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Field Guides & Natural History  Insects & other Invertebrates  Insects  Flies (Diptera)

Field Guide to Flies with Three Pulvilli Families of Homeodactyla of Northwest Europe

Field / Identification Guide Identification Key
By: Theo Zeegers(Author), André Schulten(Author)
256 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps
Field Guide to Flies with Three Pulvilli
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Average customer review
  • Field Guide to Flies with Three Pulvilli ISBN: 9789051070682 Paperback Sep 2022 In stock
Price: £16.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles
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About this book

This field guide describes eight families of flies that have three pulvilli on their feet (tarsi) as a common characteristic. These are older and closely related families of flies (Homeodactyla). More than 150 species are described, from ‘irritating’ Horseflies to brightly coloured Soldierflies, from slender Awl-flies to tiny Hunchback flies and from stocky Odour-flies to slender-legged Snipeflies. Species texts offer short information on occurrence, flight season and rarity. Clear photographs support the texts.

Species can be identified as much as possible from field characteristics or photographs. Keys are supported by functional drawings which clearly illustrate the characteristics. Characteristics which can be seen only in living specimens, such as eye colour, are used as much as possible. In that way, this guide is useful for both nature lovers and beginning and expert entomologists.

Theo and André together published an earlier digital field guide to Horseflies (Veldgids Dazen) on The content of the digital guide on horseflies has been integrated in its entirety in this field guide.


Introduction + acknowledgements
    Which species are included in this field guide?
    Where can this guide be used?
    Comparison of sizes
    How to use this guide
    Faunistic literature

Key to the families
Acroceridae - Hunchback-flies
    Key to genera
    Key to species + descriptions
Athericidae - Water-snipeflies
    Key + descriptions
Coenomyiidae - Odour-flies
Rhagionidae - Snipeflies
    Key to genera
    Key to species + descriptions
Stratiomyidae - Soldierflies
    Key to genera
    Key to species + descriptions
Tabanidae - Horseflies
    Key to genera
    Key to species + descriptions
Xylomyidae - Wood-soldierflies
    Key + descriptions
Xylophagidae - Awl-flies
    Key + descriptions

    Distribution per country, and flight season
    Photographers / Useful websites
    Index English names
    Index scientific names

Customer Reviews (2)

  • Accessible, well illustrated and engaging.
    By Richard 1 Nov 2022 Written for Paperback
    Although in no way a dipterist, I am interested in getting to grips with some of the more obvious groups in the UK fauna. This book offers a very good value-for-money guide to some of these groups. The book is very nicely produced, the illustrations and key layouts are brilliant, and the illustrations are very clear and easy to understand for a newcomer to the group. I cannot comment on the accuracy of the ID but assume it will be good as the authors are well-known dipterists.
    It includes a good overview of each genus, notes on flight period, habitat and ID for each species along with very good quality and well-reproduced photos.

    There are two indexes; one to common names and one to scientific names, which is great.

    The species coverage is Europe-wide but the species description includes which areas have each species in their fauna along with a tabulated overview of occurrence.

    On the negative side it is perfect bound so will not open and lay flat as would a wire-bound book (although this is likely due to keeping the cost down), size wise it is a little large for a field guide but this does allow the illustrations and photos to be large enough to be clearly understandable.

    I have yet to use it in the field but will be using it to ID pinned specimens whilst I await the 2023 season.

    I'd highly recommend it especially as it is very moderately priced.
    7 of 7 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No
  • Very helpful guide to many of the soldierflies and allies
    By Martin 15 Mar 2023 Written for Paperback
    [This review is based on the one published in Bulletin of the Dipterists Forum, Issue 95, Spring 2023]

    This book is a splendid new field guide to most, but not all, of the families included in the soldierflies and allies recording scheme (of which I am the scheme organiser).

    The field guide consists largely of keys and species accounts, both very well-illustrated, the former with clear graphics to show the distinguishing features at each step of the key, and the latter with high-quality photos of the species, usually showing both males and females.

    The UK recording scheme for soldierflies and allies covers 11 families, of which seven are included in this field guide, the exceptions being Asilidae (robberflies), Bombyliidae (bee-flies), Scenopinidae (window-flies) and Therevidae (stiletto-flies). The book also has one species in a family that is not found in the UK, the Coenomyiidae (Odour-flies). Within the seven UK families covered, all the currently listed UK species are included in the book, with the exception of one horsefly. Theo Zeegers regards the UK concept of Hybomitra solstitialis (Scarce Forest Horsefly) as a variety of Hybomitra bimaculata, and also proposes that the UK concept of Hybomitra ciureai (Levels Yellow-horned Horsefly) should be synonymised with H. solstitialis (Meigen 1820) nec Lyneborg (1959). Anyone using the new field guide to key out these two Hybomitra species should be aware of the possibility that UK specimens may not fully match the key, and that voucher specimens should be retained where possible.

    That complication aside, the new field guide is a very welcome addition to the resources available for soldierflies and allies in the UK. The keys are very clearly laid out, and in a number of cases pick up on useful identification features that are not mentioned in other UK sources, using characters that can be seen in the field or in close-up photos as far as possible, while not underestimating the challenges posed by the trickier species. The inclusion of about 37 non-UK species needs to be borne in mind when using the keys, but the text makes it clear which are known from the UK. And there is always the exciting possibility that the field guide could lead to the discovery of further species that are present but overlooked in the UK.

    The book is exceptionally good value for such a high-quality publication. The publishers are Jeugdbondsuitgeverij, who describe themselves as a group of young nature enthusiasts, mostly entomologists, who work on the publications as volunteers. Thanks to the generosity of publishers, authors and photographers in donating expertise and images for the book the price has been kept low, in the hope of encouraging as many people as possible to take an interest in these flies. From my perspective as a UK recording scheme organiser, this is a highly commendable approach!

    I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in soldierflies and allies. It works well as a stand-alone field guide for UK use, and complements the well-known Stubbs and Drake British Soldierflies book really well. Thanks to Theo Zeegers & André Schulten, and translator Nick van Wouwen, for making it so accessible to English speakers.
    3 of 3 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No


Theo Zeegers has studied horseflies for four decades and recently he has studied other flies with three pulvilli.

André Schulten is the author of a book on the Hoverflies of the Netherlands and Belgium, and together with Reinoud van den Broek he wrote the Field Guide to the Robberflies of the Netherlands and Belgium.

Field / Identification Guide Identification Key
By: Theo Zeegers(Author), André Schulten(Author)
256 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps
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