General Information


The final purpose of our team is to create authoritative EoL species pages for each distinctive species-group of Flower flies based on type or typical species, as well as species with important or unique ecological adaptations and taxa with economic importance. Among our goals, the most important is to stimulate and encourage contributions from citizen-scientist and taxonomists with images, text and references. This is a general effort and your help is appreciated.



We are pleased to have you as a member of this team. Most of you are friends and colleagues who share the passion of the study of Syrphidae and like to participate and collaborate with us. But recently we noticed that some membership applicants were spammers etc. For this reason, we are now requiring users some background information to create an account, a short Curriculum Vitae (CV). This requirement is not mandatory and administrators will contact you if necessary.

To create an account, visit the Syrphidae home page and click on “Create new account”. Please provide your given name, last name, a username (the name that you will go in this LifeDesk) and a valid email address. You will need to provide some personal information as background but this is not the place to write down your CV. Just write some lines about you and your research (see current members for examples).

You must accept the “Terms of Use” and write the Captcha you see. You will receive an email saying that your account is pending approval by the site administrators. If your CV is requested, please submit us a short CV. Once your membership is accepted by the administrators, you may proceed to log in.



After the administrators have approved you as a new member of this LifeDesk, you will receive an email with instructions to change/create your password. There also is a one-time valid link to log in. Next time, you will go to the Syrphidae home page, write your Username and Password and click on “Log in”. Once you have logged on, you will see a Welcome! page (user webpage hereafter) that shows your personal image (if you have one), the latest image uploaded by our team and current online users and guests.

On the left, you will see two main groups of options: 1) current LifeDesk contents (indicated by an arrow) such as Image Gallery, Taxon Pages, Bibliography, Members and General Information; and 2) information and contents that users can create and modify (indicated by icons) with the option to “Log out”.



Once you have logged in, click on “My Account”. The next webpage you will see is your account as a member with four tabs with different contents. In “View” appear your current personal information, image and the history as a member of Syrphidae - LifeDesk. Under “Edit” you can change your personal settings, create a signature for your content and upload a picture. The other two tabs will show the “orphaned content” and your submissions in a list.



As a contributor, you can create new content or upload the current information for taxon pages, add new images, build shaded maps or import/produce references for bibliography.

In our LifeDesk, any content you may create is linked to a taxon name. Names and classification are managed by administrators and editors and you will not be able to modify them as contributor. Because LifeDesk cannot import files with more than 1,000 names, our classification lacks some of the over 6,000 accepted species names. Our intention is to gradually update our classification while the team works on those species. Because the missing species names, it is very important that you contact us previous to any attempt to upload any content. Editors and administrators will quickly update the classification and will contact you once done.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before working on any taxon (species, subgenus, genus, tribe, etc.), you should contact us suggesting the new species you would like to work on. Doing this, we will update our classification with such names and you will be able to link your contents to them. This is a requirement to keep our classification in “good health”.

In your user webpage, click on “Create Content” to see the options you have. Each options is explained below. Remember that you can define for each chapter the author or authors who have contributed to that content.


1) Create Taxon Page

As already said, all content is linked to a taxon name. Firstly, you will type the name of the species or genus you want to work with. Several options will appear as you are typing. Select the name of your taxon and click on “add”; then, press “Continue”. The next page will show you all the options you have for properly placing the information about the taxon. To see the options and the chapters under each heading, just click on one. If you need an example, please visit the webpage dedicated to Allograpta (Fazia) centropogonis Nishida, and remember that you do not have to use all the available options/chapters.

Overview: Chapter used to introduce the taxon with general information.

  • Citation: write the proper way to cite the taxon including author and year of publication, plus the original publication. Please, remember to only write in italics any scientific name that appears in the article’s title. Example: Genus (Subgenus) species Author, Year // Surname, Initials., Surname, Initials. & Surname, Initials. (Year) Article’s title. Journal volume, initial page-last page.
  • Differential diagnosis: A comprehensive, short description of the characteristics of the taxon that help to separate it from the closely related taxa.
  • Biology: An general account of the biology of the taxon.

Description: Technical notes about morphology, behavior, cytology and genetics of the taxon.

  • Technical description: A full, original or adapted description of the taxa. Remember to differentiate between male and female and to divide the text in Head, Thorax, Wing, Legs, and Abdomen. You may also include Variation here.
  • Looks Alike: Other taxa that this taxon may be confused with. Useful for identification and comparison.
  • Morphology: A general description of the appearance of the taxon. May be left empty if we have a good technical description.
  • Behaviour: Description of behaviour and behaviour patterns of an organism, including actions and reactions of organism in relation to its biotic and abiotic environment. Includes communication, perception, modes and mechanisms of locomotion, as well as long term strategies (except mating and reproductive strategies, covered under reproduction).
  • Physiology: Description of physiological processes. Includes metabolic rates, and systems such as circulation, respiration, excretion, immunity, neurophysiology.
  • Taxon Biology: Summary or overview of all aspects of an organism's biology.
  • Growth: Description of growth rates, allometries, parameters known to be predictive, morphometrics. Can also include hypotheses of paedomorphy or neoteny, etc.
  • Size: Average size, max, range; type of size (wing, length, volume, weight ...).
  • Cytology: Cell biology: formation, structure, organelles, and function of cells.
  • Genetics: Information on the genetics of the taxon, including karyotypes, barcoding status, GenBank accession numbers, whole genome sequencing status, ploidy.
  • Molecular Biology: Includes proteomic and biochemistry (e.g Toxicity). Genomic information is usually treated under genetics.

Ecology and Distribution: Life cycle, habitat and distribution of the taxon.

  • Distribution: Covers ranges, e.g., a global range, or a narrower one; may be biogeographical, political or other (e.g., managed areas like conservancies); endemism; native or exotic; ref Darwin Core Geospatial extension. Does not include altitudinal distribution.
  • Habitat: Includes realm (e.g Terrestrial etc.) and climatic information (e.g Boreal); also includes requirements and tolerances; horizontal and vertical (altitudinal) distribution.
  • Associations: Descriptions and lists of taxa that interact with the subject taxon. Includes explicit reference to the kind of ecological interaction: prey, host, pollinated plant, symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism; or hybridization.
  • Cyclicity: Description of biorhythms, whether on the scale of seconds, hours, days, or seasons. Those states or conditions characterised by regular repetition in time. Could also cover phenomena such as chewing rates. Life cycles are treated in the Life Cycle term. Seasonal migration and reproduction are usually treated separately.
  • Dispersal: Description of the methods, circumstances, and timing of dispersal.
  • Ecology: Notes on the ecology of the species.
  • Life Cycle: Defines and describes obligatory developmental transformations. Includes metamorphosis, instars, gametophyte/embryophytes, and transitions from sessile to mobile forms. Discusses timing. Morphology usually described in morphological descriptions.
  • Life Expectancy: Any information on longevity, including the average period an organism can be expected to survive.
  • Migration: Description of the periodic movement of organisms from one locality to another (e.g., for breeding). Usually includes locality, timing, and hypothesized purpose.
  • Population Biology: Includes abundance information (population size, density) and demographics (e.g. age stratification).
  • Reproduction: Description of reproductive physiology and behavior, including mating and life history variables. Includes cues, strategies, restraints, rates.
  • Trophic Strategy: Summaries general nature of feeding interactions. For example, basic mode of nutrient uptake (autotrophy, heterotrophy, coprophagy, saprophagy), position in food network (top predator, primary producer, consumer), diet categorization (detritovore, omnivore, carnivore, herbivore). Specific lists of taxa are treated under associations (specifying predators or prey).
  • Enemies and Parasitoids: List of known enemies/predators and parasitoids that interact with the taxon.

Evolution and Systematics: Nomenclatural notes, phylogenetic systematic and evolution of the taxon.

  • Nomenclature and Synonymy: Nomenclatural notes about taxon’s original description, placement in different genus and list of synonyms.
  • Phylogeny: Description of phylogenetic and systematic treatments of the taxon.
  • Evolution: Description of the evolution of the taxon.

Conservation: Deals with the conservancy of the taxon.

  • Conservation Status: A description of the likelihood of the species becoming extinct in the present day or in the near future. Population size is treated under Population Biology, and trends in population sizes are treated under Trends. However, this is the preferred element if an object includes all of these things and details about conservation listings.
  • Legislation: Legal regulations or statutes relating to the taxon.
  • Management: Describes techniques and goals used in management of species. May include management relative to a piece of legislation, e.g., a CITES list.
  • Procedures: Deals with how you go about managing this taxon.
  • Threats: The threats to which this taxon is subject.
  • Trends: An indication of whether a population is stable, or increasing or decreasing.

Relevance: Description of the economic importance, health risks and benefits that the taxon has for humans and ecosystems.

  • Diseases: Description of diseases that the organism is subject to. Disease-causing organisms can also be listed under associations.
  • Risk Statement: Negative impacts on humans, communities or ecosystems.
  • Uses: Benefits for humans. Can include ecosystem services. However, benefits to ecosystems not specific to humans are best treated under Risk statement (what happens when the organism is removed).

Bibliography: References, web pages and literature related with the taxon.

  • Bibliography: List some of the important references or web pages for this taxon. Remember that from the Bibliography, you can link a reference to a taxon and you do not need to write it here again.
  • General Notes: Any information related to the taxon that you may not place in the others chapters.

You may include a file related with the taxon at the bottom of the page. You always have to select a Creative Commons license under the one you want to share your content. Finally, remember to save the changes and select “Published” in the Publishing options to make the changes available to everyone.


2) Import Pages.

You can import pages in different formats (Excel files and tab-delimited text) and HTML tags are allowed. As an advice, if you do not have to upload many pages, it is less problematic to “copy and paste” the contents from your work file.


3) Create Page

Basically you select this option if you have an announcement or you want to share some general information with the team. You must write a title and the body of the webpage. At the bottom of the page, you have the option to attach file to this webpage. Once done, please remember to save the changes.


4) Create Shaded Map

After selection the taxon you are creating the map for, write a caption and a shaded map description (e.g. World known distribution of Genus species). Then, you will need to type political regions to shade (e.g. North Carolina, Alberta, Peru, South Dakota AND/OR bracket pipe- or space-separated State/Province codes prefixed by 3-letter ISO country code such as USA[NC|SD], CAN[AB ON]). When you have finished with this, you may select a color to shade the area of distribution by clicking on the rectangle with “100 100 100”. Drag the small circle from the right down corner to the point you want and save it by clicking on the little colour circle of the very right down corner.

You can change the map extent using the selection tool; use multiple layers; and choose the projection you want. Remember to select a Creative Commons license under the one you want to share your content, select the publishing options and save the changes.


5) Create Image

First, select the image file to upload. At this time, LifeDesk only allows to upload images one by one. Then, select the taxon that images refer to. Please type a caption and provide a image description (see gallery images for examples). Please credit the photographer/illustrator and the rights holder, and click “Published”. At the end, remember to save the changes.


6) Create Biblio

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must check first if the reference you are willing to add is already in the LifeDesk before continuing the process.

There are 4 ways to create Bibliography:

  • To paste a BibTex entry.
  • Using a DOI number.
  • To enter a PubMed ID.
  • Type the information of the reference by yourself.

In the last option, you first will need to select the type of publication and then provide the information you have. You have the option to attach pdf files or the full text. Remember to save the changes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you are typing the information for your reference, you can select several taxa from a “tree editor” in the same window. Just check the boxes of the taxa you want to link to your reference. In the tree editor, click on the + icon to display the full Syrphidae classification.


7) Import Biblio

You can import a large number of references at once. To do that, use “Import Biblio”. You have to choose the file and define the type of file it is (i.e. BibTex, EndNote, MARC or RIS).

General Information.pdf1.08 MB