Flies, Gnats, Midges


Diptera (true flies) are one of the largest insect groups with many familiar species and plenty more strange and unfamiliar. They are characterised by having just one pair of wings (most insect orders have two pairs) with the rear pair having evolved into 'halteres' - small balancing organs that look like tiny clubbed stalks. Note that Hoverflies and Craneflies, whilst also being part of the order Diptera, are given there own sections on NatureSpot.

Leicestershire and Rutland Resources

See the Hoverflies and Craneflies sections.

Other Useful Websites and Publications


UK Diptera Facebook Group - great resource for posting images for national experts to comment on and identify.

Diptera.info - a forum site with some photos but best used to get identification help. Just upload an image and be surprised how quickly you get a response. 

Mike's Insect Keys - an excellent range of free illustrated keys to many fly families.

Dipterists Forum guides to Bee-flies (Bombyliidae), Snipeflies (Rhagionidae), Soldierflies (Stratiomyidae), Horseflies (Tabanidae)

Fly anatomy  -a fascinating and interactive guide to the technical bits that make up a fly! If you're serious about identifying flies it is necessary to understand the terms used.


British Soldierflies and Their Allies: A Field Guide to the Larger British Brachycera - a sister publication to the hoverfly book above.

If you know of other websites or books that you would recommend, do let us know: info@naturespot.co.uk

Recording Schemes

As with all records, any submissions you make to NatureSpot will be automatically forwarded to both local and national recording schemes.