British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Life style parasitic (in the larval stage); on bees and other Hymenoptera, other Diptera, and Orthoptera.

Adult insects. Medium-sized to large; slender-bodied to robustly-built. Antennae 3 segmented (long or short); ‘modified’; aristate; the arista apical (Conopinae), or dorsal (Myopinae). The second antennal segment not grooved. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Eyes rounded, well separated (widely separated in both sexes). Mouthparts functional (proboscis usually long and slender). The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Thorax without a continuous dorsal suture; without well defined posterior calli. Wings with a discal cell (large); with a subapical cell; with a closed anal cell. The anal cell relatively long. Sub-costa apparent; reaching the costa independently of vein 1. Wing vein 6 present; reaching the wing margin. Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent; patterned, or unpatterned. Hind tibiae without strong bristles in the basal 4/5. Neither parasitic nor predatory.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; parasitic; endoparasitic (on Hymenoptera, other Diptera, and orthopteroids); acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Medium to large flies, usually bare or thinly haired, often resembling solitary wasps in appearance. Head as wide as or wider than the thorax.

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

British representation. 24 species in Britain. Genera 7; Conops, Leopoldius, Myopa, Physocephala, Sicus, Thecophora, Zodion.

Illustrations. • Conops quadrifasciatus (Yellow-banded Conops: B. Ent. 377). • Conops quadrifasciatus (detail: B. Ent. 377). • Conops quadrifasciatus (dissections: B. Ent. 377). • Conops quadrifasciatus: Br. Ent. 377, legend+text. • Conops quadrifasciatus: Br. Ent. 377, text cont.. • Thecophora fulvipes: B. Ent. 677. • Thecophora fulvipes: B. Ent. 677, legend+text. • Thecophora fulvipes: B. Ent. 677, text cont.. • Physocephala rufipes (from Walker). • Myopa testacea, Zodion cinereum: 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.’.