Last weekend I attended the Dipterists Forum identification workshop covering the Heleomyzid and Lauxanid flies. It also covered one or two other families of acalypterate flies with spines on the costal vein of the wing. It was a very useful session and good to catch up with friends I have made at previous workshops and field meetings.
I was able to identify a few specimens that I had taken locally, including the Heleomyzid that I found at Yardley Chase a couple of weeks ago. This was Tephrochlamys tarsalis, a female. A number of Heleomyzids are active in winter, which probably means they are under-recorded as not many dipterists are!
I was also able to look at the new hoverfly book by Roger Morris and Stuart Ball. They had been given a pre-publication copy. It looks very good, with excellent photos and should help with field identification. It is due to arrive in the UK on 5th March and should be available shortly after that. Dipterists Forum members should be able to get it at a discount.
Heleomyzid fly photo taken with an iPad through the eyepiece of a microscope.