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Identification Guides
Tremaine
#1 Print Post
Posted on 07-05-2007 13:35
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Location: NW England
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I am searching for a comprehensive guide with colour pictures to Diptera found in Great Britain - any suggestions anyone?

I have the Collins Field Guide to Insects but need something more comprenensive.

The reason for this request is that I am a serious Natural History Photographer and when I enter an International Photo Exhibition with one of my insects it is very important to give it its correct Latin Name and Common Name if there is one.

Example, I note from the Collins book that there are over 50 species of Dung Fly native to the UK but only one is shown.

Help please

Tremaine
 
jorgemotalmeida
#2 Print Post
Posted on 07-05-2007 14:09
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wrong section to ask this...

-- about books with that, I think there is nothing... just books with schemes for example. With colour you have diptera gallery. Smile (it is the best so far available in net and with safe and trust ID!)

which international Photo Exhibition? I google it and there is in Lithuania? awkward
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/superegnum
brian reily
#3 Print Post
Posted on 07-05-2007 14:12
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i always use the guide to neartic diptera ... not totaly sure about the actual title ... but its a three book set of realy big red books... ive been away from the lab from some time now (there isnt realy any volunteer work to be done there now) and i cant recall the exact title... by the way welcome to the site!!!
confused... as usual
 
Kahis
#4 Print Post
Posted on 07-05-2007 15:09
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
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Unfortunately, Collin's book is about the only picture-oriented guide to flies around, and as everyone soon learns, it is next to useles for identification. For the time being, there's really no substitute to catching what you have photographed - or photographing what you have caught, which tend to be the easier route.

Swedes is currently working on an "Encyclopedia of the Swedish Flora and Fauna", which aim to procude illustrated identification guides for practically all multicellular species of the country. Mad? Impossible? Fun? Yes! AFAIK only two diptera books are currently being written for the series: Syrphidae and Tachinidae.
Kahis
 
www.iki.fi/kahanpaa
Tremaine
#5 Print Post
Posted on 07-05-2007 17:53
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Location: NW England
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Manyt thanks for the prompt replies folks, I can see that I shall have my work cut out.
 
Tony Irwin
#6 Print Post
Posted on 07-05-2007 17:54
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You could start with Stubbs and Falk - Hoverflies; and Stubbs and Drake - Soldierflies and allies. They cover most of the large, colourful flies. After that, it's probably best to post the images on this site - the Diptera.info photo gallery is the best, but it's still not comprehensive (yet Wink).
Tony
----------
Tony Irwin
 
diphascon
#7 Print Post
Posted on 09-05-2007 11:27
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Tremaine wrote:
I am searching for a comprehensive guide with colour pictures to Diptera found in Great Britain - any suggestions anyone?


Hello,

there is something in German, "Fliegen und M?cken. Beobachtung, Lebensweise" by Haupt & Haupt.

http://www.amazon...3894402784

Not bad as a look-around imho, but knowing a little German might be of some use ...

Cheers - martin

EDIT Paul Beuk: Edited the link to prevent stretching....
Edited by Paul Beuk on 10-05-2007 12:00
 
ChrisR
#8 Print Post
Posted on 09-05-2007 19:56
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I think the original question needs putting into some kind of context too. In Britain we have just under 7000 species of fly (Hymenoptera have more), and most of these require a good microscope and keys to identify properly. Photos are possible for a large number but they have to be very good macro photos taken from a variety of angle ... and it's always the angle you *haven't* got that is the most important! Wink
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
Nikita Vikhrev
#9 Print Post
Posted on 09-05-2007 20:51
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1.The best and the easiest way - simply send Diptera here for ID.
2. Diptera.info Gallery is the best illustrated guide available!
Nikita Vikhrev - Zool Museum of Moscow University
 
conopid
#10 Print Post
Posted on 09-05-2007 20:57
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Basically, unless you are an expert dipterist with plenty of time to practice your skills, it is just not going to be possible to identify many flies and you will have to caption photos accordingly. Even hoverflies, with a fully illustrated guide can be devils to identify. However, even if you get your id wrong I doubt that any of the judges will ever know!Wink
Nigel Jones, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
 
ChrisR
#11 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2007 11:56
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The problem with the use of 'field guides' (even with hoverflies) is that an inexperienced user is tempted to choose a picture that looks most like his/her insect and think the job is done. But a more experienced entomologist knows that often there is quite a large amount of variability and that is why keys use the most stable physical features - most of which are not clear on most photos. This is especially true if the photos are taken for aesthetic reasons because they are likely to show-off the insects most attractive colours and not the features needed to identify them (eg. legs, bristles, wing venation etc).

Also, it really depends how accurate the photographer wants to be. For example, given a large hairy fly, some are happy knowing it is a sarcophagid ... others might not be happy until they know it is Sarcophaga subvicinia, which definitely couldn't be achieved through a simple photo.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
Kahis
#12 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2007 12:17
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
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conopid wrote:
However, even if you get your id wrong I doubt that any of the judges will ever know!Wink


Please don't do this Grin If I had a penny for each time someone said '..but this fly does not look like the photo of species X I saw on the internet" I'd be nearly as rich as Bill Gates Wink

Last year I nearly had to argue in court that Thaumatomyia notata is NOT identical with Drosophila melanogaster, no matter what web photo galleries claim Frown
Kahis
 
www.iki.fi/kahanpaa
Paul Beuk
#13 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2007 12:34
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Hehe, someone finally sued you? LoL
Paul

- - - -

Paul Beuk on https://diptera.info
 
diptera.info
Kahis
#14 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2007 12:45
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Not yet!

The case was about a indoors mass occurence of T. notata. The fly was misidentified as D. melanogaster (sigh) and an unsanitary neightbour was blamed for the flies.
Kahis
 
www.iki.fi/kahanpaa
Carnota
#15 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2007 17:50
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I my opinion, with the photography we can obtain as many information as with our own eyes, so all determinations based on keys dealing with lengths, bristles count, color, shape, etc. are possible from photographic images.

All depends on the skills of the photographer (photographic and taxonomic skills).

In the Internet era the pure text based keys could be replaced with photo/text based ones, inaugurating a new discipline: the PHOTOTAXONOMY.
 
ChrisR
#16 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2007 18:55
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The theory is good ... but how do you know (in the field) which features on the insect you have to show, to be able to identify the insect later in the keys? Wink

It's also impossible to photograph a fly's terminalia without extending them from a dead specimen. Also, a lot of features are microscopic in size - requiring 40x magnification to see them. You can't view those without using a dead specimen.
 
http://tachinidae.org.uk
Carnota
#17 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2007 22:33
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Chris, of course, I agree with you.

In my limited experience, the determination task can be affordable only with dead specimens, where the photography can aid to grab the precise details, even with the required magnification (trinocular microscopes), images of terminalia preparations, etc.
 
Tremaine
#18 Print Post
Posted on 17-05-2007 18:25
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Location: NW England
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A great many thanks to all of you who have contributed to this thread.

1) As a photographer I very much prefer to take capture only images of the beasts that I am photographing - and not kill them in the process.

2) I am very much aware that there are a vast number of different species with in the Order of Diptera. And bear in mind that I photograph a great variety of Insects not only flies. Accordingly if there are occasions when I can only get to the Family or genus then that is fine. And as has been noted the chances of a Judge knowing that a particular fly is x.x rather than x.y is fairly remote. Just that if I am able to be as thorough as is reasonable then I have done a good enough job, for the task at hand.

3) I shall post images as the occasion arrises in the Photo Gallery for you specialist folks to assist me.

Many thanks once again

Tremaine
(Hey I also photograph Coleoptera - as as i am sure you all know - there are countless different species of these.)
 
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Aneomochtherus

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Tony, I HAD a blank in the file name. Sorry!

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