British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Winter Crane-flies.

Adult insects. Medium-sized to large (of wing-span 10–12 mm); slender-bodied; stilt-legged. The legs not readily shed. Antennae 8–16 segmented; ‘simple’. Ocelli present; 2, or 3. The maxillary palps 3–5 segmented; drooping. Thorax with the dorsal suture continuous across the middle. The dorsal suture deeply V-shaped. Wing veins reaching the margin 9–12. Wing vein 7 reaching the margin. Wings with a discal cell; without a sub-apical cell; without a closed anal cell. The costa unbroken; extending around the entire wing. Sub-costa apparent; reaching the costa independently of vein 1. Wing vein 7 present; reaching the wing margin (but short and curved). Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; saprophagous, or coprophagous, or consuming stored produce, or mycophagous; eucephalic. The pupae without a puparium.

Comments. Delicate-looking flies, habitually forming dancing swarms in winter.

Classification. Suborder Nematocera; Division Psychodomorpha; Superfamily Trichoceroidea.

British representation. 10 species in Britain. Genera 2; Diazosma, Trichocera.

Illustrations. • Trichocera hiemalis (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.’.