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Need a good guide to British Flies
Larry Shone
#1 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2010 21:07
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Location: Darlington UK
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I have a few excellent Colllins Field Guides (one each on Spiders, Snails Butterflies and Trees, also the Sea Shore) but is there such a book on Diptera? I have the Collins Field Guide to Insects of Britain of Europe (3rd edition, Chinery) which is great as an overview but is far too generalised to be use to dipterists!
One book has been suggested so far (Colyer and Hammond) but it is out of print and S/H copies are going for riduiculous prices (up to 40!!), any others?
Thanks
Larry
Edited by Larry Shone on 10-05-2010 21:08
 
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Tony Irwin
#2 Print Post
Posted on 12-05-2010 11:48
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Larry - 40 is a good price for Colyer and Hammond! - it's packed full of information, though a bit out of date. The illustrations are still excellent.
As there are 7000 species of flies in Britain, you can't expect to get one book to cover everything in detail. You may be best to start with one group (Syrphidae, for instance) and then move onto others as you get more experienced. Stubbs and Falk is an classic guide to hoverflies and will keep you busy for years! Stubbs and Drake (Soldiersflies and Allies) is also a first-rate book which covers many others of the larger, more colourful species. And join the Dipterists forum - there are on-line keys and plenty of help available to members. See http://www.dipter...um.org.uk/ . Good luck!
Tony
----------
Tony Irwin
 
Larry Shone
#3 Print Post
Posted on 12-05-2010 12:17
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Tony Irwin wrote:
Larry - 40 is a good price for Colyer and Hammond! - it's packed full of information, though a bit out of date. The illustrations are still excellent.
Good luck!

Yes I know what you mean but unfortunately ,on a tight budget with two young kids 40 quid is a LOT of money!
 
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ChrisR
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Posted on 12-05-2010 13:34
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I'd recommend trying to get a copy of C&H on loan from your library - they might be able to get hold of it from somewhere, you never know. It is the kind of book you read but don't refer to much though because it is a bit out of date and doesn't help much with identifying flies.

As Tony said, the order is so huge that you have to usually start with a key to families - get familiar with the different groups and things will make a lot more sense later. Then dive into one of the easier groups - like hoverflies (Syrphidae) and avoid the nastier ones like the plague Wink There are sometimes free keys to some groups so just ask here and you might be lucky Smile

Basically, it's a fascinating group of insects to study but you have to do quite a bit of asking-around for help & guidance (hence this forum) and most groups will require specimens/microscopes to go into any great detail Smile
Manager of the UK Species Inventory in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London.
 
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rvanderweele
#5 Print Post
Posted on 12-05-2010 13:41
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C&H has been a Bible for me for many years! A very good work, absolutely essential for the library of a dipterist.
As far as I know it is still possible to purchase it.
I know also A Dipterist's Handbook is still available for example at vermandel.nl. Strange enough I never read the work. Maybe I should
ruud van der weele
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Gunnar M Kvifte
#6 Print Post
Posted on 12-05-2010 17:16
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Unwin's (1981) identification table to British families of Diptera was the work that got me started on identifying flies. It is freely available as a PDF from http://www.field-studies-council.org/fieldstudies/documents/vol5.3_143_A.pdf

The best family-level identification guide for Europe is, however, Oosterbroek's "The European Families of the Diptera: Identification, diagnosis, biology", see http://www.nhbs.com/the_european_families_of_the_diptera_tefno_150720.html

I hope this will help you
 
Larry Shone
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Posted on 12-05-2010 17:28
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ChrisR wrote:
I'd recommend trying to get a copy of C&H on loan from your library - they might be able to get hold of it from somewhere, you never know. It is the kind of book you read but don't refer to much though because it is a bit out of date and doesn't help much with identifying flies.
)

They have it in the library (just checked on their website) but its in the reference section so not on loan unfortunately
 
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Larry Shone
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Posted on 12-05-2010 17:47
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What do you think of these?

Adrian C Pont Provisional atlas of the Sepsidae (Diptera) of the British Isles 0

Lewis Davies Key to the British Species of Simuliidae (Diptera) in the Larval, Pupal and Adult Stages (Freshwater Biological Association, Scientific publication;no.24) 0

Harold Oldroyd Studies of African Asilidae (Diptera) (Bulletins, entomology / British Museum) 0

Harold Oldroyd Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects: Diptera: Tabanoidea and Asiloidea v.9 0
 
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rvanderweele
#9 Print Post
Posted on 12-05-2010 18:24
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Hmmm, I like Sepsidae, but I think they are not really the group to begin with.
Simuliidae, a lot of work with the microscope, so not really. African Asilidae? Perhaps, if you are going to collect in Africa.
I think the last work is the best to start with.
ruud van der weele
rvanderweele@gmail.com
 
Larry Shone
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Posted on 12-05-2010 18:58
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rvanderweele wrote:
African Asilidae? Perhaps, if you are going to collect in Africa.
.

Lol yes, although I do also like to read about creatures from other parts of the world , not just ID guides, even tho I will never travel. (I want a book on spiders of the world too as well as that cool Harvestman book you mentioned on facebook Wink )
 
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Matt Smith
#11 Print Post
Posted on 12-05-2010 19:34
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Larry Shone wrote:
What do you think of these?

Adrian C Pont Provisional atlas of the Sepsidae (Diptera) of the British Isles

Not one I have myself, but as it is an Atlas I doubt you will find any keys in it - the Provisional Atlases to Craneflies and to Larger Brachycera don't have keys - just dot maps.

Larry Shone wrote:
Lewis Davies Key to the British Species of Simuliidae (Diptera) in the Larval, Pupal and Adult Stages (Freshwater Biological Association, Scientific publication;no.24)

If I were just getting started I'd tend to avoid this group, lots of small flies which will need microscope work. FBA keys are generally very good though, I have most of them.

Larry Shone wrote:Harold Oldroyd Studies of African Asilidae (Diptera) (Bulletins, entomology / British Museum)

Probably ok if you are going to be collecting African Asilids, I would have thought not much use for general UK work

Larry Shone wrote:Harold Oldroyd Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects: Diptera: Tabanoidea and Asiloidea v.9

Pretty good for the most part, but has been superseded by Stubbs and Drake (see below).

If you want to make a start on a couple of groups of flies, I would definitely recommend either of the two books published by the BENHS:

Stubbs and Falk - British Hoverflies and Stubbs and Drake - British Soldierflies and their Allies. Both are well illustrated with either excellent paintings or photos and both have lots of species info and keys covering the UK fauna for these groups. If you are just starting out with keys, these will get you started without leaving you baffled.
 
conopid
#12 Print Post
Posted on 12-05-2010 21:28
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Larry,
Join the Dipterists Forum for just 6 as Tony suggests. You will be able to access free copies of all sorts of marvellous keys to families like Tephritidae, Sciomyzidae, Scatophagidae etc.
http://www.dipteristsforum.org.uk/

Once you have joined you get access to a members area where some of these are available. Others are also available from various members who specialise in various families of fly. One caution. You will need a microscope to determine many of these flies and that will certainly cost more than 40!
Nigel Jones, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
 
ChrisR
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Posted on 12-05-2010 21:58
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Of course, many people enjoy just taking photos and posting here where you can get some opinions on names ... some great chat ... good advice ... and generally learn tons, without having to buy a book. Then when you find the group that intrigues you most and you decide what you want to have a go at you'll know what to buy Smile
Manager of the UK Species Inventory in the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London.
 
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Larry Shone
#14 Print Post
Posted on 15-05-2010 15:33
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ChrisR wrote:
Of course, many people enjoy just taking photos and posting here where you can get some opinions on names ... some great chat ... good advice ... and generally learn tons, without having to buy a book. Then when you find the group that intrigues you most and you decide what you want to have a go at you'll know what to buy Smile

Yea that sounds my kind of plan! I dont have money to throw here and there, and i just renewed my BTS membership, and if I mention i want to join a Fly Forum I'll get some seriously odd looks and a big NO,lol
 
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Mark-uk
#15 Print Post
Posted on 20-06-2011 15:56
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Hi Larry

I must have missed this thread first time round.

I concur, all of the above too, but would add:

Dipterists Forum is from only 6.00.

If one is patient, you should be able to get reasonable copy of C&H on Ebay cheaply, especially if not fussy about perfect condition and 1st edition. I paid 7.00 for my copy. but I had to wait a while for one to come up at the right price.

I would also add that if one networks on here and on the Dipterists Forum website, one should be able to have pdf's of some keys e-mailed

Mark



 
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