British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Helomyzidae, Heteromyzidae.

Adult insects. Small to medium-sized. The face in lateral view not deeply excavated between the antennae and the edge of the mouth. Antennae 3 segmented (the third segment short and rounded); ‘modified’; aristate; the arista dorsal. The second antennal segment not grooved. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Ocelli present; 3. Post-vertical orbital bristles present; convergent. Mouthparts functional. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Vibrissae present. 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, or with one break (weakened or broken at the end of the sub-costa, and bearing a series of spines). Sub-costa apparent; reaching the costa independently of vein 1, or terminating blind. The leading edge veins not noticeably stronger than the rest. Wings without a ‘vena spuria’. Wing vein 6 present; reaching the wing margin. Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent; patterned, or unpatterned. Tibiae with a dorsal pre-apical bristle. Hind tibiae with strong bristles in the basal 4/5 (?), or without strong bristles in the basal 4/5.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; saprophagous, or coprophagous, or mycophagous (some found in nests of birds and mammals, and in caves); acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Small to medium sized yellowish, brownish or grey flies, the costa ot the wing bearing a series of spines. Associated with decaying animal or vegetable matter, especially carrion.

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

British representation. 62 species in Britain. Genera 17; Borboropsis, Eccoptomera, Gymnomus, Heleomyza, Heteromyza, Morpholeria, Neoleria, Neossos, Oecothea, Oldenbergiella, Prosopantrum, Schroederella, Scoliocentra, Suillia, Tephrochlaena, Tephrochlamys, Trixoscelis.

Illustrations. • Heleomyza, Suillia (from Walker). • Suillia flava (Red-thoraxed Helomyza: B. Ent. 545). • Suillia flava (detail: B. Ent. 545). • Suillia flava (dissections: B. Ent. 545). • Suillia flava: B. Ent. 545, legend+text. • Suillia flava: B. Ent. 545, text cont..

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.’.