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.

AGM agenda and proposed committee members 10 Nov 2018



Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3PW

The Chairman will open the AGM at 14:15.

1    Apologies
2    Approval of the Minutes of the last AGM and matters arising (See Spring 2018 Bulletin 85, pp 35-38, for the Minutes of the 2017 AGM)
3    Chairman’s Report
4    Treasurer's Report
5    Dipterists Digest Editor's Report
6    A.O.B.
7    Vote of Thanks to retiring committee members and others
8    Election of Officers and ordinary members to committee

The Chairman is elected biennially. The Secretary, Treasurer and other Elected Officers with specific responsibilities (detailed below) require annual election.  The constitution currently requires nominations 30 days in advance of the AGM. Ordinary elected committee members serve for two years.

The Officers and Ordinary Members proposed for re-election or election this year, 2018, are as follows:

Officers                                       All for re-election
Chairman                                       Robert Wolton
Vice Chairman                               Howard Bentley
Secretary                                       Jane Hewitt (new committee member)
Treasurer                                       Phil Brighton
Membership Secretary                   John Showers
Indoor Meetings Secretary               Martin Drake
Bulletin Editor                               Darwyn Sumner
Assistant Bulletin Editor                   Judy Webb 
Digest Editor                                      Peter Chandler
Publicity Officer                       Erica McAlister
Website Manager                       Martin Harvey (succeeding Chris Raper)
Conservation Officer                   Vacancy
Training Coordinator (new post)       Matt Harrow (new committee member)
Ordinary Members                       For re-election (elected 2016)
                                              Stuart Ball
                                              Peter Boardman
                                              Victoria Burton
                                              Chris Raper
                                              Malcolm Smart 

                                              Already elected (elected 2017)
                                              Martin Harvey
                                              Tony Irwin
9.  Chairman’s thanks to hosts and formal closing of the Annual General Meeting.

Posted by RobWolton | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2018-10-29

Bursaries for 2019

The Dipterists Forum holds an annual weekend course at the Preston Montford field studies centre. These courses cover selected families of flies in detail, and the 2019 course will be on the Empididae and Hybotidae. It will take place on the 15th-17th February. The Forum also has annual residential summer field meetings lasting for one week. These take place at various venues around the country, and the 2019 meeting will be based at Stirling University, Scotland on the 22nd-29th June.

We offer up to two bursaries for the Preston Montford course, and up to three for the summer field meeting. Each bursary covers half the total cost of the course or the meeting, including accommodation costs. If you would like to apply for a bursary please send your application by e-mail to the vice-chairman, Howard Bentley, jhowardbentley@gmail.com

Your application should say what you hope to gain from attending, how you would expect to contribute to the Forum’s aims of the study, recording and conservation of Diptera, and why you would benefit from financial assistance. If you are currently involved in a research programme please include brief details. We will be looking for evidence of enthusiasm and interest in flies. Preference may be given to those who have not received a bursary previously. Applications should not exceed 300 words. Successful applicants will be expected to write a short account of their experience afterwards, and this will be published in the Forum’s Bulletin.

Applicants must be members of the Dipterists Forum. The closing dates for applications are: 30th November 2018 for Preston Montford; 28th February 2019 for the field meeting. If you would like further details of what is involved in these meetings please send a request to the e-mail address above.

Posted by Howard Bentley | Replies: 0 | Date Posted: 2018-10-28

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

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