British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Carniidae. Formerly in Milichiidae.

Life style parasitic (at least in the adult stage); on birds.

Adult insects. Very small (1–1.5 mm long); winged. Antennae 2–6 segmented; ‘modified’; aristate. The second antennal segment not grooved. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Post-vertical orbital bristles present, or absent (?); parallel, or divergent. Mouthparts functional. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Thorax without a continuous dorsal suture; without well defined posterior calli. Wing venation incomplete, in the sense of lacking one or more of the cells. Wings without a discal cell; without a sub-apical cell; without a closed anal cell. The costa with two breaks (at the end of the subcosta and near that of the humeral vein). Sub-costa apparent; joining vein 1 more or less where it joins the costa, or joining vein 1 well short of the costa. Wing vein 4 very short, extending little beyond the end of the first basal cell. Wing vein 6 present (but only as a shadowy fold); falling short of the wing margin. Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent. Tibiae without a dorsal pre-apical bristle. Hind tibiae without strong bristles in the basal 4/5. Parasitic (Carnus hemapterus is a bloodsucker, residing in the nests of birds).

Larvae and pupae. The larvae saprophagous, or coprophagous (living in refuse in birds’ nests); acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Tiny flies, with incomplete wing venation.

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

British representation. 13 species in Britain. Genera 2; Carnus, Meoneura.

Illustrations. • Carnus.

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.’.