British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Life style parasitic; on bees only.

Adult insects. Very small (1–1.5 mm long); robustly-built; mite-like, wingless. The face in lateral view not deeply excavated between the antennae and the edge of the mouth. Antennae 2–6 segmented; ‘modified’. The second antennal segment not grooved. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Lower orbital bristles absent. Post-vertical orbital bristles absent. Mouthparts functional. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Thorax without a continuous dorsal suture; without well defined posterior calli. Hind tibiae without strong bristles in the basal 4/5 (with short bristles). Parasitic (on bees).

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; parasitic (living in the cells of honey bees); acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Mite-like, wide-headed flies, the eyes minute, mesonotum short and resembling the abdominal tergites, so that the thorax is not clearly differentiated from the rounded abdomen; the tarsi distally distended. Scutellum absent.

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

British representation. 2 species in Britain. Genera 1; Braula.

Illustrations. • Braula coeca (Carpenter 1920).

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.’.