Tag Archives: Chloropidae

Suburban biodiversity: surprising flies in the neighborhood

Christine Barrie, a grad student in the lab, found a fly she couldn’t put a name on. Other students in the lab had trouble too. So did I. It looked familiar, but it didn’t key out in the standard North … Continue reading

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Lines on a map. Dots on a map.

I’m crossing some lines in the Yukon. I’m searching for dots. Several lines drawn on maps define the Yukon for me. There’s a straight line across the bottom of the Territory that marks 60° north latitude. To many Canadians, “north” … Continue reading

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Out of Africa: more strange flies

Preamble: The fly family Chloropidae (the frit flies or grass flies or eye gnats) is one of the most geographically widespread, abundant, species-rich, and ecologically diverse families of flies on Earth. Although almost 3000 species have been described, and some … Continue reading

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Natural history known, unknown, and assumed: a fly tale

My previous post was part of an exchange with Chris Buddle on whether taxonomists should describe new species without knowing their natural history. When many of the specimens upon which we base species descriptions are already long dead by the … Continue reading

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Crowdsourcing flies: diving into BugGuide

It’s the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada – the unofficial start of summer. Thirty years ago I would have spent the weekend outdoors, in a rowdy crowd of friends, drinking beer, and living on a diet I would rather … Continue reading

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Setting priorities – so many questions, so little time

My post a few days ago about my project on arctic flies generated an interesting question from my colleague Brian Brown. With so many possible projects, and so many unknown species, how do I prioritize? Brian and I specialize on … Continue reading

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Barcodes and bristles, keys and trees

Much has been written about DNA barcoding, ranging from evangelically PRO to fundamentalist CON. I must confess that my early reactions were negative, not because of the inherent science involved, but because of some unfortunate marketing tactics in the early … Continue reading

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Ten thousand pins

I was updating our database of Diptera holdings in the museum this week and thinking about the enormous range in numbers of specimens in some families (see my earlier post on “why so many specimens?”). The Lyman Collection is very … Continue reading

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More than ten reasons flies are great. Part II

Diptera are fascinating insects – diverse, bizarre, economically and medically important – but underappreciated by most people other than dipterists. We launched this series in an earlier post with a selection of five randomly selected reasons flies are great. In … Continue reading

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a new paper on some new neighbours

We’ve just described some new species. That’s not news – thousands of new species are described every year by taxonomists from around the world. What is a little more interesting in this case is that these particular new species are … Continue reading

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