British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Life style parasitic (and highly specialised, cf. Hippoboscidae); on bats.

Adult insects. Wingless. Antennae 2 segmented; ‘modified’; with a non-annulated terminal segment; ‘terminated by bristles inserted on tubercles’ - Imms. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Ocelli absent. Mouthparts functional; adapted for piercing (for blood-sucking). The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Thorax with the dorsal suture continuous across the middle; with well defined posterior calli. Hind tibiae with strong bristles in the basal 4/5. Parasitic (being highly specialised, blood-sucking ectoparasites of bats).

Larvae and pupae. The larvae developing within the mother, being nourished via a greatly developed ‘acessory gland’, before leaving to pupate (finally pupating on the ground or in the abode of the host); acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Classification. Suborder Brachycera; Division Muscomorpha Schizophora Calyptratae; Superfamily Hippoboscoidea.

British representation. 3 species in Britain. Genera 3; Basilia, Nycteribia, Pthiridium.

Illustrations. • Nycteribida and Phthiridium: from Walker. • Nycteribia kolenatii (Small Bat-louse: B. Ent. 277). • Nycteribia kolenatii (detail, dissections: B. Ent. 277). • Nycteribia kolenatii (B. Ent. 277, legend+text). • Nycteribia kolenatii (text, cont.: B. Ent. 277).

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.’.