British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Leaf-mining Flies.

Adult insects. Very small to small; winged. The face in lateral view not deeply excavated between the antennae and the edge of the mouth. Antennae 3 segmented; ‘modified’; aristate; the arista dorsal (pubescent or bare). The second antennal segment not grooved. The third segment not elongated (usually rounded but sometimes with a sharp point). Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Ocellar bristles present. Lower orbital bristles present; incurved. Post-vertical orbital bristles present; divergent. Mouthparts functional. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Vibrissae present. Thorax without a continuous dorsal suture; without well defined posterior calli. Wing venation complete, in the sense of exhibiting 1st and 2nd basal, anal and discal cells, or incomplete, in the sense of lacking one or more of the cells. Wings with a discal cell, or without a discal cell; without a sub-apical cell; with a closed anal cell. The anal cell very short. The costa with one break (at the end of the sub-costa). Sub-costa apparent (faint); joining vein 1 well short of the costa, or terminating blind. Wing vein 4 extending far beyond the end of the first basal cell. Wing vein 6 present; falling short of the wing margin. Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent. The front femora without a conspicuous spine beneath. Tibiae without a dorsal pre-apical bristle. Hind tibiae without strong bristles in the basal 4/5.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; phytophagous (boring and mining stems and leaves); forming galls, or not gall-forming; acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Very small flies, the females with a non-retractile ovipositor sheath.

Classification. Suborder Brachycera; Division Muscomorpha Schizophora Acalyptratae; Superfamily Opomyzoidea.

British representation. 367 species in Britain. Genera 19; Agromyza, Amauromyza, Aulagromyza, Calycomyza, Cerodontha, Chromatomyia, Galiomyza, Gymnophytomyza, Hexomyza, Liriomyza, Melanagromyza, Metopomyza, Napomyza, Nenorimyza, Ophiomyia, Phytonia, Phytoliriomyza, Phytomyza, Pseudonapomyza.

Illustrations. • Napomyza lateralis (Feverfew Phytomyza: B. Ent. 393). • Napomyza lateralis (detail: B. Ent. 393). • Napomyza lateralis (dissections: B. Ent. 393). • Napomyza lateralis (B. Ent. 393, legend+text). • Napomyza lateralis (text, cont.: B. Ent. 393). • Cerodontha denticornis and Phytomyza affinis (from Walker).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. British insects: the families of Diptera. Version: 1st January 2012.’.