You would think so except for one small problem: flies represent about 10% of the world’s biodiversity, yet almost nothing is written about them. Think of all the hundreds of books about birds: field guides, natural histories, stories about people chasing an elusive life list total, etc. Then realize there’s only about 10,000 species of birds, the size of a single family of flies! For flies, what do we have?
– A fair amount of scientific publication: descriptions, taxonomy, phylogeny, and keys.
– Some really wonderful manuals of the Nearctic, Palearctic, and Central American regions, as well as catalogs of the species from the various regions. Not bedtime reading.
– In the public realm, for interested laypeople, there is Oldroyd’s “Natural History of Flies”, and the Amateur Entomology Society handbook on flies, the former of which is really dated (having been published in 1964). More technical but still highly readable is the recent “Diptera diversity: status, challenges and tools” by Thomas Pape, Daniel Bickel, and Rudolf Meier.
– On the web, we have diptera.info, an excellent site for chatting about flies, and links to a few newsletters, especially the North American Dipterists Society.
In my opinion, that’s not enough. There are so many cool things in Diptera that need to be talked about! I can go on and on about just phorids, and probably will. But I can’t do, however, is cover the whole order Diptera in a news coverage manner. Sorry, don’t have the time. What I will show you is what I see on a day-to-day basis and try to convey why I think it is so interesting. I hope you keep reading.