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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 2009-06-14 13:53:41

colinleb
DF Members
Name: Colin Le Boutillier
From: Luton, Bedfordshire
Registered: 2008-03-03
Posts: 212

Top 100

I have only recently begun to look at the Diptera at all seriously.  Most of my casual natural history interest for the last 40 years has been birds.  In looking at fly specimens it strikes me that it ought to be possible to identify many/most(?) without going through keys because of a very distinct combination of characteristics which cannot be confused with anything else and because they are the commonest flies in the locality/at the time being studied. 

By comparison with birds for example it would be hard to confuse a Green Woodpecker with anything else in the UK.  The budding birdwatcher can soon id 100 or more species even from some distance away 'cos 'it couldn't be anything else'.

Can anyone suggest species of Diptera which beginners could expect to id in this superficial way?

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#2 2009-06-14 19:49:45

Judy Webb
Committee
Name: Judith Webb
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 422

Re: Top 100

I'll start this off with Episyrphus balteatus, the Marmalade fly! (a hoverfly) - unmistakeable and not confusable with anything else.  Seriously, I think it will be quite hard to do this for you, because every time I think of an obvious fly, then I think of another species that a beginner might confuse with it.  Let's see what more experienced Dipterists think.
Judy

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#3 2009-06-14 19:57:36

colinleb
DF Members
Name: Colin Le Boutillier
From: Luton, Bedfordshire
Registered: 2008-03-03
Posts: 212

Re: Top 100

Thanks Judy - I suppose Tachina grossa is pretty unique too but where on a scale of 1 to 100 for 'common' would it come assuming E. balteatus scores 100?

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#4 2009-06-14 23:53:11

oxycera
DF Members
Name: John Coldwell
From: Barnsley
Registered: 2008-04-27
Posts: 325

Re: Top 100

I agree, they're are plenty of flies that 'can't be anything else' - but that is only evident to those entomologists who have put in the hard graft in the first place!

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#5 2009-06-15 00:15:59

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 696
Website

Re: Top 100

The problem is that it takes time and a good deal of  practice to confidently recognise the "unmistakeable flies", so that by the time you know them, you are no longer a beginner! But among those that can eventually be considered as unmistakeable are (in no particular order of ease): Hoverflies:  Volucella pellucens, V bombylans, Eristalis tenax, E pertinax, Sericomyia silentis, S lappona, , Episyrphus balteatus, Myathropa florea, Leucozona lucorum, Chrysotoxum bicinctum, Platycheirus granditarsus, P rosarum, Baccha elongata, Epistrophe eligans, Dasysyrphus albostriatus, D tricinctus, Syritta pipiens, Eristalis interruptus (when it does that courtship dance, hovering over a female), Anasimyia lineata.

Some other candidates:
Asilidae: Dioctria atricapilla; Dolichopodidiae: Poecilobothrus nobilitatus; Tachinidae: Phasia hemiptera, Tachina grossa; Muscidae: Mesembrina meridiana, and I'd even venture to suggest Hydrotaea diabolus, which I have just managed to recognise after many years of ignoring it!

There must be many many more, but as Judy says, there are so many apparently dissimilar species which beginners would easily confuse with so called easy ones.....

Last edited by conopid (2009-06-15 00:17:01)


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

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#6 2009-06-15 15:19:04

Laurence Clemons
DF Members
Name: Laurence Clemons
Registered: 2008-04-02
Posts: 378

Re: Top 100

Here is my 100. In some cases e.g. Rhamphomya maculipennis and R. marginata the females are more distinctive than the males.

Acanthiophilus helianthi, Aulogastromyia anisodactyla, Baccha elongata, Bibio johannis, Bibio marci, Bibio pomonae, Camarota curvipennis, Campiglossa plantaginis, Campsicnemus curvipes, Campsicnemus magius, Campsicnemus scambus, Ceroxys urticae, Chirosia albitarsis, Chirosia flavipennis, Chloromyia formosa, Choerades marginatus, Chrysotoxum bicinctum, Clanoneurum cimiciforme, Clusia flava, Coremacera marginata, Cornutrypeta spinifrons, Ctenophora pectinicornis, Demeijeria rufipes, Diastata adusta, Dicranomyia fusca, Dictenidia bimaculata, Discomyza incurva, Dolichocephala irrorata, Dolichopeza albipes, Dolichopus plumipes, Dorycera graminum, Drapetis ephippiata, Empis livida, Epiphragma ocellare, Episyrphus balteatus, Fannia lustrator, Goniglossum wiedemanni, Hylemya vagans, Leucophenga maculata, Leucozona lucorum, Limonia masoni, Limonia nubeculosa, Limonia phragmitidis, Melanophora roralis, Melieria cana, Melieria picta, Merzomyia westermanni, Mesembrina meridiana, Minettia longipennis, Morellia aenescens, Musca autumnalis, Myathropa florea, Nephrotoma quadrifaria, Norellisoma spinimanum, Oplodontha viridula, Orfelia nemoralis, Orthoceratium lacustre, Otites guttatus, Palloptera muliebris, Palloptera saltuum, Paykullia maculata, Pedicia rivosa, Peplomyza litura, Pherbellia schoenherri, Pherbina coryleti, Philygria punctatonervosa, Phytomyza nigripenne, Platycheirus granditarsa, Platystoma seminationis, Playtcheirus rosarum, Poecilobothrus nobilitatus, Rhamphomyia crassirostris, Rhamphomyia maculipennis, Rhamphomyia marginata, Rivellia syngenesiae, Sargus bipunctatus, Scellus notatus, Schoenomyza litorella, Schwenckfeldina carbonaria, Sepedon sphegea, Sepedon spinipes, Stratiomys longicornis, Syritta pipiens, Tachina grossa, Thaumastoptera calceata, Tipula fulvipennis, Tipula maxima, Tipula vernalis, Tipula vittata, Tricyphona immaculata, Trigonometopus frontalis, Urophora cardui, Urophora quadrifasciata, Urophora stylata, Volucella bombylans, Volucella inanis, Volucella inflata, Volucella pellucens, Volucella zonaria and Xylophagus ater.

Last edited by Laurence Clemons (2009-06-15 18:18:52)

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#7 2009-06-15 16:39:48

oxycera
DF Members
Name: John Coldwell
From: Barnsley
Registered: 2008-04-27
Posts: 325

Re: Top 100

Right, I'm getting the drift now;  anyone putting Schwenckfeldina carbonaria ahead of Asilus crabroniformis has to be taken seriously!

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#8 2009-06-15 18:13:18

Laurence Clemons
DF Members
Name: Laurence Clemons
Registered: 2008-04-02
Posts: 378

Re: Top 100

oxycera wrote:

Right, I'm getting the drift now;  anyone putting Schwenckfeldina carbonaria ahead of Asilus crabroniformis has to be taken seriously!

I have made so many slide mounts of this in the past I can identify it in the net.

Last edited by Laurence Clemons (2009-06-15 18:14:03)

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#9 2009-06-15 19:09:02

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 696
Website

Re: Top 100

Laurence's list serves to remind me of just how many species there are still for me to discover!

Thinking some more about species I can (probably) determine in the field, I think I'd add Empis femorata, Euleia heraclei, Anamoyia purmunda, Sybistroma discipes to the lists above.


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

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