Siphona urbana or geniculata?

In Andersen’s 1996 book “The Siphonini (Diptera: Tachinidae) or Europe” he made several changes to the names of Siphona spp., which have proved a bit confusing. The changes (and subsequent reversions) illustrate a few nice aspects of modern taxonomy and so I thought I would write a little piece on what happened.

Every species is […]

Help needed with DNA barcoding of European tachinids

Tachinid Times #26 has some very interesting articles on a few projects around the world to compile DNA phylogenies of tachinids. One such is by my good friend Jaakko Pohjoismäki, who is looking at European tachinids. He has a few genera and species that he is having trouble locating so I am listing them here […]

Big Nature Day

Today Matt & I attended “Big Nature Day” at the Natural History Museum, in London – a day for wildlife organisations to show what they do. The weather was hot & sunny and the event was very colourful and well-attended, with lots of events for children.

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Phytomyptera nigrina seen in Lincolnshire

Had a very good record recently, sent in by Phil Porter, of Phytomyptera nigrina. Richard Davidson took the specimen at Whisby Nature Park on 22nd April. Here is a photo of the specimen – note the “disappearing” median vein and the complete lack of m-cu vein – very rare features:


The first photos through the Leica S8APO

It has taken a while to get the camera hooked up to the microscope because it is quite a complicated process, involving lots of adapters and converters – not to mention getting the optics and the extension tubes correctly arranged. The first shots really weren’t worth looking at but today I started to capture images […]

Tachina lurida on the wing

Had a nice record from Tristan Bantock on the 17th – a Tachina lurida, seen on Parkland Walk near Crouch Hill tube station. They look superficially like the slightly earlier Tachina ursina but they are slightly less hairy and they lack a white band on the front of tergite 5.

Tachina lurida, © […]

Natural England funding

It has been a hectic and exciting start to 2012 for the recording scheme, with the recent good news that we had won funding from Natural England!!

For a while the government has been concerned to improve biological recording capacity in the UK and, with the support of Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and […]

More early sightings

The warm, sunny Spring weather has brought out the early tachinids and we have already received records for Tachina ursina, Gonia picea, Lypha dubia, Campylocheta praecox, Macquartia tenebricosa & grisea, Brachicheta strigosa & Cyzenis albicans!

Gonia picea on the wing – 21/3/2012

It was a sunny day so I took a short walk across Hartslock Nature Reserve this lunchtime, with a vague idea that I might see some tachinids, like Tachina ursina. But to my great surprise (because they had never been recorded there before) I saw lots of Gonia picea all zigzagging low over the grass. […]

Linnaemya picta – male genitalia

Linnaemya picta was added to the British list fairly recently but has been found in a few localities this year – namely Kent, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire. There was also a suspected record from the Reading University grounds but this wasn’t confirmed beyond doubt. So it is worth noting that the male genitalia are particularly distinctive, […]