Empidid flies are both common and extremely diverse, especially in temperate and wet-tropical regions where they account for 10% of dipteran biodiversity. Their near ubiquity, extremely varied life histories, ecology and behaviour indicate usefulness as bioindicators of ecosystem function. Understanding their systematic position relative to other major lineages is critical in resolving the evolution and phylogeny of Diptera.
Taxonomic research on Empidid flies (Diptera; Empididae, Hybotidae, Microphoridae & Brachystomatidae) focuses on the following topics:-
- Phylogeny of the subfamily Hemerodromiinae
- Development of an understanding of the 'Gondwanic' empidoid fauna; its biogeography and diversity.
- The evolution of secondary sexual characters and their role in the evolution of Empididae
- Collation of data on empidoid diversity & distribution in Britain, mapping changes, understanding habitat requirements, role of climate change etc.