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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 2017-03-18 13:13:50

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 36

books with drawings of genitalia

I want to identify diptera by myself using genitalia.
However, I cannot find reference material.

drawings of spider genitalia are readily available even online:
http://www.araneae.unibe.ch/data/206/Araneus_diadematus

authors names are listed below images at unibe site.
for example, Roberts 1995 British spiders.

where are the drawings for diptera? For example, Sarcophagidae.
If I am to ask about a species of Sarcophaga, then genitalia will be mentioned.
okay. I have genitalia now where are the drawings for reference?

maybe arachnologists are superior in their field.
I have looked at many books about various diptera but I cannot find drawings.

Help please. I'd like to see a list of books with drawings of genitalia.
even microscopic photos will suffice.

Thank x decillion.

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#2 2017-03-18 13:45:14

schultmay
DF Members
Name: Barbara Ismay
Registered: 2008-02-14
Posts: 125

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

It is easier for spiders as there are less than 700 species of spiders in the UK, but currently 7141 species of Diptera. However, the specialist books have genitalia drawings included. But you don't need genitalia for many species to be identified - it often depends on the family. Some of these are mentioned in the family section of the c. 100 page handout that you will receive at a beginners workshop, which Dipterists Forum members run throughout the year, sometimes for free depending on the venue and travel distance. You can also download some test key versions from this wensite from the members only section. There are also more specialist workshops available for certain families and often you get handouts there - check the events page on this website. You can also contact the recording scheme organisers, again mentioned on this website, and ask which keys to use. Another way is to come to some of our meetings, either indoors or field meeting or try the B.E.N.H.S.webpage, they also run courses. I hope this helps?
Cheers Barbara

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#3 2017-03-18 14:50:52

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 36

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

Thanks for replying Lady Barbara. I appreciate your time.

I have no access to members area. I've looked for a test key forum but it's not visible to me.

I have been searching Google for "specialist" books but it is difficult to find book titles. I notice someone mentioned Pape has drawings of Sarcophagidae genitalia. I cannot find a book title. Is it "Catalogue of Sarcophagidae of the World" 1996?

Even if a species is easy to identify, genitalia is necessary because you may actually discover a new species. I prefer genitalia. Besides, I learn more about insects using a microscope. I prefer books with drawings of genitalia and other useful identification features. Problem is that dipterists do not mention useful books. Arachnologists are quick to tell you which books to use.

I find it much easier to look at genitalia for a positive id.

could you list some useful specialist books for me? I really appreciate your time. I'm just sick of reading confusing keys. I'd rather match genitalia and be done with it.

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#4 2017-03-18 15:40:59

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 594
Website

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

For Sarcophagidae: https://www.abebooks.com/9789004081840/ … 081844/plp But the book is expensive. It's cheaper to join the Dipterists Forum for £10 and get free access to the members only keys to Sarcophagidae and various other families of Diptera. Note the DF keys are to UK species only though.

Another expensive book is: https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDe … %26ds%3D20 which contains many images of genitalia, but only for the genus Sarcophaga - the majority of species in this family,

Last edited by conopid (2017-03-18 15:43:33)


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

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#5 2017-03-18 15:49:48

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 36

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

Thank You for replying Sir Nigel.

the cost is not bad. I was expecting 200euro like some of the books I've seen. I've been wanting a copy of the keys of the USSR volume 5 but it is listed at 200+ euro. 60 is not bad.

How do I join DF? I do not see a link to join. I am not German by birth but I  live in Berlin. I can wire funds from my bank.
what does membership include?

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#6 2017-03-18 16:10:38

KenMerrifield
Committee
Name: Ken Merrifield
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 205

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

To access the Test keys section of this web site you have to be a member of Dipterists Forum (your status on this site will then be updated from 'Registered User' to 'DF Members'). Highly recommended if you are interested in Diptera although the meetings may not be useful if you live outside the British Isles. http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?id=3

Stuart put a lot of work into the Wiki (I suspect it is not often used as many people do not realise what it is - think of 'Wikipedia') and the descriptions of the Families there include lists of the main identification resources for each group. e.g. http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/wiki/ … cophagidae

There are links to some online ID resources in the 'Web Links' Forum.
Good Luck

PS
(I do not entirely share your confidence in identification from genitalia alone, sometimes I find that they just provide additional difficult to distinguish characters. I certainly would not like to try to identify a Tipulid from the many pages of genitalia illustrations without knowing where to start looking. Using a key to at least genera would make it much easier and the genitalia may be more useful to confirm an identification, or to separate similar species (but that is just from my limited experience)).

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#7 2017-03-18 22:42:56

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 36

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

genitalia are much easier to me. I have lots of practice with spiders. Spiders are not easy at all. I've screwed up a few times trying to view the vulva of a 2 millimeter spider. Anyway, I prefer genitalia.

I will join as a member this week. Better to do banking on weekdays here in Berlin.

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#8 2017-03-20 14:58:44

schultmay
DF Members
Name: Barbara Ismay
Registered: 2008-02-14
Posts: 125

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

Gentalia are not always the best place to start with Diptera. Some have genitalia which do not vary much between species e.g. some Muscidae. Others are very diagnostic e.g. Sarcophagidae. I find it best to use a key to get to genus and if there is a problem with the species, look at the genitalia, also use genitalia to confirm the identification. Older works are often poorly illustrated but more workers are incorporating pictures of the whole fly in works, which helps.
Good luck with your work on Diptera! The Diptera section in the entomology department in the Naturkundemuseum in Berlin has some good dipterists and a very fine collection - if you can get access to it. Also, there is the Arbeitskreis Diptera in Germany - they have once a year a field meeting and some German specialists are mentioned on their webpage (http://www.ak-diptera.de). It might help you getting in contact with specialists closer to Berlin.

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#9 2017-03-20 15:02:39

schultmay
DF Members
Name: Barbara Ismay
Registered: 2008-02-14
Posts: 125

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

Ups, the post above was by John, who has world-wide experience on Diptera for c. 50 years now, not by me, Barbara - who has only 17 years experience. Hope this helps.

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#10 2017-03-20 19:21:24

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 36

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

I'm a bit confused about the defensive stance regarding genitalia. I'm not an understudy or an assistant to anyone. I am not an entomologist. In fact, I am just a nature lover with a camera. I have no intentions of earning a degree. At the end of the day, I want to photograph nature and identify it.  I do not want to use cf or sp. I want a positive identification. My job is to confirm the species. Keys cannot do this alone. Macro photos and even microscopic photos can lead us astray. For example, I recently viewed a Pteromalidae under a microscope. I used keys to reach Trichomalus. I suspected T. perfectus is the species. Later, I made new photos of the antenna and I discovered that I did not photograph the antenna correctly the first time. Thus, I only saw 2 anneli. The new photos revealed 3 anneli. The truth now is 11353 which is Meraporus not Trichomalus. Genitalia would make this process much easier.

You should try to identify a spider by habitus, then you will understand the scientific importance of correctly identifying a species by genitalia. I am not paying a specialist to confirm my id for everything that I find. I will do it myself. In fact, if I ask you to identify many diptera by photo, you will eventually ask for pics of genitalia. You understand why I am happy with genitalia.

I will always use genitalia for a positive id.

I have no problems identifying a genus without keys. I will tell you a story: I found a fly at a window in the stairwell of my apartment building. I made photos of it with macro. I had no idea what it is. I measured it ALIVE, put it on my hand for some photos. I returned to my flat to view the photos. I had no idea what it is. I ask myself "how do I find a genus quickly?" I answer myself "outline the wings and do a search on wing venation using Google." in five minutes, I matched the wing venation to Phaonia. No keys required. Genus is confirmed by the Phaonia bristle. Another quick Google search for Phaonia reveals some characteristic features. I spent an hour more looking at each species known to exist in Berlin. Eventually, I found a match: P. turguriorum. I later collected the specimen for viewing under a microscope. By the way, drawwing.org is a nice resource for quickly finding a genus.

I'm sure that you may not need genitalia with 17 years experience but I do need genitalia. I have no formal training in this field whatsoever. I am not even an amateur. I'm just a nature lover with a camera. I require genitalia to confirm my conjecture. I would be embarrassed if I labeled a photo Phaonia and it turned out to be something else. I want accuracy. Self-sufficient accuracy.

I feel as though I have made an enemy here. I am not here to argue with professionals. You have a degree and you are good at what you do. I doff my hat to you. But now please reciprocate respect.

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#11 2017-03-22 02:25:26

KenMerrifield
Committee
Name: Ken Merrifield
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 205

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

Phaonia73 wrote:

I feel as though I have made an enemy here.

I am sure you have not.

I have always found all the people here very friendly and helpful.

You originally asked about finding books showing fly genitalia and the responses tried to explain that most Diptera identification works primarily use morphological characters (including genitalia in cases where they can be seen without dissection). When not easily seen the genitalia may be included for confirmation, or in cases where they are the only reliable distinction.

There are some groups where identification from morphological characters is difficult and works dealing with these will make more use of genitalia characters. (I think there are even some where larval characters are the most reliable method of identification.)

Historically most of the identification literature has been written by (and perhaps for) workers in museums or universities who may have to identify many specimens as part of their work. If dealing with a few hundred newly acquired specimens the ones that can be identified reliably without dissection and mounting would get identified first. The time and resources required for genitalia preparation would prevent this approach being used except when it is necessary.
The situation would be different for an individual who wants to identify insects for their own interest, in their own time.
I hope this helps to explain why you did not get the answers that you may have expected after your experience with Arachnids.

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#12 2017-03-22 12:50:26

Phaonia73
Registered user
Name: John
From: Berlin
Registered: 2017-03-02
Posts: 36

Re: books with drawings of genitalia

Thank You for your nice message Sir Ken. I fully understand your explanation.

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