I have found several of these flies on seaweed washed up on the strandline at Wembury beach in Devon, but i'm not totally sure what species they are? I think they could be Coelopa frigida because they appear to be the most abundant species present and also they appear to be very bristly rather than covered in fine fur which is described as the case in Coelopa pilipes (Egglishaw 1960). I also need to be able to tell the difference between male and female seaweed flies and would greatly apprecaite any help on how to differentiate between them. In the Photo attached i have removed the back legs in order to give a clearer view of the abdomen. If different angles of the fly are needed for identification i can re-photograph it.
Just to say that I agree with your ID to family level (Coleopidae), but you would need to show a good specimen to an expert if you need an ID to species level. You can post specimens to the Identification Service, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD.
Thanks for replying to my forum post about seaweed flies. After looking at the Natural History Museum website I noticed that it says the ID service is free to members of the general public. I'm actually a masters student doing a research project on seaweed flies so i wasn't sure if i would still fall into the catergory of general public or if i would need to pay?
I have managed to ID the fly in the photo to the genus Fucellia but i'm finding it hard to find info on how to pin down the exact species. I'm going to be in London 17/18th June and i was wondering if it would be at all possible to drop off some specimens for identification?
Yes, a British insect ID for the British public is a routine enquiry, free of charge. You can bring the specimen or send it to us. For some difficult IDs, or for many species/specimens, where we would use our experts' time, the enquiries become commercial. So it depends on how much effort we ask our experts to do.
Please visit us and let's see how we can help you.