British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Life style parasitic (the larvae being parasites of other arthropods).

Adult insects. Small. Antennae 2–6 segmented; ‘modified’; aristate; the arista dorsal (pubescent or shortly hairy). The second antennal segment distinctly grooved above. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Eyes rounded, well separated (but close, in the males). Mouthparts functional; non-piercing (?). The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Thorax with the dorsal suture continuous across the middle; with well defined posterior calli. Hypopleural bristles present. Wings with a discal cell; with a closed anal cell. The anal cell short. Wings without a sharp bend in vein 4; with a well developed lower calypter (but this narrow); patterned, or unpatterned (sometimes heavily suffused or marked with dark colouring). Neither parasitic nor predatory (?).

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; parasitic (on or in woodlice, beetles and spiders); endoparasitic, or ectoparasitic; acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Small, slender, darkish grey or black flies, never metallic.

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

British representation. 7 species in Britain. Genera 6; Melanophora, Paykullia, Phyto, Rhinophora, Stevenia, Tricogena.

Illustrations. • Melanophora roralis (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.’.