This work lists 93 species of Sarcophaga found in France and incorporates recent taxonomic and nomenclatural changes. Detailed photographs are provided of the diagnostic structures in the male terminalia of all the species, and two separate keys are given for their identification, one for French species only, the other for European species. The structure of the female terminalia has received less attention than that of males and, with the exception of a few species, the identification of females is more difficult. Largely as a result of the rearing techniques of Rene Richet, it has been possible to include photographs of the female terminalia of 84 species together with keys for their identification. Likewise, it has been possible to provide photographs of some features of the larvae (habitus of first instar, cephaloskeleton of instars 1 - 3 and spiracles of instars 2 and 3) of 65 species.
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Rene Richet is a retired school teacher since September 2003 and an amateur dipterist since 1984 specialising in the study of French Sarcophagidae. Rene has collected in most parts of France, but particularly in Pas-de-Calais, the Alps and the Pyrenees, and the southern parts of Massif Central. His long-term goal is to document the male, female and all three larval instars of each species of French flesh flies, and special techniques have been developed for the breeding of individual species and dissection and preparation of larvae.
Ruth M. Blackith: As a research associate of the University of Dublin, Ruth started her studies on flesh flies with a work on larval aggression in Irish species of Sarcophaga (sensu lato). Apart from some work on the taxonomy and biology of flesh flies collected during the Royal Entomological Society of London's expedition to Sulawesi, her work has concentrated on European species of Sarcophaga (s.l.). She made several collecting trips to France with her husband Robert Blackith, after his retirement from the University of Dublin in 1987, resulting in a large number of specimens, which have greatly increased our knowledge of the French fauna of Sarcophaga (s.l.) spp.
Thomas Pape started studying flesh flies when preparing for his Master's thesis under Leif Lyneborg at the University of Copenhagen, and while the thesis eventually was written on wood-louse flies (Rhinophoridae), his PhD-thesis was on the taxonomy and systematics of the large flesh fly genus Blaesoxipha. He has published extensively on the world fauna of Sarcophagidae since 1985, and over the years he has done field work on flesh flies on all continents. He published the first catalogue of the flesh fly species of the world in 1996, which has been continuously updated.