British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Adult insects. Very small to small; winged. The face in lateral view not deeply excavated between the antennae and the edge of the mouth. Antennae 3 segmented (third segment sometimes much dilated or enlarged); ‘modified’; aristate; the arista dorsal (sometimes pubescent). The second antennal segment not grooved. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Post-vertical orbital bristles present; convergent, or parallel. Mouthparts functional. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Vibrissae present, or absent (at least, often indistinct). 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 (very small). The costa with two breaks (once near the humeral cross vein, and more emphatically near the end of vein 1). Sub-costa apparent; joining vein 1 more or less where it joins the costa, or terminating blind, or joining vein 1 well short of the costa. Wing vein 6 dubiously present, or absent (being represented 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. Predatory, or neither parasitic nor predatory.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Small to very small greyish- or shining-black flies, with complete wing venation.

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

British representation. 18 species in Britain. Genera 6; Desmometopa, Leptometopa, Madiza, Milichia, Neophyllomyza, Phyllomyza.

Illustrations. • Leptometopa and Phyllomyza.

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.’.