EVENT POSTPONED: This event was due to take place in February 2021, but with the continuing covid-related difficulties it has now been postponed until 2022. Watch this space for further information later in the year.
Tutor: Howard Bentley
Howard Bentley has been interested in flies for longer than he cares to disclose. He has a long and distinguished history with the Dipterists Forum, serving as both a former Chairman and Treasurer. Howard has experience as a tutor on previous DF advanced identification workshops, and is an expert on several families, with a professed fondness for “dark bristly jobs”. Now enjoying a peaceful retirement, Howard has been summoned back for this Muscidae workshop.
This advanced workshop will cover the Muscidae, the UK’s largest Calyptrate family with over 290 species and 40 genera. The course will include keys to all species, with new illustrations for many diagnostic features. Unfortunately, there is currently no totally satisfactory key to genera available for the group, but the course will include a discussion of the pros, cons and pitfalls of the available published generic keys (Fonseca 1968 and Gregor et al 2002).
The Muscidae are numerous and diverse group, frequently encountered in a range of different habitats and showing a wide range of ecologies. They are also an economically important group with many species adapted to human environments, including some pest, nuisance, and vector species. Known larval life modes include, carnivorous (Coenosia, Limnophora, Lispe, Graphomya, Phaonia), saprophagous in decaying organic matter (vegetable, animal, or excrement) where the third instar maybe carnivorous (Muscini, Stomoxyini, Hydrotaea). The adults of most species feed on nectar but some species are predators (Coenosiinae), feed on blood (Stomoxyini), or on exuding animal wound liquor (Hydrotaea); the latter two groups being vectors of diseases.
The course will briefly cover the biology of the group, with most of the time being devoted to identification. Previous experience in Diptera identification would be an advantage for this workshop, which will include some hardcore bristles and genitalia.