Devon Fly Group


Formed in August 2013, the Devon Fly Group is an informal group of diptera enthusiasts who meet once indoors during the winter and at once a month in the field from April to October weather permitting. Membership is open to anyone regardless of age, interests, enthusiasm or competency simply by way of contacting Andrew Cunningham ( to join the Yahoo Newsgroup. We use this communication medium to keep members informed of field meetings, notable snippets of news, and various other noteworthy items.


The group is following in the footsteps of previous Devonian luminaries such as Colonel Yerbury, C. W. Bracken, George Bignell, and a few others. Devon has a rich assemblage of habitats, you could say the only thing we do not have is a mountain! Field meetings take place in interesting locations, in underrecorded areas or simply in pursuit of rare species. Constructive feedback is given to landowners who give us consent to visit their lands. Species of note previously encountered include Hornet Roberfly (Asilus crabroniformis), Bog Hoverfly (Eristalis cryptarum), Helius hispannicus (a very rare small cranefly) and Pogonota barbata (a smart dung fly).


Dipterology is no longer the preserve of the tweed-clad Victorian gentleman so do join us, even if you are only down here on holiday! We are glad to see people interested in all walks of natural history at our field meetings, especially those interest in other invertebrate groups.


One field meeting already confirmed for the year ahead is arranged for Saturday 11th May at Devon Wildlife Trusts' Halsdon Wood Reserve in north Devon. The meeting point is the Ashwell car park at the north end of the reserve (SS554130) at 10 am. Bring a packed lunch and suitable footwear. This is a joint meeting between the Devon Fly Group, the Devonshire Association, the DWT and the BENHS to mark the International Year of the Fly. Contact Andrew Cunningham on the email mentioned above for further details.


UPDATE (MARCH 2019): The Indoor Workshop at Woodah Farm was held on the 2nd March 2019 and despite a lower turnout than expected, it proved to be enjoyable. Martin Drake kicked things off with a potted history of diptera recording in Devon. Rob Wolton followed this up with a discussion of changes in some species over the last 100 years using Yerbury's records compared to modern evidence and how we could use this to the benefit of the Year of the Fly project. Richard Lane gave an excellent clarification of the different options available for slide mounting specimens. Geoff Foale demonstrated his attempts at the difficult task of making "small orange flies" easier to identify. John Day discussed his experiences in recording dipteran leaf mines and galls in Devon. Finally, the third annual DFG Fly Bingo was run with images of flies from last year by Andrew Cunningham. The top three prizes were shared by four people, the prizes included a bottle of Blandford Fly ale, a packet of fly biscuits (Garibaldi) and a blue bottle (geddit).


Furthermore, a provisional programme for field meetings was discussed. The dates are fixed but the locations are subject to access and permissions...

13th April 2019 - South Milton Ley (South Devon)
11th May 2019 - Halsdon Wood, Dolton.
15th June 2019 – Slapton Ley NNR (South Devon)
20th July 2019 – Emsworthy Mire (Dartmoor)
17th August 2019 –  Shaugh Bridge (near Plymouth)
21st September 2019 – Stover (near Bovey Tracey)
12th October 2019 – Heronsbrook (South Zeal, Dartmoor)

The dates are fixed, but confirming the venues will be dependent on permission from the owners and managers. Additional meetings may occur and are announced on the Yahoo Newsgroup.

AUGUST 2019 : The Devon Fly Group got together with South West Lakes Trust recently for a field meeting at Old Sludge Beds which went very well and can be read about here......


DFG Indoor Workshop at Woodah Farm, 2nd March 2019.


Devon Fly Group at Braunton Burrows.



Dawlish Warren