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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 2018-08-12 01:58:43

Adorno
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Name: Array Array
Registered: 2018-08-12
Posts: 4

Coastal fly

Apologies for the atrocious phone picture but I wonder if it may be enough to give me a hint at what Iím lookkng at, for I donít suppose there can be many coastal flies in England. Found these small, attractive looking midge sized flies on the tide and seaweed on the north east coast.

Edit: I seem to be unable to post the image but theyíre small black bodied flies with white wings and legs. Canít find anything like them in the ID guides I have.

Last edited by Adorno (2018-08-12 02:01:22)

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#2 2018-08-12 11:23:52

KenMerrifield
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Name: Ken Merrifield
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 268

Re: Coastal fly

In addition to the to1600x1200 pixels size limit there is also a 512 KB limit on file size. It may be worth trying saving with a higher JPEG compression setting to get a smaller image if you are near these limits.
See
http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/t119- … posts.html
Good luck

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#3 2018-08-12 23:56:10

Adorno
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Name: Array Array
Registered: 2018-08-12
Posts: 4

Re: Coastal fly

Ah, thanks for that. Managed to upload something. I dare say Iíll have to go back with my camera and take a proper photo, but I just wondered if anyone could suggest even just what family Iím looking at.


Uploaded Images

Last edited by Adorno (2018-08-12 23:58:06)

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#4 2018-08-13 10:42:39

Tony Irwin
DF Members
Name: Tony Irwin
From: Norwich
Registered: 2008-03-01
Posts: 825

Re: Coastal fly

Chironomidae - I think subfamily Orthocladiinae, possibly something like Thalassosmittia. If you're going back to get another photo, it would be sensible to take a couple of specimens as well. Even the best of photos can leave some doubt as to species.

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#5 2018-08-18 20:54:53

Adorno
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Name: Array Array
Registered: 2018-08-12
Posts: 4

Re: Coastal fly

Thanks for that; very helpful. As I say, apart from Ďkelp fliesí I know of no other coastal flies. Hopefully will get some better photos and share them with the forum.

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#6 2018-08-19 11:13:10

Howard Bentley
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Name: Howard Bentley
Registered: 2008-07-07
Posts: 791

Re: Coastal fly

There are a good many flies which specialise in coastal habitats. The families Dolichopodidae, Anthomyiidae and Scathophagidae, for example, all include common species found (almost) exclusively on coasts.

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#7 2018-08-25 19:27:15

Adorno
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Name: Array Array
Registered: 2018-08-12
Posts: 4

Re: Coastal fly

Ah, I see. I didnít realise that. Iím only an amateur entomologist and not even a dipterist at all, though I do have the interest. Could you recommend any good resources to learn more? Not only identification but life cycle, ecology, etc. I presume there are no decent beginner books or whatever but itís quite specialist!

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#8 2018-08-26 01:23:22

KenMerrifield
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Name: Ken Merrifield
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 268

Re: Coastal fly

If it is still available "Collins Field Guide to the Insects of Britain and Northern Europe" 3d Edition Michael Chinery, 2007. Harper Collins ISBN 0 00 2199181 does give more background information than most introductory insect picture books.
There was a recent thread on a similar theme that may give some suggestions -
http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/t6675 … -book.html

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#9 2018-08-26 22:53:11

Geoff F
DF Members
Name: Geoff Foale
From: South Devon
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 219

Re: Coastal fly

That Collins book is good and I still use mine although it is falling to pieces now. The problem is that by attempting to cover everything in some way they have to leave out so much. But still a useful starting point.

Do you have any particular interests which would enable you to reduce the volume and cost of getting started. Like you, I am an amateur generalist who has stretched himself a little too far; so I have ended up knowing a little about a lot of subjects instead of really getting to grips with a reduced number of subjects. However, my problem is that when walking around I see something which catches my interest so I want to photograph it and then add an identification.

So I have ended up spending more money than I should on identification books. As well as that general Collins book I use A Comprehensive Guide to Insect of Britain & Ireland by Paul Brock which covers more species but in less detail.

Being also interested in moths means having a substantial book for macro moths and another one for micros; although moths are fairly well covered in the Collins book, at least for beginner level.

Hoverflies are a particular interest to me so that means British Hoverflies by Stubbs & Falk as the definite reference book plus Britain's Hoverflies by Ball & Morris as a handy quick reference guide.

A wide range of interests has led me to British Soldierflies & their allies by Stubbs & Drake. The allies, which cover a wide range from Bee Flies to Robberflies are of more interest to me than the Soldierflies.

I dabble with bees, but without much success, so that enticed me to Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain & Ireland by Falk & Lewington.

Then I also use Britain's Dragonflies by Smallshire & Swash. A Photographic Guide to the Grasshoppers & Crickets of Britain & Ireland by Evans & Edmondson. Shieldbugs & Squashbugs of the British Isles also by Evans & Edmondson. A key to the adults of British Lacewings and their allies by Colin Plant.

Then I have a Ladybird book, a Harvestman book, two Spiders books, two bird books, two wild flower books, etc.

So see how much money I have spent already! Some of these books are £40+ so it soon becomes an expensive hobby. And there are so many other species which I ignore simply because I find them too difficult for me.

One cheap item to consider is the free downloads of many RES keys which can prove very useful. Some of the names have changed and the keys might sound a bit 'old fashioned' but there is still a lot of information to be gleaned from them.

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