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This Handbook provides a work of reference for everyone interested in the study of flies, both beginners and experienced dipterists. The first edition appeared in 1978, since then there have been considerable advances in knowledge of Diptera and new techniques and equipment used in their study have developed. The Handbook has been fully updated and new subjects have been added so that it has grown substantially to more than twice the size of the first edition.
As in the first edition great emphasis has been placed on the habitats and biological associations of flies. Among the authors are specialists in each field of study so it has again been possible to bring together a summary of the latest knowledge of all aspects of the biology of Diptera at the species level. This also demonstrates where increases in knowledge could be made by the contribution of anyone interested in making observations, whatever their level of experience in the study of Diptera.
Additional subjects not covered in the first edition include an explanation of the classification of Diptera and a bibliography of key works for the identification of both adults and larvae. Some specific habitat associations are covered in greater detail to reflect increased ecological knowledge of flies and the greater significance now being placed on some habitats in the conservation of Diptera. The chapter on behavioural studies has been expanded to cover techniques in more detail. Forensic entomology is another increasingly important subject, for which an expanded account has been provided. The Handbook is concluded with an account of changes to the British Diptera fauna that have taken place in the period since the appearance of the first edition.