FlyEvidence provides a range of insect identification expertise within limits of experience and knowledge and make every attempt to provide accurate identification where-ever possible.
In most instances, identification will only be undertaken to the taxonomic level where accuracy can be assured (this pre-supposes some knowledge of taxonomy - please see the section Classification). Uncertain identifications are provided with the caveat that more detail may be needed to provide greater accuracy.
Identification is most easily carried out if the specimens are before me - please see the section Postal Advice to find out how to package specimens so that they travel safely through the postal services.
It is not always possible (or necessary) to send the actual specimen(s) and identification from photographs can be achieved, but often with a much lower conviction of accuracy.
FlyEvidence offers a professional z-stacked photographic service using an Ash Technologies Ltd, Omni Core full HD 1080p digital microscope.
Z-stacking technology enables photography of small objects which high magnification. At high magnification there is an increasingly narrow depth of field. Z-stacking enables the addition of multiple focal planes, thereby providing image in focus throughout the full depth of field. Without z-stacking only one focal plane can be in focus, providing an image that has many aspects out-of-focus.
Insects smaller than 5mm in length pose more complex aberrations and are at present below the capability of the equipment currently used, requiring a different type of objective lens.
Students often find themselves needing more statistical assistance than their supervisor can provide for within the restraints of dissertation provision at university.
FlyEvidence offers a Statistical Assistance service to aid students with this important aspect of their dissertations at undergraduate, and postgraduate levels.
All statistical assistance must have approval from the project supervisor before analysis can proceed. Work cannot be undertaken without such approval because it may contradict/breach dissertation regulations within your University.
Please discuss this option with your dissertation supervisor in the first instance. Then complete and return the Dissertation Consent Form, which needs to be signed by the dissertation supervisor, before the contract is discussed with FlyEvidence, and prior to commencement of the work.
Thousands of insect specimens are safely send between institutions and scientists per year for the purposes of insect identification.
Pinned specimens require to be fully inserted into the base of an insect pinning box. If any are freely swinging on the pin, then cross-pin them with two additional pins to hold either the double mount or the specimen carefully in place.
Wet material can be sent in suitable scientific tubes. Plastic tubes are best as they are unlikely to break during transit and they weigh less. Sterelin, eppendorf or centrifuge tubes work well as they are leak-proof.
Always send wet material separate from pinned material. In either instance, wrap the pinning box or the tubes in bubble wrap, then insert this into a larger box, carefully seal with parcel tape and provide the FlyEvidence postal address and your own postal address (for return of the specimens).
Small numbers of tubes containing wet material can be posted in Jiffy-bags.
We recommend first class postage or signed for special delivery.
Please label all specimens carefully. If you have a cross-reference spreadsheet, email a working copy to email@example.com so that the identifications can be inserted directly into the data.
Lists of prior insect identification and ecology contracts, publications and conferences attended are provided on separate pages. FlyEvidence encourages you to browser these pages to enable you to assess if your project falls within the range of expertise provided.
FlyEvidence can and is willing to provide expertise outside the areas of experience presented in those pages, with the caveat that a learning curve will prolong the contract initially.
We have a range of pricing structures. Please note that these are not fixed in stone and that FlyEvidence is willing to negotiate the price to suit your circumstances. Please contact FlyEvidence prior to posting materials.
Identification of one-off specimens is usually provided pro-bono, but then only to a level of confidence that the initial interpretation allows. Any deeper analysis will be subject to further contract and hence require funding.
In some instances where funding is not available and the specimens are of sufficient scientific interest, FlyEvidence is willing to forego the price structure for insect identification in favour of co-authorship of peer reviewed outputs, or authorship of new species.
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