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 dont 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 ...
Jas Edward Diptera Collection
Craig Slawson asks:
I am just working through a report by David Emley on the Jas Edward Diptera Collection, this comprises c2,500 records of Diptera, mainly from Staffordshire, but there are records from all over the country - I'm wondering whether to send the list to each relevant LRC or sent the whole thing to Dipterist's Forum or do both! - as a Dipterist what do you think would be the best option
Here's an opportunity to ensure that an important Diptera collection gets fully verified by expert Dipterists before it's finalised and uploaded to NBN Gateway - which I'm sure is what Craig would like to do.
Peter Chandler has an interest in historic collections.
We don't have a Staffordshire County Recorder but Pete Boardman and Phil Brighton are nearby.
If Craig turns it into a spreadsheet, what is the likelihood that it could then circulate around all or most of the schemes for verification and then returned to him as a verified dataset?
Don't be shy, we all want to discover methods to improve NBNG data quality and here's one opportunity to take part in that and get to see records from a collection.
8th International Congress of Dipteriology - Potsdam, Germany
A reminder that the Congress (10th -15th August 2014) is open for registration, the post congress tours are now also open for booking and the early registration deadline ends in February
Dates Delegates Students*
Until February 1, 2014: Early Registration 350.00 200.00
Until July 1, 2014: Regular Registration 400.00 225.00
From July 1, 2014: Late Registration 450.00 250.00
1-day Congress ticket for Friday, August 15 100.00 55.00
Should be very good with lots of interesting sessions lined up
All information is on the website http://www.icd8.org/
Details of this Digital Asset Manager are in the last Bulletin (#76) - great for managing all your digital images and much better than the default one you get with your camera if only for the hierarchical tree of categories you can build up to your own specifications (e.g. all the hoverfly species individually named)
I'm only posting this in case you happen not to have solved a glitch with the beta release that occurred on 1 Jan 2014 - it didn't work at all. Just download the new version.
[remember the minellium bug]
Anthomyiidae test keys pack
Michael Ackland advises me the most recent versions of the Anthomyiidae Test Keys Pack is now available for downloading - details of how to do this are in the Test Keys Forum, available to members of DF only (this forum is visible only to members). Judy