|Gymnocheta viridis - an early Spring Tachinid|
|If you're looking to develop an
interest in a different branch of natural history, then
an interest in Diptera may be the answer.
As is presently the case with several other insect orders, Diptera study and identification is a much neglected aspect of Nottinghamshire entomology and there are very few people actively recording flies in the county.
Flies are a difficult lot to get to grips with and many who do go on to develop an interest in them, often begin with Hoverflies (Syrphidae) before eventually looking at some of the more difficult and less studied families.
In recent years, and to a large degree through interest generated through a wide range of internet chat groups, several Diptera families have seen an increase in interest.
of species still remain impossible to identify from the
average photograph, but some identifications can be
confirmed through good quality images, showing the
relevant identifcation features from a number of angles
and in good light. However, an on-line identification
still usually requires the willingness and knowledge of
Gymnocheta viridis in Nottinghamshire
Tachinid Flies (Tachinidae) are parasitoids of other insects (generally Lepidoptera) and are one family to have benefited from an increase in interest and over the past few years. As this recent interest has also become apparent in Nottinghamshire, the number of records we have been sent for the distribution maps, has subsequently also increased. In particular, the number of records of the metallic green Tachinid Gymnocheta viridis (FallÚn, 1810), has greatly increased over the past few years.
It is an early species to appear and the males are often recorded on sheltered, sunny tree trunks in a wide range of habitats from late March through to June. Although it is primarily a fly of well wooded areas, we have recorded it from a variety of sites ranging from Debdale Lane and a supermarket car park in Mansfield Woodhouse, to the banks of the River Trent at Besthorpe NR near Newark.
In Nottinghamshire, the majority of records are presently from the north-western quarter of the county, although much of this is undoubtedly due to recorder bias and we believe G. viridis to be more widespread than the map indicates.