Discover more as you learn about True Flies and improve your skills on our beginner to advanced courses.

We run regular true fly courses throughout the year delivered online and UK wide by expert tutors and follow a framework to progress your learning at a level to suit you.    

There are roughly 7000 different species of fly in the UK, and they are the aerial acrobats of the invertebrate world!

Regarded as some of the most accomplished aerial acrobatics, the true flies (Diptera) contains hoverflies, soldier flies, craneflies, bee-flies and robber flies. Worldwide, there are an estimated 1 million fly species, making them one of the largest insect groups. In the UK, there are roughly 7000 different species.

Many flies are important pollinators, predators and nutrient recyclers that help to remove unwanted materials from our environments (e.g. waste products from other animals). In the tropics, one species is responsible for pollinating cocoa plants used to make chocolate.

Anatomical features of this group includes:

  • One pair of forewings
  • Hindwings which have transformed into peg-like structures known as halteres.
  • Large, moveable head
  • Very large compound eyes
  • Sucking or piercing mouthparts

Identification Courses

Our fly courses are delivered by experts in the field, and they will equip you with the skills and knowledge to discover more about the various species and their ecology and biology. Our beginner courses are for anyone interested in discovering and exploring this invertebrate group. You can learn how to identify the key groups of true flies (Diptera) and acquire or improve identification skills.

Training is led by expert tutors who are passionate about the subject. Taking place at venues across the UK, our courses are designed to progress your learning at a level to suit your needs.

Each course is part of a learning framework. You can see the course level descriptions here. Natural history courses are available at all levels from beginner through to professional training.

Identification Resources

Blow flies RES Handbook covers all British species of three families: Calliphoridae, Polleniidae and Rhiniidae.

Lonchaeidae RES Handbook is the first full review of the British Lonchaeidae (Diptera) since Collin (1953). Since then the number of species recognised as British has grown from 28 to 46.