British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Adult insects. Very small; winged; not stilt-legged. Antennae 2 segmented, or 3 segmented; ‘modified’; aristate; the arista dorsal. The second antennal segment not grooved. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Post-vertical orbital bristles present, or absent; when present, convergent. Mouthparts functional. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Vibrissae absent. 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. 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. Wing vein 6 present; falling short of the wing margin (faint). Wing vein 7 present (stronger than vein 6). 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.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; predatory (on coccids, aphids and psyllids); acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Very small flies, greyish or yellowish grey, heavily dusted, with complete wing venation.

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

British representation. 32 species in Britain. Genera 7; Acrometopia, Chamaemyia, Leucopis, Leucopomyia, Lipoleucopis, Neuroleucopis, Parochthiphila.

Illustrations. • Chamaemyia aridella (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.’.