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Diptera.info :: Miscellaneous :: General queries
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Diptera identification
jezlee
#1 Print Post
Posted on 21-08-2009 09:10
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Location: West Midlands, UK
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As a complete novice to the field, I was wondering if any of the resident experts could give me any advice? If I collect a specimen in the field, how do I begin to identify it? I would imagine getting it to family would be the first step; and if so, are there existing keys which would enable me to do that? Sorry if I sound a little confused, it's because I am! Smile
Jez Lee
www.uknature.co.uk
 
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ChrisR
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Posted on 21-08-2009 10:07
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I would start by pinning it properly so that you can manipulate it under a microscope or strong magnifier. Do you have access to a microscope? I have a page about collecting insects on my blog.

Next, I would try to get to grips with the different families. After a bit of practice you can spot families that you are interested in in the field but there's nothing better than knowing *why* your fly belongs to a particular group - it can stop you trying to key something in the wrong book Wink The standard key would be Unwin,D.M.(1991): "A key to the families of British Diptera" published by the FSC and freely available on their website: http://www.field-..._143_A.pdf

When you have it to family you then have to locate the appropriate key and that should get you to species Smile People here can help with advice about family keys.
Manager of the UK Species Inventory in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
Igor Grichanov
#3 Print Post
Posted on 21-08-2009 10:15
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As a complete novice, you should visit gallery, http://www.diptera.info/photogallery.php, paying attention to ten most numerous families. I think they include 90% of pictures published here and 90% of flies that you will see in the field. To find a key is the 2nd step. It is easy now by use of Inet.
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Gunnar M Kvifte
#4 Print Post
Posted on 23-08-2009 22:39
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Unwin's key is great, I will also recommend

Oosterbroek, P. 2006. The European Families of the Diptera. Identification, diagnosis, biology. KNNV Publishing.
 
Paul Beuk
#5 Print Post
Posted on 24-08-2009 08:01
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Unwin's key is great, BUT...

* Only usable in the UK (because several families are not inlclded and some diagnostics are based on UK species only, missing out on continental stuff that can then be misidentified).
* Outdated in some of the systematics and nomenclature.
Paul

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jezlee
#6 Print Post
Posted on 24-08-2009 16:59
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Thanks for your help, guys I have since bought Oosterbroek's Guide to European Diptera Families (my bank balance is still recovering!) and downloaded a copy of Unwin's guide also, so I hope I am ready to start.

Paul, I live in Wolverhampton, in the UK, so I'm hoping that Unwin's guide will be useful to me anyway, but hopefully I now have Oosterbroek to fall back on.

I will keep you all informed how I am getting on - perhaps I will post a photo of a pinned fly and give you my identification, and see if anybody agrees with me? Or not, as the case may be! Smile
Jez Lee
www.uknature.co.uk
 
www.uknature.co.uk
jezlee
#7 Print Post
Posted on 07-09-2009 15:31
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Can anybody help me any further? I have collected a specimen (a common green bottle) and, even though I happened to know the family anyway, I went through the process with Unwin and got it down to Calliphoridae, which is a good start! Now where do I go from here to attempt genus and species? Are there online keys available? Smile
Jez Lee
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www.uknature.co.uk
ChrisR
#8 Print Post
Posted on 07-09-2009 15:33
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Once you have the family then (until you have built up a library) you have to ask around for key - as you are doing now Wink

Calliphoridae are a bit under-studied but Steven Falk made up his own key a while ago from other literature - a copy & paste job. If you like I can email it over to you ... not sure how comprehensive it is but it is a good start Smile

EDIT: key emailed Wink
Edited by ChrisR on 07-09-2009 15:35
Manager of the UK Species Inventory in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
jezlee
#9 Print Post
Posted on 07-09-2009 15:41
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Thanks Chris I will look forward to seeing it! Smile

p.s. are you always here? Wink
Jez Lee
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ChrisR
#10 Print Post
Posted on 07-09-2009 16:02
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No but it just seems so some days! Wink
Manager of the UK Species Inventory in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
jezlee
#11 Print Post
Posted on 07-09-2009 17:35
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ChrisR wrote:
No but it just seems so some days! Wink



Well, thanks for all your help, kind sir! Grin
Jez Lee
www.uknature.co.uk
 
www.uknature.co.uk
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