British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Life style non-parasitic.

Adult insects. Robustly-built. The back of the head markedly flattened above, without fine pale hairs below. Antennae 2–6 segmented; ‘modified’. The second antennal segment distinctly grooved above. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Eyes asymmetric, nearly or quite connected above the antennae (in some males), or rounded, well separated. Mouthparts functional. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Thorax with the dorsal suture continuous across the middle; with well defined posterior calli. Hypopleural bristles absent. Wing venation complete, in the sense of exhibiting 1st and 2nd basal, anal and discal cells. Wings with a discal cell; without a sub-apical cell; with a closed anal cell. The anal cell short. The costa unbroken. Sub-costa apparent; reaching the costa independently of vein 1. Wings without a sharp bend in vein 4. Wing vein 6 present; reaching the wing margin. Wings with a well developed lower calypter to with the lower calypter much reduced or absent. Hind tibiae with strong bristles in the basal 4/5. Visible abdominal segments 4, or 5. Neither parasitic nor predatory (mostly), or predatory (on other flies).

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; phytophagous (mainly, including pests of onions, beans, etc.), or saprophagous (e.g., in rotting seaweed), or mycophagous (e.g., in in rotten wood), or predatory; acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Frons often with a pair of crossed bristles. Wings often with a costal spine.

Classification. Suborder Brachycera; Division Muscomorpha Schizophora Calyptratae; Superfamily Muscoidea.

British representation. 237 species in Britain. Genera 29; Adia, Alliopsis, Anthomyia, Botanophila, Calythea, Chiastocheta, Chirosia, Delia, Egle, Emmesomyia, Eustalomyia, Eutrichota, Fucellia, Heterostylodes, Hydrophoria, Hylemya, Hylemyza, Lasiomma, Mycophaga, Myopina, Leucophora, Paradelia, Paregle, Pegomya, Pegoplata, Phorbia, Strobilomyia, Subhylemyia, Zaphne.

Illustrations. • Anthomyia pluvialis (from Walker). Anthomyia pluvialis, with an antenna in detail. From Walker (1853, Plate XII), with 2mm scale added.

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.’.