The 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.
This Handbook provides a revised checklist, fully illustrated keys for genera and species, as well as a key to known puparia. Species accounts provide additional taxonomic notes. They also review the British and European distribution of each species and give ecological information, where available.
Lochaeids are a family of moderately small acalypterate flies. In general the adults have stout, hairy bodies and are mostly black in colour. The wings are usually clear, although occasionally have a yellow or brown tinge. As such they have a uniform external appaerance making them relatively easy to recognise. Worldwide there are about 500 species. The families has two subfamilies. Firstly the Dasiopinae consists of a single genus. Secondly the Lonchaeinae, contains eight genera. Unusually, perhaps, this taxonomic structure has been stable for some time. In recent years the North American name of ‘lance-flies’ has been adopted for the whole group.
Although the ecology of lonchaeids is imperfectly known, they tend to be flies of woodland. Many are saproxylic. Their larvae live in fallen timber of a range of tree species. Some species have specialised ecological requirements and a restricted geographical range. This gives them potential as indicators. In particular the genus Lonchaea can help in ecological assessments of woodland quality and managing woodland for biodiversity. They can also help to characterise different woodland types by their insect faunas
RES Handbook vol 10 Part 15