A picture from members photo gallery

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 ...

Take a look at our new flier on ... flies!

Watch our new video for more about the Dipterist's Forum

Flies are fascinating: Dipterists forum from NINA CONSTABLE MEDIA on Vimeo.

Protection of Pollinators Bill

Please sign the petition to MPs to vote for the Protection of Pollinators Bill  to have B-Lines enshrined in government policy.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/ … -for-bees.

https://www.buglife.org.uk/news-and-eve … nd-insects

Posted by RobWolton | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2018-10-12

new event in calendar

I have just added the following into the Events calendar, - has the benefit of talks from Diptera experts John Kramer, Martin Drake & Stuart Ball!:
17 November 2018, BNHS Conference,'More Neglected Insects in Beds.' for specialists and enthusiastic naturalists. Includes talks on craneflies, dollie flies and snail killing flies. The Forest Centre, Millennium Country Park, Marston Mortaine MK43 0PR. See BNHS website www.BNHS.org.uk  Cost 20 pounds, includes light lunch and refreshments.

Posted by Judy Webb | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2018-09-29

Annual Dipterists Forum Meeting, 10-11 November 2018

We return to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History after a break of 8 years, with a series of talks, your own exhibits, Pemberley Books and chat on Saturday, and a workshop on photography on Sunday along with the opportunity to use the museum’s Diptera collection. The meeting is open to all, is free and you don’t need to be member of Dipterists Forum. There should be plenty of space for displays in the area where we will have refreshments, so do please bring an exhibit. This can be specimens, photos, posters – almost anything to do with flies. The traditional Dipterists’ Supper will take place at a nearby restaurant.

Two of our speakers have an Oxfordshire connection. The museum houses the Verrall-Collin collection of Diptera, probably the most important collection of British flies, so it is fitting that we have Adrian Pont to give an account of James Collins’s life, commemorating the 50th 50th anniversary of his death. In the surrounding countryside, Judy Webb has been studying flies of the Oxfordshire fens, particularly the rare soldierflies but many others too, and will compress several years’ work into 25 minutes. Peter Chandler’s recording scheme for flat-footed flies has been running for two years; his talk should give us some impetus to look out for these attractive, if illusive, flies. Karl Wotton from Exeter University is talking about his research on hoverfly migration, which is highly relevant to pollination and pest control – good to see that flies are getting a higher profile in research. A mix of light-hearted but serious discourse will be given by Alan Stubbs to help set us up for 2019. On Sunday, Steven Falk, whose Flickr site is well known, will run a session, after which you should be able to emulate his outstanding photos yourself. The Diptera collection will be open for examination for much of Sunday.
Here is the programme.

10.00    Meet – there’s the museum cafe or DIY coffee in the Annex
10.30    Zoe Simmons, Collections Manager, Hope Entomological Collections
    – Introduction & welcome to the museum
10.40    Adrian Pont    – James Edward Collin (1876-1968) - his life, his achievements, his legacy
11.05    Karl Wotton – Syrphid migration
11.30    Break for refreshments
12.00    Peter Chandler – Flat-footed Flies, a challenge to record
12.25    Judy Webb – Soldierflies and Horseflies of the Oxfordshire fens
12.50    Lunch – bring your own, use the museum café or forage in town
2.15    AGM
2.45    Prize for exhibit
2.55    Alan Stubbs    2019 –Year of the Fly
3.20    Chat, refreshment
5.30    Doors close
6.30    Dipterists’ Supper at local restaurant

10.00    Access to Diptera collection
11.00    Steven Falk    Flies on Flickr and fly photography made simple, the Falky Way
1.00    End of workshop, lunch
4.00    Collection closes

Travelling to Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and Accommodation
The train station is just under 1 miles from the museum. There are six Park & Ride sites, and using these is easier than struggling through Oxford’s traffic. There are numerous on-line agencies for hotels, guest houses and B&Bs (e.g. booking.com, trivago.com, tripadvisor.co.uk).

Posted by Martin Drake | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2018-08-30

Summer field meeting 2019 - venue and dates

Our summer field meeting in 2019 will be based at Stirling University, Scotland, between 22 and 29 June.  The cost will be c. £343 per person, for accommodation (single rooms), breakfast and dinner.  A workroom is generously being made available free of charge. 

Alan Stubbs is providing details of the habitats and sites we may expect to visit in the forthcoming Bulletin.  Suffice it to say here that there is a wide range of both within easy access of the city.  A previous meeting held here many years ago was a great success.

The booking has been made for 25 people.  Early expressions of interest would be welcomed, so I can gauge whether this is the right number. robertwolton@yahoo.co.uk

Posted by RobWolton | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2018-08-17

Events Calendar for 2018-2019 for all interested in Flies

6 October 2018 AES Annual Exhibition and Trade Fair, Kempton Park, London Sunbury-on-Thames, TW16 5AQ, UK. DF will have a publicity stand and some nice flies on show plus publications for sale. See www.amentsoc.org 

13 October 2018, Sepsid Fly Identification, Tutor Steve Crellin  for World Museum Liverpool. For details see http://www.northwestinvertebrates.org.u … workshops/

27 October 2018 (note date changed) Identifying Flies with Patterned Wings (WM region).  Tutor Nigel Jones. An FSC  Biolinks Course. Location Preston Montford Field Studies Centre. See http://www.field-studies-council.org/in … urses.aspx

3 November 2018  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.

3 November 2018, Cranefly Identification with Microscopes, Tutor Pete Boardman for World Museum Liverpool. For details see http://www.northwestinvertebrates.org.u … workshops/

10 & 11 November 2018  DF AGM, Dipterists Day and Indoor Meeting. Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PB. See  http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk

17 November 2018, BNHS Conference,'More Neglected Insects in Beds.' for specialists and enthusiastic naturalists. Includes talks on craneflies, dollie flies and snail killing flies. The Forest Centre, Millennium Country Park, Marston Mortaine MK43 0PR. See BNHS website www.BNHS.org.uk  Cost 20 pounds, includes light lunch and refreshments.

25–30 November 2018.   9th International Congress of Dipterology  in Windhoek Namibia (note change of venue). See website : (http://icd9.co.za/)

1 December 2018 Discovering Diptera: Flies under the Microscope, Tutor Martin Harvey  - Epping Forest. Field Studies Council.


15 - 17 February 2019, DF Advanced Identification Workshop.  Families: Empidids and Hybotids. Tutored by Nigel Jones and Stephen Hewitt. Preston Montford Field Studies Centre, Shrewsbury. Details & booking on FSC website: http://www.field-studies-council.org/prestonmontford  from mid October.

31 March 2019. Workshop on writing keys, led by Martin Ebejer, at Dinton Pastures. Details to follow. Expressions of interest to Tony Irwin (dr.tony.irwin@gmail.com).

22-29 June 2019 DF Summer Field Meeting at Stirling University.

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: showersjohn@gmail.com

The Devon Fly Group will be holding regular field meetings throughout the year. Contact Martin Drake (01460 2206650, email: martindrake2@gmail.com).

Posted by Judy Webb | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2018-08-01

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