Worcestershire Record No. 4 May 1998 p. 7


David M. Green

Nesting material provides a home for a range of insect larvae that feed off protein debris discarded by, or off, the birds above. Later in the year, when certain the nest is disused, please collect nests in polythene bags and send to me (or via WBRC) - so that later flies and micromoths, anything, that has pupated among nest materials, is trapped and visible when it tries to fly away and can be tubed. Ideally the nest(s) should not be sealed in a bag when wet because the amount of water will cause mould and deterioration of atmosphere. Please label spacious transparent bag with map ref and address, and bird if known. If you look after nestboxes you could stuff all your old nests in a large bag together when you clear the boxes. Possibly there might be beetles, some very small, which I would also like to have preferably tubed. We have bags available. Keep nest away from body to avoid harmless fleas. Bat-dung is a source of rare fly species of Fanniidae - if you want to collect some old dung later in year.

I am especially looking for species in families Anthomyiidae, because any species likely new to Worcestershire records, at least the 10k square, possibly to Britain, and in Fanniidae. These two families were previously subfamilies of Muscidae, of which common house fly Musca domestica is a member, and the flies are more or less similar in shape and structure, maybe with narrower abdomens, generally around 4-6mm long, generally black in general appearance or dusted pale. A wide range of bristles on the thorax, legs, and hairs on antennal arista are widely taxonomically important in this section (calyptrata) of flies that includes Muscidae, Fannidae, Anthomyiidae, Calliphoridae the blowflies, Sarcophagidae the flesh flies, etc). Genera are primary defined by genital form (which now also feature prominently in identification to species with Anthomyiids). Keys to anthomyiids using bristles are still in development because the variation in bristles within species, bristles being a external major feature used in these keys, especially historically, causes difficulty, and led to general genera confusion before genitalia were used more positively. I have some test keys by Michael Ackland (c.1987) to many species that seem to be working out well, and the male genitalia are very distinctive. If you like looking at genitalia this is a group for you to study.

Very Rare Black And White Anthomyiid At Alfrick In 1941

The Natural History Museum has a single anthomyiid specimen, the only one in Britain that is presently identified as Anthomyia bazini Seguy, 1929, according to information I have (ACKLAND 1997) as I understand it. With this specimen is data: WORCS: Alfrick, 5.vii.1941, C.J.Wainwright. This species is originally described by Seguy from single male caught near Paris, and appears to be found recently in more distant Europe, but appears rare more locally, like not found. The range of food of the larvae of the genus Anthomyia is not established. Birds nests could reveal more information because KEILIN (1924) says they are the larval situation for another species very like A. bazini, but there have been contrary observations as musk thistle being a food plant for this species A. procellaris. Perhaps bird boxes at the Knapp and Papermill could reveal more facts or another specimen of P. bazini. Anthomyia are black and white patterned species.

I look forward to receiving your nesting material later in the year.


Handbooks for the identification of British insects. Royal Entomological Society:
FONSECA, E C M dA (1968)Muscidae. Handbooks ... 10(4b)(includes Fannidae key)
OLDROYD, H (1970)Diptera; Introduction and key to families.Handbooks ...9(1)(3rd edition)
Other - non RES:
ACKLAND, D M (c.1997) Unpublished collection of keys (some based on work of Fonsecca and others) and many drawings of male genitalia of anthomyiids by DMA.
ACKLAND, D M (1997) Anthomyiid Newsletter Febuary 1997. Dipterists Forum.
COLYER, N C and HAMMOND, C O (1968) Flies of the British Isles. Wayside and Woodland series. Frederick Warne and Co. Ltd. (2nd ed) {Difficult to obtain but recommended general introduction to flies, with family keys}
KEILIN, D (1924) On the life history of Anthomyia procellaris Rond. and A.pluvialis L. inhabiting the nests of birds. Parasitology, 16(2):150-159.
UNWIN, D M (1981) A key to the families of British Diptera. AIDGAP key. Field studies 5: 513-553

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