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The Society for the study of flies (Diptera)

Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)

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#1 2008-09-10 13:46:13

Letitiamaxwell
DF Members
Name: Marion Bryce
Registered: 2008-09-01
Posts: 99

Insect Distribution

How do we know if an  insect is common, unusual or rare in a locality?

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#2 2008-11-16 03:34:01

Judy Webb
Committee
Name: Judith Webb
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 422

Re: Insect Distribution

Look at the NBN (National Biodiversity Network) on the web.  click on the box that says 'Gateway' then type your fly name in the 'Search' box. choose the distribution map option and a dot map should come up.  If there are lots of dots it is probably common, if few dots it may be uncommon, but more likely under-recorded!  You can see if there are already dots in the locality of interest.

Identification books for flies (e.g. 'Hoverflies' by Stubbs and Falk) often have a lot of information on ecology and whether a species is common or not in the account of each species.

Your local Biological Records Centre may have more information on what species are common or rare for your area than the NBN.

For scarce and rare to very rare things, you can find out the names and ecological information by looking up the 'Red Data Books' on the JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee) website -  2 Reviews of Scarce and Threatened Flies are now downloadable.

Flies that are rare and declining may have been designated 'BAP' (Biodiversity Action Plan Species).  You can find out the names of such flies and more about them by looking in the Wiki on this website.

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#3 2008-11-17 00:04:38

haematocephalus
DF Members
Name: Martin Harvey
From: Buckinghamshire
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 267
Website

Re: Insect Distribution

Agree with everything that Judy has said, plus:

You can download a spreadsheet from the JNCC site that gives the current statuses of nearly all groups, including flies. This shows Red Data Book and Nationally Scarce species, and also those listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Download (I see it was last updated just a couple of weeks ago) from:
http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3409

And the species accounts for the rare species (i.e. those that were published in the JNCC reviews) can also be accessed via the NBN species dictionary:
http://nbn.nhm.ac.uk/nhm/

Use the search facility in the above link to find the rare species you are interested in, e.g. searching for the scarce hoverfly Cheilosia soror takes you to:
http://nbn.nhm.ac.uk/nhm/bin/nbntaxa.dl … 0000007000

Some of these accounts were written nearly 20 years ago and are now out of date (e.g. due to species changing distribution) but they're still a good starting point to find out more.

Martin


Soldierflies and Allies Recording Scheme
http://www.brc.ac.uk/soldierflies-and-allies/

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#4 2008-11-17 04:07:41

schultmay
DF Members
Name: Barbara Ismay
Registered: 2008-02-14
Posts: 135

Re: Insect Distribution

Agree with Judy and Martin, but the species included in the NHM species dictionary are for some species still the old ones out of Falk 1991. They seem to have not been updated yet to include the newest reviews, which can be downloaded as pdf files from:
http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3353  for 'A review of the scarce and threatened flies of Great Britain(2005)Part 2: Nematocera and Aschiza
Falk, S.J. and Chandler, P.' and from:
http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3351 for  'A Review of the scarce and threatened flies of Great Britain(2005)Part 3 Empidoidea
Falk, S.J. and Crossley, R'.

You find a list of the new BAP species if you go to www.ukbap.org and click on the link called 'UK List of Priority Species and Habitats' in the bottom right hand corner. 

If you are not sure whether a species is common or local it might be slightly risky to trust the NBN if you don't know if this family is recorded well or less well and has a recording scheme or not. You can find out about recording schemes if you go further down at this webpage under forums. Sometimes you find other reports on the web and if you know that the person who compiled this report is an expert in this group you can trust this.

Good luck.

Barbara
BAP and Conservation Officer Dipterists Forum

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#5 2009-01-12 19:12:35

Letitiamaxwell
DF Members
Name: Marion Bryce
Registered: 2008-09-01
Posts: 99

Re: Insect Distribution

Thank you for all the helpful suggestions and references.
Regards
Letitiamaxwell

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#6 2009-01-12 21:27:49

brianh
DF Members
Name: Brian Harding
From: Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Registered: 2008-10-27
Posts: 326

Re: Insect Distribution

In theory the NBN Gateway should give the answer, but if you look at the recent topic "How useful is the NBN Gateway" you will see that there are many problems.
In fact if a fly is very common, but not interesting (!) e.g. the Bluebottle (Calliphora vicina) it may have very few records and appear to be uncommon.
It may be that Keys, reference books, and Provisional Atlases, if available, will give a better more definitive answer to your question.

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#7 2009-01-13 13:45:46

Andy chick
DF Members
Name: Andy Chick
From: Nottingham
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 99
Website

Re: Insect Distribution

brianh wrote:

a fly is very common, but not interesting (!) e.g. the Bluebottle (Calliphora vicina) it may have very few records and appear to be uncommon.
.

Shocking i find C.vicina very interesting! but i take your point that people only seem to record the rarities

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#8 2009-02-14 04:07:33

cassandra_31
Registered user
Name: Array Array
Registered: 2009-02-12
Posts: 3

Re: Insect Distribution

The reference is really helpful in distinguishing if they are common.Although we see some insect that looks the same but really not and vice versa.



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#9 2009-02-23 02:43:16

schultmay
DF Members
Name: Barbara Ismay
Registered: 2008-02-14
Posts: 135

Re: Insect Distribution

I would not call Calliphora vicina un-interesting, in particular if you are interested in forensics, but there is no recording scheme for Calliphoridae and hence, not many records get uploaded onto the NBN. However, if some of you feel that these flies need more attention, why don't you start a recording scheme - get in touch with DF Committee and volunteer.

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