British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Adult insects. Small. The face in lateral view not deeply excavated between the antennae and the edge of the mouth. Antennae 3 segmented (third segment variable in shape); ‘modified’; aristate; the arista dorsal (bare to plumose). The arista not forked at the tip. The second antennal segment not grooved. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Post-vertical orbital bristles 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 (this convex apically). The anal cell short. The costa unbroken. Sub-costa apparent; reaching the costa independently of vein 1. The leading edge veins not noticeably stronger than the rest. Wings without a ‘vena spuria’. Wing vein 6 present; falling short of the wing margin. Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent. Tibiae with a dorsal pre-apical bristle. Hind tibiae without strong bristles in the basal 4/5.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; mainly saprophagous; acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Small flies, light yellow through reddish brown to bluish- or greenish-black, with iridescent purplish or greenish eyes. Wing venation complete.

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

British representation. 54 species in Britain. Genera 12; Aulogastromyia, Calliopum, Cnemacantha, Homoneura, Lauxania, Lyciella, Minettia, Peplomyza, Poecilolycia, Sapromyza, Tricholauxania, Trigonometopus.

Illustrations. • Peplomyza litura: B. Ent. 605. • Peplomyza litura: B. Ent. 605, legend+text. • Peplomyza litura: B. Ent. 605, text cont.. • Trigonometopus frontalis: B. Ent. 689. • Trigonometopus frontalis: B. Ent. 689, legend+text. • Trigonometopus frontalis: B. Ent. 689, text cont.. • Calliopum aeneum and Trigonometopus frontalis (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.’.