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True flies (order Diptera) are an immense group with over 100,000 known species. They all have their hind pair of wings reduced to pin-shaped structures called halteres which act as gyroscopes to maintain balance in flight. Most feed on liquids, including nectar and blood.

This page looks at flies that are in the dipteran sub-orders Brachycera and Cyclorrhapha which are 'higher' flies, meaning later to evolve than the Nematocera which are displayed in the Craneflies, Gnats & Midges section. Note that Hoverflies (Syrphidae family) are also displayed in a separate section.

Leicestershire and Rutland Resources

The Foraging Preferences of Anthophora plumipes in a Suburban Garden - Maggie Frankum

Conopidae VC55 Status - Ray Morris

Tephritidae VC55 Status - Ray Morris

40 Dipteran Families (up to 10 species) VC55 Status - Ray Morris

Pediciidae VC55 Status - Ray Morris

Sciomyzidae VC55 Status - Ray Morris

Dipteran Families 11-20 species VC Status - Ray Morris

Other Useful Websites and Publications


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

The Dipterist's Forum offers a huge range of support.

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

Blowflies - Olga Sivell. A superb and comprehensive RES key and guide to UK blowflies (Calliphoridae, Polleniidae, Rhiniidae)

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

Recording Schemes

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