British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Hunch-back Flies.

Life style parasitic (sometimes, in the larval stage,), or non-parasitic; on Coleoptera, bees and other Hymenoptera, Arthropods in general, and Orthoptera (etc.).

Adult insects. Very small to small; winged, or wingless (the wings often vestigial or absent in females). Antennae 1 segmented (ostensibly), or 3 segmented (the large third segment concealing the two basal ones); ‘modified’; with a non-annulated terminal segment; long aristate; the arista apical to dorsal. Ptilinal suture absent or weakly defined. Ocelli present; 3. Eyes rounded, well separated. The maxillary palps 1 segmented (large, usually spathulate and bristled); porrect. Wings without a discal cell; without a sub-apical cell; without a closed anal cell. The costal vein not markedly thickened. Sub-costa apparent; joining vein 1 well short of the costa. The leading edge veins markedly stronger than the rest (crowded basally). Wing vein 3 distally forked. Feet without a triple pad.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; saprophagous (sometimes on decaying flesh), or coprophagous, or mycophagous, or parasitic (including both obligate and facultative parasitism, the latter presumably reflecting wide polyphagous habits); when parasitic, endoparasitic (e.g., in ants), or ectoparasitic; acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Minute to small, greyish-black, brownish or yellowish, humped-backed, actively running flies. Wings folded over abdomen when at rest.

Classification. Suborder Brachycera; Division Muscomorpha Aschiza; Superfamily Platypezoidea.

British representation. 315 species in Britain. Genera 23; Aenigmatias, Anevrina, Beckerina, Borophaga, Chaetopleurophora, Chonocephalus, Conicera, Diplonevra, Dohrniphora, Gymnophora, Gymnoptera, Hypocera, Megaselia (containing most of the species), Metopina, Obscuriphora, Phalacrotophora, Phora, Plectanocnema, Pseudacteon, Puliciphora, Spiniphora, Triphleba, Woodiphora.

Illustrations. • Borophaga, Conicera, Megaselia: Walker. • Diploneura florescens (Red-bodied Phora: B. Ent. 437). • Diploneura florescens (detail: B. Ent. 437). • Diploneura florescens (dissections: B. Ent. 437). • Diploneura florescens: B. Ent. 437, legend+text. • Diploneura florescens: B. Ent. 437, 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.’.