Affiliated to the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS)
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The Emidoidea includes the families Atelestidae, Hybotidae, Empididae, Microphoridae and Dolichopodidae with 676 species in total.
These flies have become more popular in recent years. In size they range from minute to quite large, though overall they tend to be small flies. If one is selective, there are plenty of species that are fairly easy to identify. Many more are of moderate difficulty. The females of some genera are difficult and the males can also demand experience, including those that need genitalia preparations and a high microscope magnification. Genitalia examination is quite straightforward in most Empidoidea. Several years experience and a good microscope are recommended before embarking seriously on this group.
With so many species, practically all habitats have a characteristic fauna and this is a useful group for site evaluation. Overall woodland, wetland and water margin habitats contain the richest faunas.
A newsletter has been produced.
Currently there is an organiser for Empididae only, but he is also collating records for other Empidoidea.
Organiser: Adrian Plant, email: Adrian.Plant@nmgw.ac.uk.
I'm currently sorting out Dolichopus taxa from samples taken at Malaise traps running at Rutland Water NR. I've been using Fonseca (1978) for identification but I wonder if someone would be willing to check a few of them in order to build up confidence in my ability to record this group in VC55. All specimens are in 70% IPA.
I'm always happy to look at dolichopodids for the national recording scheme for which I am the organiser. Specimens in alcohol are fine. If you are doing only the larger species, but need the small fry looking at, I can do these. Don't believe the very out-of-date comment under the scheme information that Adrian is doing only the empids - we've been running the empidoid scheme together for several years now.
Thanks Martin I'll take you up on the offer. I'm starting to sort malaise samples next week do will have specimens by the end of the month. While I'm initially going to concentrate on Dolichopus I would be interested to hear of other genera. If it is OK with you I would have a go at identifying Dolichopus and then send these to you for confirmation. The remainder I would leave in your tender care.