring Field Meeting to Norfolk Coast. Based around guest houses in Cromer. Members wishing to participate will be expected to book their own accommodation but if possible we will try to organise ourselves in close proximity to one another. Contact Roger Morris for details (7 Vine Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, email: email@example.com).
4 - 8 June 2015. 8th Int. Symposium on Syrphidae. Monschau (Germany) Contact Ximo Mengual Phone: 0049 (0)228 9122 292 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
http://zfmk.de/web/Forschung/Kongresse/ … ex.en.html
11-18 July 2015, DF Summer Field Meeting to Nottingham area. Derbyshire Dales and Sherwood Forest within reach. Accommodation in Nottingham University. 20 places booked, deposit of £50 required to secure a place. Contact Roger Morris for details (7 Vine Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire, email: email@example.com).
2-4 September 2015, RES Ento '15 "Insect Ecosystem Services" Annual National Science Meeting and International Symposium. Venue: Trinity College Dublin
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Amateur Entomologists' Society Conservation Conference 2014
AES Conservation Conference 2014
31 October 2014 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London, WC1N 2JU, UK
The event costs £20 for AES and BES members and £30 for non-members. Refreshments and buffet provided.
Click here for further information, and to book: http://www.amentsoc.org/conferencebooking
Dipterists might be interested in this joint event by the AES, British Ecological Society's Conservation Special Interest Group and the BES Citizen Science SIG. It would be great to have some conservation stories related to diptera, so if anyone is interested in presenting a poster please email the organiser John Millar on email@example.com.
Summer Dipterists Forum Bulletin
Steve Falk's records
My attempt to get Stilt & Stalk fly records from Steve turned into a full-blown BRC project. With the assistance of Warwickshire Biological Records Centre http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/eco … ds-centre/ all of his 13 handwritten A4 folders are now being scanned and digitised at BRC (Steve himself is busy on his bee guide).
I've detailed progress in the committee section of this forum but that leaves out recording scheme organisers (I have asked they be included in that section - so I'm blameless)
Scheme organisers working on maps might want to hold fire for a few months until this work comes their way, they will certainly be asked if they would be kind enough to help systematically check the data (name changes particularly) once BRC's Val Burton has digitised it
Looks like I've got myself some sort of coordinating role here, any assistance would be welcomed but there's nothing to do for a few months yet.