Diptera collections

Formosia moneta, parasitic fly

Formosia moneta, parasitic fly (Tachinidae)

The Museum's 2.5 million Diptera specimens are divided into British and international collections, which are stored separately.




The international collection holds important Diptera type material, most notably of taxa described by Walker, Bigot, Brunetti, Edwards and Austen. Some of this type material dates back to the eighteenth century.

Material type

Specimens are preserved in a variety of ways:

  • dry specimen mounted on pins - the majority of adult Diptera
  • microscope slides - small specimens or dissected body parts of larger ones
  • preserved in fluid - Diptera larvae or trap samples of adults
  • boxed items

Looking for a specific specimen?

The Diptera collection is being digitised

Diptera collections team

Senior curator in charge

Dr Daniel Whitmore 
Diptera: Acalyptratae

Senior curator

Dr Erica McAlister 
Dipera: Culicidae Mycetophilidae, Lower Brachycera, Siphonaptera.


Dr Duncan Sivell 
Diptera: other Nematocera, Empidoidea.


Nigel Wyatt 
Diptera: Aschiza, Calyptratae.


Zoe J Adams
Diptera: Phlebotominae, Simuliidae.

Any questions?

If you would like to use any specimens for research   

Country of origin

Parts of the world that are particularly well represented are:

  • Europe, west of Russia
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • the Seychelles
  • the Indian subcontinent
  • Malesia
  • southern Argentina
  • Chile

Important collections

International collections

  • Walker
  • Bigot
  • Brunetti
  • Edwards
  • Austen

British collections

  • F W Edwards
  • L Parmenter
  • C N Colyer
  • O W Richards
  • E A Fonseca

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.