British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Cypselidae, Borboridae.

Adult insects. Very small to small; winged, or wingless (at least, the wings sometimes reduced). The face in lateral view deeply excavated between the antennae and the edge of the mouth. Antennae 3 segmented; ‘modified’; aristate; the arista dorsal (long, bare to pubescent). The second antennal segment not grooved. Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Post-vertical orbital bristles present, or absent (or indistinct); when present, convergent. Mouthparts functional; non-piercing. The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Vibrissae present. Thorax without a continuous dorsal suture; without well defined posterior calli. Wing venation complete, in the sense of exhibiting 1st and 2nd basal, anal and discal cells. Wings with a discal cell, or without a discal cell; without a sub-apical cell; with a closed anal cell, or without a closed anal cell. The anal cell when present, short. The costa with two breaks (near the humeral cross-vein, and near where the upper edge of vein 1 merges). Sub-costa apparent (faint), or absent or only dubiously identifiable; joining vein 1 more or less where it joins the costa. Wing vein 6 present; falling short of the wing margin. Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent. Tibiae spurred (hind tibia sometimes with a large apical claw), or without spurs. Hind tibiae with strong bristles in the basal 4/5 (e.g., Crumomyia nitida), or without strong bristles in the basal 4/5 (?). Neither parasitic nor predatory (often feeding on excrement, or plant exudates).

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; saprophagous, or coprophagous; acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Minute to small, usually black or brown flies, often associated with dung.

Classification. Suborder Brachycera; Division Muscomorpha Schizophora Acalyptratae; Superfamily Sphaeroceroidea.

British representation. 130 species in Britain. Genera 35; Alloborborus, Apteromyia, Archicollinella, Borborillus, Chaetopodella, Coproica, Copromyza, Crumomyia, Elachisoma, Gigalimosina, Ischiolepta, Lotobia, Lotophila, Norrbomia, Opacifrons, Opalimosina, Paralimosina, Philocoprella, Phthitia, Pseudocollinella, Pteremis, Pullimosina, Puncticorpus, Spelobia, Sphaerocera, Spinilimosina, Telomerina, Terrilimosina, Thoracochaeta, Trachyopella, Xenolimosina.

Illustrations. • Crumomyia, Limosina, Sphaerocera (from Walker). • Crumomyia nitida (Toothed Borborus Fly: B. Ent. 469). • Crumomyia nitida (detail: B. Ent. 469). • Crumomyia nitida (dissections: B. Ent. 469). • Crumomyia nitida: B. Ent. 469, legend+text. • Crumomyia nitida: B. Ent. 469, 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.’.