Royal Entomological Society Handbooks for the identification of British insects
RES Handbook Vol 10 Part 16
The Blow flies RES Handbook is an identification guide to the adults of all British species in the families Calliphoridae, Polleniidae and Rhiniidae. It takes an original approach, using high quality diagnostic photographs throughout. This new and up-to-date guide will appeal to both enthusiast and professional entomologists.
Biological recorders should find a good list within their local area. These flies are often under-recorded. Plus many species are seasonal, so there is year-round interest. Although some specimen preparation is often necessary, the author has avoided more complicated characters where possible.
Blow flies are also of ecological, medical and veterinary importance. They pollinate plants, help decompose organic matter and can also spread disease. Egg laying on living animals causes myiasis. Sometimes this leads to death if not treated early enough. In addition, blow flies are an essential tool of forensic entomology. The mix of species, and their stage of development, can assist in reconstructing the circumstances around suspicious deaths. Hatching time, larval development and pupation are all highly dependent on temperature. The rate of development also varies between species.
The author established the Calliphoridae Recording Scheme in 2015. Following taxonomic changes this has since become the Calliphoridae, Rhiniidae and Polleniidae Recording Scheme. Until recently all three families were part of the Calliphoridae.