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 ...
Watch our new video for more about the Dipterist's Forum
Forthcoming events calendar 2017 for all interested in flies
Here is a list of all the good events you might enjoy to further your fly interest this year. I am so impressed by the number of courses dedicated members of the Forum are running to enable people to learn how to identify flies. We are lucky to have these folk as skilled teachers to pass on their love of flies. Do sign yourself up to a course or two - they will all be good! At the bottom of the list you will see two local fly groups you could join. Judy
14-15 and 21-22 January 2017, 10am 4pm. (A course run over two weekends). An Introduction to Fly Families, tutors: Roger Morris and Stuart Ball. Focuses on those fly families with active recording schemes. Its main objective is to help participants get to grips with the range of terminology and where to find the features in question. The course is classroom based and will make use of preserved specimens. Venue: Ring Haw Field Station, Old Sulehay nature reserve, Cost: £110 (free to BCN Wildlife Trust volunteers). Booking details: http://www.wildlifebcn.org/ /wtwildlife … oc2017_web
28 January 2017, Tachinidae identification workshop. Matt Smith and Chris Raper. BENHS, Dinton Pastures Country Park in the Pelham-Clinton Building, Hurst, Reading . See http://tachinidae.org.uk
4 February 2017, 10am 4pm. An Introduction to Hoverflies, Tutors: Roger Morris and Stuart Ball. Course will be taught using preserved material supplied by the tutors, although you are welcome to bring your own too. Venue: Ring Haw Field Station, Old Sulehay nature reserve. Cost: £60 (free to BCN Wildlife Trust volunteers. Booking details can be found at: http://www.wildlifebcn.org/ /wtwildlife … oc2017_web
5 February 2017, 10am 4pm. An Introduction to Hoverflies, Tutors: Roger Morris and Stuart Ball. Course will be taught using preserved material supplied by the tutors, although you are welcome to bring your own too. Venue: Ring Haw Field Station, Old Sulehay nature reserve. Cost: £60 (free to BCN Wildlife Trust volunteers. Booking details can be found at: http://www.wildlifebcn.org/ /wtwildlife … oc2017_web
11-12 February 2017, 10:00-18:00 both days. Introduction to Fly families course. Tutors: John and Barbara Ismay, BENHS, Dinton Pastures Country Park in the Pelham-Clinton Building, Hurst, Reading.
25 February, Devon Fly Group winter workshop, 10.30 onwards. A chance to show photos, give short talk on something related to flies, show exhibits, etc. There will be a short session on identifying dixids and thaumaleids. Venue: Devon Wildlife Trust's reserve base at Woodah Farm near Doddiscombleigh in the Teign valley (SX847867, EX6 7PR). Contact Martin Drake (01460 2206650, email: email@example.com).
17-19 February 2017, DF Advanced Identification Workshop. Families Sciomyzidae and Drosophilidae, tutored by Stuart Ball and Peter Chandler. Preston Montford Field Studies Centre, Shrewsbury. Details will be on FSC website: http://www.field-studies-council.org/prestonmontford
25 March 2017 BENHS Annual General Meeting and Presidential Address. Oxford University Museum of Natural History. See http://www.benhs.org.uk
20 May 2017 Identifying hoverflies, Bishops Wood FSC (Worcs), Tutor: Nigel Jones - http://www.field-studies-council.org/in … 66278.aspx
25-28 May 2017 DF Spring Field meeting based around sites in Northampton. Anyone will be able to attend on any or all of those dates, and those wishing to come should book their own accommodation. Further details from Membs. Sec. John Showers.
26-28 May 2017 Developing your skills in entomology, Juniper Hall FSC (Surrey), Tutor: Martin Harvey (introduction to entomology in general, will include some Diptera) - http://www.field-studies-council.org/in … s/2017/jh-(1)/developing-your-skills-in-entomology-66461.aspx
10 - 16 June 2017, DF Summer Field meeting. Snowdonia National Park. Venue: the National Park Studies Centre - Plas Tan y Bwlch http://www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/study-centre . Book now to secure a place. Further details in separate website post and in the Autumn 2016 and Spring 2017 DF Bulletins.
24 June 2017 Bees, hoverflies and flowers: pollinators and pollination. Epping Forest FSC (north London). Tutor: Martin Harvey - http://www.field-studies-council.org/in … 66519.aspx
3 July 2017 Introduction to hoverflies, Flatford Mill FSC (Suffolk). Tutor: John Biglin - http://www.field-studies-council.org/in … s/2017/fm-(1)/introduction-to-hoverflies-66382.aspx
8 July 2017 Introducing hoverflies, Epping Forest FSC (north London).Tutor: Roger Payne, http://www.field-studies-council.org/in … 66551.aspx
October 2016. 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
October 2016, DF Autumn Field Meeting. Contact Roger Morris: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 November 2017, 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.
25-26 November 2017, DF AGM, Dipterists Day and Indoor Meeting. Liverpool Museum. Check DF Bulletin for details.
2 December 2017, Discovering Diptera: flies under the microscope, Epping Forest FSC (north London) Tutor: Martin Harvey - http://www.field-studies-council.org/in … 66530.aspx
2025 November 2018. 9th International Congress of Dipterology is scheduled to take place in Stellenbosch, South Africa,. See website : (http://icd9.co.za/)
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: email@example.com
The Devon Fly Group will be holding regular field meetings throughout the year. Contact Martin Drake (01460 2206650, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
NBN Gateway to change to NBN Atlas in 2017
Deadline for contributions to the Bulletin
The deadline for contributions to be included in the Spring copy of the Bulletin of the Dipterists Forum is 31st December, rushing up all too soon now!We need your news, views, observations, reviews and photos to make the Bulletin a good read. Judy
Changes to Constitution concerning the name of the Forum
At present, section 1 of the Constitution reads: "The Organisation shall be called the DIPTERISTS FORUM, hereafter referred to as the Forum."
The following is proposed as a replacement: "The formal name of the Organisation shall be the DIPTERISTS FORUM, hereafter referred to as the Forum. In less formal situations the Organisation may be called THE SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF FLIES (DIPTERA)."
This proposal will be voted upon at the Annual General Meeting to be held on the 26th November 2016 at the Natural History Museum in London.
Spring field meeting 2017
A note in Bulletin 82 - recently distributed - says there will be no Spring field meeting in 2017. However, we do now intend to hold one. It will be based around Northampton and run from the 25th to the 28th May. Anyone will be able to attend on any or all of those dates, and those wishing to come should book their own accommodation. Further details are available from the Membership Secretary, John Showers.