The North American Dipterists Society existed as an informal organization for more than 30 years without a constitution or officers of any kind. Most of the Society's history is laid out in the pages of the Fly Times, and a 30 year history is presented Fly Times Supplement 3.
The idea for this society was born in 1987 out of consensus of the dipterists present at the Entomological Society of America held in Boston, Massachusetts, who agreed that a society for dipterists should be formed, to meet annually for a workshop and meeting. They agreed to have an informal day in the field before the XVIII International Congress of Entomology in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1988, and then to have an organized meeting in 1989 at Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, Florida (see The Flyer, issue 2).
At the XVIII International Congress of Entomology, an "Informal Dipterists Meeting" of about 60 dipterists was held on Tuesday, 5 July 1988. Besides various talks and reports, the idea of an organized Diptera society was again brought up, which was whittled down to an agreement to form an informal North American dipterists society, spearheaded by Steve Marshall in Canada and Chris Thompson in the United States, with Steve, Art Borkent, Jeff Cumming and Brian Brown agreeing to produce a newsletter for Nearctic Dipterists.
The first issue of this newsletter, the Fly Times, was published a few months later, in October 1988, inviting dipterists to submit articles, and included an invitation to the first gathering of dipterists to a field meeting at the Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, Florida, held in April 1989. This ended up being the inaugural Field Meeting of the North American Dipterists Society.
The third issue of Fly Times had an announcement for in Informal Conference on Diptera Systematics, held in December 1989 at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America held in San Antonio, Texas. This ended up being the inaugural Annual Meeting of the North American Dipterists Society.
The society has had the website nadsdiptera.org, with Jim O'Hara as its webmaster, since June 2003.
Along with the Fly Times being published twice per year since 1988, both the Field Meetings (held every two years since 1989) and the Annual Meetings (held every year since 1989) have been mainstays of the informal society, completely organized by volunteers. For 30 years, this model has served the Diptera community very well, but with a vision to the future, discussions among dipterists pointed to a need to establish a more formal Society to meet the needs of a growing community of professional and avocational dipterists, including greater interest among citizen-scientists about flies.
With a vision to expand the reach, scope and activities of the North American Dipterists Society, the Society was incorporated in the state of California on 27 November 2019, and is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are a dedicated international society, focused on fulfilling the needs of the worldwide dipterist and Diptera-enthusiast community.