British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Dorilaidae, Dorylaidae.

Big-headed Flies.

Life style parasitic; on Homoptera.

Adult insects. Antennae 3 segmented (the third segment variable in form); ‘modified’; with a non-annulated terminal segment; aristate; the arista dorsal (usually long). Ptilinal suture absent or weakly defined. Eyes asymmetric, nearly or quite connected above the antennae (usually, in males), or rounded, well separated (usually narrowly separated in females). Mouthparts very small. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Wings with a discal cell (large); with a subapical cell; with a closed anal cell. The anal cell relatively long. Sub-costa apparent; reaching the costa independently of vein 1. The leading edge veins markedly stronger than the rest, or not noticeably stronger than the rest. Wing vein 3 not forked. Feet without a triple pad.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; parasitic; endoparasitic (of Homoptera); acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Hovering insects, with a very large head consisting almost entirely of the compound eyes. Females with a recurved, pointed ovipositor.

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

British representation. 92 species in Britain. Genera 11; Cephalops, Cephalosphaera, Chalarus, Dorylomorpha, Eudorylas, Jassidophaga, Microcephalops, Nephrocerus, Pipunculus, Tomosvaryella, Verrallia.

Illustrations. • 'Pipunculus pratorum', cf. P. thomsoni: B. Ent. 757. • 'Pipunculus pratorum', cf. P. thomsoni: B. Ent. 757, legend+text. • 'Pipunculus pratorum', cf. P. thomsoni: B. Ent. 757, text cont.. • Chalarus and Pipunculus (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.’.