Nematocera Fly

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Nematocera Fly

I found a good few of these flies while out in the woods yesterday. I collected a specimen and it keyed to Nematocera, I think it might be Trichoceridae. Can anyone help me out? Sorry about the quality of the pic. Are there any keys knocking around other than the old RES Handbook?


Hi Rowan, this is genus Sylvicola in family Anisopodidae. There is an online key available (but you might need to register on before you can get to it?). I think it will key out okay!


Trichocerids are more slender creatures.

Hi Martin, 

Hi Martin, 

Thanks for that, the key originally led me to a different family all together which I knew it wasn't so tried picture matching (I know its lazy). At least I was in the right area, I find it a little tricky judging the wing venation sometimes. I'll give that key a go and see what comes of it.

The key worked fine and I

The key worked fine and I didn't need to sign in, keyed out in the 2nd couplet looks like it could be Sylvicola punctatus. 


Great, that's where I thought it would end up.



Thanks guys, looks like I

Thanks guys, looks like I picked up one of the easier species in the group. 

Haha took me through loads of

Haha took me through loads of flies to get to an easy one (Once I knew what family it was). Got a few Muscids to go though, that I don't think'll be quite so easy. 

Cranefly ID

One of the best online resources for these is:

It doesn't have keys but it does reproduce virtually every picture of cranefly morphology that has ever been printed in the original literature as well as lots more. Once you have a tentative ID from the DF keys you can check everything, including the genitalia, from the pictures.

Nice, thanks for that Clive.

Nice, thanks for that Clive. Not seen this one before. 

While on the subject of flies is the old RES key to Muscidae still reliable, or is there another key available?


As far as I know the RES key still works pretty well, although there have been some name changes and some additions, and the information about distribution can be out of date. The only more up-to-date key that I'm aware of is to central European Muscidae by Gregor et al., which is good (although not free of errors) but sadly seems to be out of print:


There are moves afoot to get a recording scheme off the ground for Muscidae, so I'd suggest that you go with the RES key for now and keep voucher specimens so that the scheme can advise on which ones need further checks in future.

For anyone who is lucky enough to have the Gregor et al. key, there are a few corrections listed here:

and there have been a few additional species published as updates, but A) I don't know if any of them are or could be British, and B) they all seem to be behind paywalls.


Thanks for all the info

Thanks for all the info Martin,

I'll use the old RES key for now. Got plenty of beetles to be going through at the minute so I'll try my hand at the Muscids when I get chance. I'll keep any specimens I get my hands on to confirm them and submit to the recording scheme if necessary.