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Heleomyzidae: Heleomyza borealis (female) (2)
Heleomyza borealis (female) (2) (Heleomyzidae)
© & Roger Thomason

Welcome to the site

This is an interactive site for dipterists from all continents dealing with all aspects of dipterology (the study of Diptera: flies and midges) and dipterists. Here you can submit all your links to dipterological websites and events, post your dipterological queries in the forum, submit articles and news on Diptera, and contribute pictures for the Diptera Gallery. Submissions are open for members and members can contribute to the forums.

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Enjoy the site and keep helping to build it up to a significant entry point for dipterological research.

Some of you may have noticed that at times the site seems to be reacting rather sluggish. From the access logs it appears there several search bots are responsible for this sluggishness. I twice adjusted site settings now since new search bots seemed to introduce themselves. It still may take up to two weeks for changes to have effect, again... [20 February 2018]


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Simuliid Bulletin Number 49
Newsletters, etc.The Simuliid Bulletin Number 49 (January 2018) is now available for download at the usual site: You find it by clicking on the link to go to the Simuliid Bulletin Archives.

The main article is an obituary for Dr. Roger Crosskey, but there is also an obiturary for Michael Service and a notice about the forthcoming Symposium in Birmingham.

Best wishes,

John Davies
Ken Smith
I am sad to report that Ken Smith passed away recently. The following appreciation was written by John Ismay.

"I knew Ken Smith since 1969, when I first visited the then British Museum (Natural History) in London. At the time the Diptera Section was a large and active section, with enough staff to identify almost any fly to species. Such a facility is no longer feasible, partly due to financial cutbacks but more particularly because the identification of insect taxa has become more difficult as more species are described and the techniques used become more complicated. Ken was one of the last dipterists able to identify most flies to species.

Ken worked in the Hope Department of Entomology in the University Museum, Oxford in the early years of his career. He worked for Dr B.M. Hobby, an expert on Asilidae and they built up an impressive collection of predatory flies (mainly Asilidae and Empidiodea) and their prey. As a result, Ken became an expert in Empidoidea worldwide. Hobby was a long term editor of the Entomologist’s monthly Magazine and Ken assisted him and eventually succeeded him. Ken was ably assisted by his wife Vera. We owe all these entomologists a great debt for keeping the EMM running.

When Ken moved to the British Museum (Natural History), now the Natural History Museum he continued with his interest in Empidoidea. He worked on many families of Diptera and wrote definitive texts on the British fauna, in addition to major papers on world taxa. It is worth noting that many of these families are not easy choices. In particular he worked on Empidoidea in the southern hemisphere, a speciose and complicated group which is still being revised, and in Britain made progress with the Phoridae. This is one of the most underworked families of the Diptera and many species remain to be found even in Britain. His Royal Entomological Society key to the larvae of British Diptera is another landmark publication on a very difficult subject.

Ken was a social and outgoing person, never happier than in a pub or party with a glass in hand. He was an inspiration to younger dipterists, including the writer and was always willing to help less experienced colleagues. He had an excellent sense of humour. On one occasion he heard the Keeper, Paul Freeman, asking another section head for the number of primary type specimens (the specimens from which new species are described) held on the section. Ken had catalogued many of these on the Diptera Section, so he went to the card index with a new pack of 100 cards and quickly measured the length of the index, then counted the cards left over. When Freeman reached Diptera and asked for the number of types Ken gave him an exact figure of several thousand species, which must have been a surprise to his line manager.

He will be sorely missed in entomological circles and our sympathy goes to his two sons and the rest of the family."
Roger Crosskey passed away
Dear colleagues,

It is a sad day for all simuliidologists. I have to inform you that our well loved friend Roger Crosskey, passed away at about midday BST today 4 September. He had been in hospital for the last few months.

Roger was an exceptional taxonomist and an inspiration to us all, and a good friend to many. His knowledge of the subject was unsurpassed.


John Davies

Dear all,

Sadly, former member of NHM staff and entomologist Roger W. Crosskey passed away yesterday after a brief period in hospital.

He will be remembered for his outstanding contributions to dipterology, most notably on the biosystematics of Simuliidae and Tachinidae but also of other calyptrate families such as the Muscidae, Rhinophoridae and Calliphoridae. His works include several large monographs published in the Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) such as the taxonomic conspectuses of Oriental and Australasian tachinids. He was editor-in-chief of the Afrotropical Diptera Catalogue and contributed chapters to the Afrotropical, Australasian and Oriental regional catalogues, which are still widely in use by the scientific community today, and is author of the cornerstone book on simuliids, “The Natural History of Blackflies”. He was a respected biogeographer and a member of the management committee for the International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature.

Roger began his career as a medical entomologist for the Nigerian Ministry of Health (1951-1958), then worked for the Commonwealth Institute of Entomology (1959-1972) before joining the Natural History Museum. He started as head of the Hymenoptera section, then moved to Diptera as head of section before being promoted to Senior Principal Scientific Officer and spending his last years purely on research. He retired in 1990 but remained as a Scientific Associate until 2016.

He will be warmly remembered by former colleagues and friends and by all of those who are familiar with his scientific legacy.


Dr Daniel Whitmore
Senior Curator
(Diptera & Siphonaptera)
Department of Life Sciences
Natural History Museum

Note: Roger was born in 1930 (Paul)
Simuliid Bulletin No. 47 is now available
Newsletters, etc.Dear colleagues,

The Simuliid Bulletin No 47, January 2017, has now been posted on the SIMULIID-BULLETIN Blog site where it can be read or downloaded. It contains a report on the VII International Simuliid Symposium at Zaragoza, September 2016, and part 2 of Prof. Rivoschecci's paper. Because there are so many graphics, the file is large, (19Mb) however I have included a low resolution version which I recommend you try first.

Please note the next Symposium has now been fixed for 27-29 June 2018 in Birmingham, England.

John Davies
Simuliid Bulletin No. 46 is out now
Newsletters, etc.Dear Colleagues,

The Simuliid Bulletin No. 46 is now available for viewing or downloading here:

Click on the Archive tab.

John Davies
Latest Comments
profile Quaedfliegh on 17 March 2018 01:19:24
It is happening again!

Or, at least i get 502 everytime I try to visit it.....
View News Comment
 Carnifex on 11 November 2017 11:04:36
Infuscated wing tips and triangular yellow spot on tergite II exclude X. stackelbergi. --> X. dives female.
View Photo Comment
 John Bratton on 05 February 2017 17:30:37
Occasionally I find growths on water beetles that appear to be fungi, such as

Are you able to say whether these are Laboulbeniales, please?

John Bratton
View Article Comment
 von Tschirnhaus on 11 May 2016 17:01:36
Thaumatomyia glabra (Meigen, 1830), Chloropidae. The only European Thaumatomyia species with largely reduced hairs on the body [the only reason for Loew (1866) to create an own genus for it, the synonym Chloropisca]. Well known as a chloropid with zoophagous larvae, predators of root lice (Pemphigidae), e.g. on the roots of carrots. Different from its congeneric species notata (Meigen) it rarely aggregates in swarms in autumn. But single specimens regularly enter the notata swarms. In North America several publications report swarms. The species is well known as a flower visitor as documented on this photo. The first detailed article on the biology: Parker, J.R. 1918: The life history and habits of Chloropisca glabra Meig., a predaceous oscinid (chloropid).- Journal of economic Entomology 11: 368-380. (See id=71905&pid=305995#post_305995)
View Photo Comment
 von Tschirnhaus on 11 April 2016 20:05:01
Pachylophus, Loew, 1858, Chloropidae, is a very characteristic component of the Afrotropical chloropid fauna with species also in the Middle East. Many species are still undescribed and many are hosts of parasitic ascomycete fungi, the Laboulbeniales. All species are viviparous, in most species two larvae develop synchronously. The hind femora are always enlarged.
View Photo Comment
profile Nikita Vikhrev on 10 March 2016 22:53:39
What a nice creature!
View Photo Comment
 souad sahib on 04 February 2016 16:52:24
View Custom Page Comment
profile Nikita Vikhrev on 03 November 2015 22:44:09
Nice image
View Photo Comment
profile Anastrepha71 on 20 September 2015 18:34:24
Excellent images!!!
View Photo Comment
 Math on 17 April 2015 12:29:17
This is just fantastic!
View Article Comment
Date and time
18 March 2018 18:58


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Last updated: 25.08.2011
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26.02.18 13:39
Thx Paul, very useful

23.02.18 16:41
Usually called tegula, see Glossary

23.02.18 15:16
Hello and happy Friday Can any1 help with the translation of epaulet Die Halteren sind schwärzlich und Epaulet Thx

23.02.18 07:16
If you stroll through the Stratiomyidae gallery you will come across this Ptilocera species.

21.02.18 19:42
Just curious: which Stratiomyidae species is the one in the title of

09.02.18 11:00
Thx very much for the help

08.02.18 15:09

08.02.18 15:07
syn. n. = synonymum novum = new synonym

07.02.18 11:40
Hello Can anyone help out with this abbreviation syn. n. Thx

25.12.17 00:22
I join the others in wishing all forum members a wonderful Christmas season and a great New Year!

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