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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 2014-01-12 15:58:27

malcolmsmart
Committee
Name: Malcolm Smart
From: Wolverhampton
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 395

Finding keys to British Diptera

There are often questions on the "Identification Forum" of the nature "How do I find a key to the British species of family xxxxxxx". In particular there is currently one about a key to Lonchopteridae. It appears that some visitors to this site are unaware of the extensive information about this topic which is available right here (on this website) when you know how to reach it. Here's how!!!

* Go to the magenta bar across the top of this page and click on "Wiki". You will be taken to a "Welcome" page that starts with a  list of 3 sections.

* The second section is titled "Diptera families". Click on the magenta link and you will see a list of family names.

* Click on the family you are interested in (e.g. "Lonchopteridae") and you will find be taken to a summary of information about that family which includes a section headed "Identification" which consists of a list of reference names (in this case with just one entry "Smith (1969a)". That is because there was only one important reference necessary to separate the known British species at the time this page was last updated.

* Click on "Smith (1969a)" and you will to another page with heading "Reference" at the top and ant full reference details beneath it. In this case: "Smith, K.G.V. 1969a. Diptera Lonchopteridae. Handbooks for the identification of British insects 10(2ai): 1-9."

QED!

This may not necessarily be the very latest information but it is a good start. Once you have this you are in a position to look for a personal copy of it. If it's a book, you may have to find a copy for sale (or on loan from interlibrary loan), but if it's an article in a journal, you are usually entitled to get a photocopy or digital copy (.pdf) FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY via interlibrary loan or, in some cases, by downloading it from the internet.

I hope that this is helpful.
Malcolm

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#2 2014-01-12 16:57:32

Michael Ackland
DF Members
Name: Michael Ackland
Registered: 2008-06-14
Posts: 191

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

Very helpful Malcolm. I thought the Wiki link was to the web Wikipedia!  I would like to add some references to the Anthomyiidae, but do not have the time to work out how to do it. Any chance I could send you some additions in plain English?

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#3 2014-01-12 18:22:56

malcolmsmart
Committee
Name: Malcolm Smart
From: Wolverhampton
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 395

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

Hi Mike,
The Wiki  page belongs directly to Stuart Ball and I do not have any control over it. I'll raise the issue of updates to it with him
Malcolm

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#4 2014-01-13 18:40:37

conopid
DF Members
Name: Nigel Jones
From: Shrewsbury
Registered: 2008-02-27
Posts: 701
Website

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

That's a very useful resource for visitors to the site. Perhaps we should add a hyperlink to it in the magenta menu, as currently it is rather too well hidden from site users. Name the link something like "Diptera Families".


Nigel Jones
Shropshire

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#5 2014-01-13 21:02:59

Jim Jobe
DF Members
Name: Jim Jobe
Registered: 2008-04-08
Posts: 138

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

Very good idea!

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#6 2014-01-13 21:34:47

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

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

According to the Introduction to the Wiki-  ( http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/wiki/index.php  ) -
"Who can edit the Wiki?
This is the web-site of the Dipterists Forum, so I have set it up so that anyone can view our Wiki, but you need to be a member of Dipterists Forum (i.e. logged in to this web-site as a DF member) to edit the pages.
......
If you want to learn how to add and edit text, practice your skills and try out some of the more complicated facilities, use the http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/wiki/ … playground  playground. This is an area of the Wiki set up specially to allow people to practice editing and the content is not kept."

However it will need someone who is a DF Member, but not on the Committee, to check if they can actually make updates on the current web site.
I think it was originally hoped that the Wiki would eventually grow to become the C&H replacement that would be a too large a task for one author.

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#7 2015-08-17 03:35:12

JBranscombe
DF Members
Name: Julian Branscombe
Registered: 2014-06-18
Posts: 16

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

How do I find the key to families which I've heard mentioned (is it by Stuart Ball)? I've downloaded the RES handbook to fly families, but I was looking for something else too.

Thanks, Julian

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#8 2015-08-17 12:09:15

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

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

If you're a member of Dipterists Forum, you can access the section on this site "Test keys and other unpublished material", then "British Families of Diptera", then "Key to Families".

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#9 2015-08-18 14:32:06

JBranscombe
DF Members
Name: Julian Branscombe
Registered: 2014-06-18
Posts: 16

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

That's helpful Tony. I've been a "registered user" of the Forum for a while, and at the beginning of the week I joined (as John Showers will be my witness!) - does my status as a user now change when this is updated? I can't see "Test keys and other unpublished material" as yet, despite quite a lot of fishing through the various Forum headings.

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#10 2015-08-18 14:40:37

JBranscombe
DF Members
Name: Julian Branscombe
Registered: 2014-06-18
Posts: 16

Re: Finding keys to British Diptera

Hi Tony, I've now found a sticky post from Stuart Ball, indicating that I need to email him via the Forum, using the link on his post, to get my registered user status changed to "member". It is all beginning to make sense. One or two other sticky posts, making it clear of the additional forum material available to members, and indicating how you can get your access rights increased to get this additional material when you join, would be very helpful for someone like me. I feel like I've been around the forums a few times looking for a way in to what I want most just now, and it has taken me a while, but thanks to you and Stuart's posts I am finally getting there. Thanks again. Julian

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