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North American Dipterists Society

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North American Dipterists Society

Diptera News

This stuff will be interesting to you if you are a dipterist!

Please consider contributing news items by contacting us.

News is divided into the sections below for easier access. As news items grow stale, they will be moved to the past news archive for posterity. Many news announcements will also be made through the Fly Times and the Dipterists mailing list server.

Society News

Due to ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated negative impacts on global travel, the ICDX Organizing Committee has decided to postpone the congress by one year, with the new dates 16–21 July 2023.
The congress venue remains the same, The Silver Legacy Resort, Reno, Nevada (USA). We look forward to seeing everyone there at ICDX in 2023!
To receive updates and information about the ICDX, please sign up to the Dipterists mailing list and keep an eye on the ICDX website, which will be updated frequently.

Fly Times issue 65 (Fall 2020) is now available!
This issue has a new look and feel, which is only going to get better as the editor starts using layout and design software! This issue starts off with a major announcement regarding the North American Dipterists Society. Among the contents are reports about ongoing projects and surveys, an annotated list of Diptera-specific serial publications, memorials for several of our colleagues who passed away in 2020 (Amnon Friedberg, Monty Wood, Knut Rognes, Douglas Craig and Harold Robinson), the first announcement for the 10th International Congress of Dipterology (ICDX), news about the next Field Meeting of the Society, and more.
All back issues are available here as well.

We hope all dipterists will enter their information towards the development of a Directory of World Dipterists. This Directory is not related to membership in this Society, but rather on your being a dipterist! Signing up is easy — you send me the data via the Directory of World Dipterists webpage, and I will add your information to the database.

Prof. Stephen A. Marshall of the University of Guelph, Canada, was selected in March 2018 as the third recipient of the C.P. Alexander Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to dipterology. The announcement of this award and a brief profile of Steve's accomplishments in dipterology were made in the Fly Times issue 60. Steve's award reads:

The North American Dipterists Society recognizes Stephen A. Marshall as our most accomplished dipterists and acknowledges his valuable contributions to the systematics of Diptera and his extraordinary skills as an educator, mentor, insect photographer, and author of general books on insects.

The Articles of Incorporation of a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation were filed with the California Secretary of State for the North American Dipterists Society on 27 November 2019, with the stated purpose to advance scientific study, understanding and appreciation of Diptera. This is expanded up on the bylaws, adding that we aim to foster scientific cooperation among dipterists, and to promote the dissemination and communication of scientific and popular knowledge concerning dipterology.

Once our status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is approved, we will activate our Membership page and open our Support page for donations. The early stages of our Society are the most important, so I hope you'll consider giving when the time comes!

Originally planned for spring or summer 2021, the Covid-19 global pandemic has forced the postponement of the 17th field meeting to 2023.

Diptera in the News

This section highlights media coverage about flies. Sometimes quirky, or serious, sometimes insightful, or even completely incorrect! Some articles highlight important research, or give interesting information to the general public. I'll try to keep things more or less current, moving older articles to the archive or simply removing them (since links often disappear as articles get older). Please let me know if you find articles that should be included. I'll include the byline or the first few sentences, and a link to the article.

In reading a recent article, I found reference to something that sounded vaguely familiar. Many of us have been recently reading about the "murder hornet," Vespa mandarinia, in the news due to a colony being found in the northwestern US and southwestern Canada, and as entomologists, we probably find that particular media-driven common name to be a bit much for the Asian giant hornet. But in this case, I read about the dreaded "yellow murder fly," Laphria flava! So i did a little checking and found this common name is out there. Not yet picked up by Wikipedia, but as an assassin fly, I guess the name fits.

Nearly everybody has at least a vague notion of what a fly is. To a biologist, “fly” means a member of the insect order Diptera, unique among insects in possessing only one pair of wings instead of the usual two. For the rest of us, the word “fly” calls to mind a relatively small number of well-known species: house flies, blow flies, and horse flies, for example, and the ever-popular mosquito. (continue here)

Host Frank Stasio flies away with Diptera experts Matt Bertone and Chris Goforth. Bertone is the director of the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic at North Carolina State University. Goforth is the head of citizen science at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. (continue here)

The late Wade Hemsworth is to Canada roughly what Willie Nelson is to the United States. In the summer of 1949, then a 33-year-old Canadian World War II veteran, he traveled north into the Ontario bush between Lake Nipigon and James Bay to work as a surveyor. From that experience came what is perhaps Canada’s best-known lyric, immortalized with an animated film accompaniment and arranged by the peerless McGarrigle sisters, The Black Fly Song. You can call it up on YouTube, but you probably can’t watch and listen to it without itching and scratching. (continue here)

What happens when a keen birder can't go outside? He starts photographing bugs —and the results are amazing. (continue here)

They've descended in droves on the Tucson area, swarming the weeds in backyards, hovering around lighted windows at night and wafting inside as soon as a door opens. Some people think they're giant mosquitoes, some believe they eat mosquitoes, and others mistake them for spiders – but the these awkward-looking insects, with their spindly legs and fairy-like flutter, aren't any of those. (continue here)

I began composting my kitchen waste three years ago. Having experienced the process at such close quarters, I have learnt to live with the black soldier fly, and admire them. (continue here)

Hopewell Valley Central High School senior, Sonja Michaluk, has been named a top 40 finalist in the 79th Regeneron Science Talent Search, for her project entitled, “A Novel Method of Monitoring the Health of our Global Fresh Water Supply using DNA Barcoding of Chironomidae (Diptera).” (continue here)

Also see the related article "NJ high school student wins 2019 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize" about Sonja Michaluk representing the U.S. in an international competition.

Despite a less than stellar public image, flies deserve our admiration, respect and thanks, so Dr Erica McAlister sets out to convince bestselling author and broadcaster Lucy Cooke.
Join them behind the scenes as Erica reveals some of her favourite weird and wonderful fly specimens from the Museum collection.(continue here)

Say the word “fly” to someone and you likely will get a negative reaction. There are legitimate reasons for this. Tsetse and bot flies, pesky houseflies and savagely biting horseflies contribute to the bad rap. We will circle back to those horseflies in a bit. (continue here)

The other night, a large, mosquito-like insect was flying around the kitchen. I waited until it landed, then let it outside. Not five minutes later, I spotted another. Out it went, too.
Then Tuesday at work, someone reported in a frequency only slightly lower than a dog whistle that we had a GIANT mosquito in the lobby. (continue here)

Cryptochetidae are a family of flies new to Britain, and its scale parasite fly (Cryptochetum iceryae) has been found in the Museum's Wildlife Garden. (continue here)

The world’s flies pollinate plants, manage waste, feed the masses, and deserve a little respect (and protection). (continue here)

Insects, of course, are primarily warm-weather friends. And with flies in particular — the order Diptera — summer is rife with familiar examples. Mosquitoes (yes, they’re flies), black flies (related to mosquitoes), deer flies, greenhead flies perforating beachgoers, blowflies applying their spongy mouthparts to your picnic: All prominent features of the warmer months. For many humans, this list sums what the word “fly” calls to mind.
I’ve been mildly surprised, then, to find that flies are the most prevalent order of insects on the wing in midwinter. (continue here)

Opportunities for Dipterists

From the Fly School website: It should be no surprise to read that we don’t know when the next Fly School will take place. The overwhelming disruption to normal life that has taken place with the COVID pandemic makes it hard to plan or envision what life will be like in 2021. If it is possible, however, we will do another Diptera taxonomy course. The results of the first two iterations of Fly School were so positive that we really have no choice! Watch for announcements starting in winter of 2020, but if you want to register your interest early, go ahead and contact Brian Brown or Giar-Ann Kung (see the website) to let them know.

Meeting News

Due to ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated negative impacts on global travel, the ICDX Organizing Committee has decided to postpone the congress by one year, with the new dates 16–21 July 2023.
The congress venue remains the same, The Silver Legacy Resort, Reno, Nevada (USA). We look forward to seeing everyone there at ICDX in 2023!
To receive updates and information about the ICDX, please sign up to the Dipterists mailing list and keep an eye on the ICDX website, which will be updated frequently.

The 26th ICE will be held in Europe for the first time in 24 years, in the Finnish capital Helsinki. The Organizing Committee has decided to again postpone the Congress for another year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the new dates being 17—22 July 2022. Please visit the ICE website for more information.

Originally planned for spring or summer 2021, the Covid-19 global pandemic has forced the postponement of the 17th field meeting to 2023.

Diptera News Archives

This article has been superceded by new information, but is archived here anyway.

Mark your calendars! Just around two years away, ICDX will be hosted by the North American Dipterists Society from 24-29 July 2020 at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nevada. Keep an eye out here or at our ICDX website for further information.

This article has been superceded by new information, but is archived here anyway.

The 26th ICE will be held in Europe for the first time in 24 years, in the Finnish capital Helsinki. The Organizing Committee has decided to postpone the Congress for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the new dates being 18—23 July 2021. Please visit the ICE website for more information.

Fly Times issue 64 (Spring 2020) is now available! This issue has loads of photographs of both flies and dipterist's home offices (quite appropriate during these times of home quarantine). Among the contents are announcements of online resources (Robber Flies of the World, Systema Dipterorum 2.6, checklist of world Tachinidae, and a new website for the Manual of Afrotropical Diptera), memorials for Venelin Beschovski and Frank McAlpine, meeting announcements, articles about baits for Drosophila species, the 2020 dolichopodid survey in Costa Rica, mycetophilids in north-central Nevada, oviposition in native New Zealand Pollenia, fires, floods and hail affecting Malaise trapping in Australia, and a fossil dipteran contender for the #CreepiestObject contest. All back issues are available here as well.