British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Adult insects. Very small to small; not hairy bodied; not stilt-legged. Antennae 8–16 segmented (the segments not very distinct); ‘simple’ (short and compact); not aristate. Ocelli present; 3. Eyes asymmetric, nearly or quite connected above the antennae. The maxillary palps 1 segmented, or 3–5 segmented; drooping. Vibrissae absent. Wing veins reaching the margin 5–8 (? fewer than 9). Wings without a discal cell; without a sub-apical cell; without a closed anal cell. The costa unbroken. Sub-costa apparent; terminating blind. The leading edge veins markedly stronger than the rest. Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent. Tibiae without spurs; without a dorsal pre-apical bristle.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; saprophagous, or coprophagous; eucephalic. The pupae without a puparium (but the normal pupa almost enclosed in the last larval skin).

Comments. Small to minute flies, often black.

Classification. Suborder Nematocera; Division Psychodomorpha; Superfamily Scatopsoidea.

British representation. 42 species in Britain. Genera 16; Anapausis, Apiloscatopse, Aspistes, Coboldia, Colobostema, Ectaetia, Efcookella, Ferneiella, Holoplagia, Neorhegmoclemina, Parascatopse, Reichertella, Rhexoza, Scatopse, Swammerdamella, Thripomorpha.

Illustrations. • Aspistes, Fcookella and Scatopse (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.’.