European Micropezids & Tanypezids

Countries are thirsty for summarized data and insights for policy-making but we are running short of tools (Martinez, 2023)

Biological Recording

Principles of Biological Recording

This simply consists of Who, What, Where and When
The majority of this is recorded when a photograph is taken. For scientific use (e.g. conservation) just a little more information is needed (see Where)


The person making the record (or taking the photograph.) There should be a setting in your camera which ensures that your name is added to every photograph you take. If you want to get more serious about this then it's possible to add your name as a watermark on the image itself. Professionals such as Nikola Rahme use that method. If an expert has confirmed the identity then that's an additional "who", so if you'd posted it on for example then you could add "det. Paul Beuk" if he happened to confirm the identification.


Determined by yourself from knowledge or keys or if it's a photograph and you don't know what it is then it can be confirmed by posting the image to one of a number of online sites. Once you find out then the name can be added to the image's metadata (title)


Location is usually the nearest town or village or named reserve or feature. That's not quite enough though for scientific purposes, it's too imprecise. There are several modern methods which can be used to obtain coordinates, from good maps through Google Earth to gadgetry. There are standard fields in a photograph's metadata which can store Lat/Long coordinates


Always recorded when the image is taken. Take care that you've not uploaded a modified copy of an original image that finishes up with a different date. Best to add the date to your post.

Keeping records

For personal use it may be worth investing in a good system to manage your images such as iMatch (a digital asset management application) or even use a simple spreadsheet.

To contribute to scientific research then please submit the record.

There is additionally a variety of tools and applications that may be used for biological recording.

There are a number of online sites from which an identification may be obtained if you post the image. Success largely depends upon how large a community regularly check such sites.
They can be broadly divided into two types based upon what you know about the identity of your material: "haven't a clue" (hc) and "got a good idea" (ggi)

Post on the emboldened sites to ensure your record gets used for scientific research & conservation


  1. iSpot (hc + ggi) good community overall but not specialised in Diptera
  2. iNaturalist (ggi) strong community, postings are soon found by expert identifiers
  3. Social media sites - there will undoubtedly be several across the world which are devoted to Diptera.
  4. Dipterists Forum's Facebook pages seem to be attracting a number of international enquiries (hc)


  1. The European Diptera site attracts contributors from all over Europe and is a good place to post information or make identification requests (hc + ggi).

British Isles

  1. Dipterists Forum Forum (hc + ggi)
  2. UK Biological Records Centre's iRecord, used when identifications are reasonably certain  (ggi)
  3. This scheme's bulletin board  Scheme Forum. - community currently tiny, use for messages
  4. Social media sites (this scheme doesn't subscribe, please repost on some other system)
  5. Twitter (Dipterists Forum) - please repost on some other system if you obtain an identification

France: Le Mondes des Insectes

Spain:  Invertebrados InsectariumVirtual

Russia: MacroID

There are others, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Italian etc. but their purpose is difficult to determine for non-linguists. Please contact me if there are any that need to be added.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith