Snail-killing flies (Sciomyzidae) Workshop

Start date
Start and finish times
Tanyptera Trust
Event address

World Museum
William Brown Street
L3 8EN
United Kingdom


Book here –  tickets are £7.50

Stuart Ball of Dipterists Forum will lead this workshop covering the Diptera family Sciomyzidae – the “Snail-killing Flies”. Stuart has produced an updated key to this small family (72 species on the British list) – which includes species accounts and distribution maps presenting what we have so far been able to glean about their status and distribution. A copy will be made available to course participants.

We will start with a presentation covering the diversity and biology of these interesting flies. Because of their potential for biological control of slugs and snails, their life histories and larval biology tends to be somewhat better known than is typical for Acalyptrate flies. We will then move on to identification, using preserved specimens to illustrate the features used in the keys. The family includes a number of quite pretty and distinctive flies with patterned wings and/or distinctive body shapes that are readily identifiable. At the other end of the spectrum, it also contains a couple of larger genera where identification to species level is quite tricky and involves careful examination of microscopic details! Having some idea of which you are dealing with, and when you need to seek expert confirmation, is a big part of getting to grips with these flies.

Our tutor, Stuart Ball, is perhaps better known as an organiser of the Hoverfly Recording Scheme and joint author of the WildGuide “Britain’s Hoverflies”. He has led identification courses throughout the country on hoverflies and various other fly families as well as recognition of fly families.

Lunch is not provided but tea, coffee, water and biscuits will be available.