Western Australian Naturalists Club

Encouraging the study and protection of the natural environment

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DRB Nats presents Fred and Jean Hort talking about DIPTERA – flies with one pair of wings

9 April, 7:00 pm-9:30 pm

DRB Nats presents Fred and Jean Hort talking about DIPTERA – flies with one pair of wings


COVID19: The DRB Nats committee have met and decided that it is now safe for this event to go ahead and we will be taking some precautions to protect members who attend:

  • Hand sanitiser will be available and should be used when entering.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Volunteers will be organised to clean the facility before and after the event.
  • You will be required to give your details to volunteers who will complete a register or persons attending.
    Please do not attend if unwell. 

Fred and Jean Hort will be talking about flies, for the first monthly meeting held at our new Jorgensen Park Hall, Jorgensen Park, Kalamunda

Why do flies have such a bad reputation?

Hope we can convince you that ‘flies are nice!!’  

Image: Meomyia hortorum


Fred and Jean Hort – Brief background


Flora: Since my retirement in 1995 Jean and I have completed 25 years as flora conservation volunteers for the now DBCA, Parks and Wildlife. We are licenced to collect native flora specimens for lodgement and study at the WA Herbarium Science Centre. During the years we have specialised in searching for rare flora or species that are poorly known. During our many excursions through the SW Land Division and beyond we have recorded many unnamed plants as well as many plants unknown to science in WA. Seven native flora species have been named hortiorum/hortii for the Horts. The author of the recently described Styphelia capillaris has designated its common name: ‘Horts’ Styphelia. By 2021 we had collected/co-collected close on 5000 native flora specimens lodged with WA Herbarium. Duplicates from some of our collections are lodged in other Australian herbarium as well as in overseas institutions. We assist Parks and Wildlife Conservation officers in managing the conservation of rare flora species in Perth Hills. Just a couple of days ago we were asked for the use of our 2010 images of an undescribed Hibbertia – yellow buttercup, that had just been recognised as a new species for WA.

Fauna: For many years Jean photo’d the invertebrates that she saw while we were searching for plants. She recorded these on her Flickr website. Worldwide study groups began taking notice of her images. About 2011 we were asked by the Curator of Insects at the Chicago Museum US to collect specimens for a world-wide study of DIPTERA – true flies with one pair of wings. The curator from Chicago saw Jean’s images on her website. These were particular ‘flower’ flies needed for his study. The curator, Torsten Dikow visited WA and we assisted with collections. He encouraged us to continue to be WA field collectors for his study group. The thought was further progressed when Torsten Dikow suggested that we might also collect for other fly study groups in Australian and in overseas museums. Now as Research Associates for WA Museum our specimens from WA are used to assist with taxonomic and phylogenetic dna studies to determine the placement of some of the vast array of fly family groupings as well as determining, the genus and species.

One of the fascinating by-products of these collections indicates broadly that some invertebrate species recorded many years ago can still be found today.

Before long we were also asked to collect specimens for other invertebrate studies: butterflies, sun-moths, native bees, wasps, beetles, silverfish, lacewings etc and spiders occasionally. So we became collectors for other invertebrate specimens in WA for on-going taxonomic/phylogenetic research studies. By early 2021 we had collected over 13 000 specimens  recorded with WA Museum and shared with other institutions.  Most are pinned and labelled while others are delivered in 2-5mm labelled vials of ethanol for dna sampling to help determine fly family groupings. We have found many unnamed species and others new to science. A few have been named for the Horts.

While participation in flora and fauna studies in WA we have been rewarded with immense personal satisfaction and fulfilment. We have been extremely fortunate to have met so many passionate and inspiring individuals along the way.

The wider world of nature has special dimensions and diversions that never cease to amaze us!

Jean and I would enjoy presenting a visual ‘show and tell’ to share with your members about some of WA’s unique flora and fauna heritage.




9 April
7:00 pm-9:30 pm
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Bradley Cox


Fred and Jean Hort
DIPTERA – flies with one pair of wings


Kalamunda Community Centre
Kalamunda Community Centre, end of Crescent Rd, Off Mundaring Weir Road,
Kalamunda, WA 6076 Australia
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