The scuttle flies (the name refers to their characteristic scuttling gait) or Phoridae are one of the largest families of Diptera. Approximately 300 species occur in the British Isles, of which more than 200 belong to the giant genus Megaselia.
This volume covers the 93 species that belong to genera other than Megaselia. These genera embrace some of the largest scuttle flies (up to 8mm in length) as well as some of the smallest (less than 1mm in length). The larval natural histories (where known) range from true parasites, through parasitoids, specialised predators, fungus feeders, to polyphagous saprophages. However the biology of most species is unknown.
The neglect of this family is a direct consequence of a lack of identification keys which can be used with confidence by the non-specialist. This handbook aims to remedy this deficiency for the British fauna.