British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Formerly in Rhagionidae.


Adult insects. Slender-bodied, or robustly-built; stilt-legged, or not stilt-legged. Antennae 3 segmented; ‘modified’; with a non-annulated terminal segment; aristate; the arista apical to dorsal (near the tip). Ocelli present; 3. Eyes asymmetric, nearly or quite connected above the antennae (in males?), or rounded, well separated. Lower orbital bristles absent. Post-vertical orbital bristles absent. The maxillary palps 1 segmented, or 2 segmented; porrect. Vibrissae absent. Wings with a discal cell; without a sub-apical cell; with a closed anal cell. The anal cell relatively long. The costa extending around the entire wing. Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent; patterned. Tibiae spurred. Feet with a triple pad beneath the tarsal claws.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae aquatic; saprophagous (in wood-debris, submerged timbers, etc.); hemicephalic. The pupae without a puparium.

Comments. Athericidae seem to differ morphologically from Rhagionidae only in subtle and overlapping differences in wing venation.

Classification. Suborder Brachycera; Division Tabanomorpha; Superfamily Tabanoidea.

British representation. 3 species in Britain. Genera 3; Atherix, Atrichops, Ibisia.

Illustrations. • Atherix ibis (Dissimilar Snipe Fly: B. Ent. 026). • Atherix ibis (detail: B. Ent. 026). • Atherix ibis (dissections: B. Ent. 026). • Atherix ibis: B. Ent. 026, legend+text. • Atherix ibis: B. Ent. 026, text cont.. • Atherix ibis (from Walker). • Ibisia marginata: as Atherix marginata, Stephens 1846.

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.’.