British Insects: the Families of Diptera


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Ortalidae. Including Otitidae.

Including ‘Pictured-wing Flies’.

Life style non-parasitic.

Adult insects. Small to medium-sized. Not shining black. The face in lateral view not deeply excavated between the antennae and the edge of the mouth. Antennae 2–6 segmented; ‘modified’. The second antennal segment not grooved. The third segment not elongated (short and rounded, or more or less or angular in Otitidae). Ptilinal suture clearly defined. Post-vertical orbital bristles present; parallel, or divergent. Mouthparts functional (the proboscis short and strong, the labella prominent). The maxillary palps 1 segmented; porrect. Vibrissae absent. 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; with a subapical cell (Physophora), or without a sub-apical cell (Melieria); with a closed anal cell. The anal cell short (its lower corner often extended to a point). The costa unbroken. Sub-costa apparent; usually long and ending in the costa; reaching the costa independently of vein 1. The leading edge veins not noticeably stronger than the rest. Wings without a ‘vena spuria’. Wing vein 1 with hairs on its upper side, or bare. Wing vein 6 present; falling short of the wing margin (almost reaching it, in Otitidae). Wings with the lower calypter much reduced or absent; patterned (e.g., the former Otitidae), or unpatterned. Tibiae without a dorsal pre-apical bristle. Hind tibiae without strong bristles in the basal 4/5.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae terrestrial; saprophagous (? - in decaying vegetable matter); acephalic. The pupae enclosed within a puparium.

Comments. Small to medium sized flies. Frons often covered with short hairs; wing veins 3 and 4 converging apically. Ovipositor with non-retractile sheath.

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

British representation. 20 species in Britain. Genera 11; Ceroxys, Dorycera, Herina, Homalocephala, Melieria, Myennis, Otites, Physiphora, Seioptera, Tetanops, Ulidia.

Illustrations. • Otites guttatus: B. Ent. 649. • Otites guttatus: B. Ent. 649, legend+text. • Otites guttatus: B. Ent. 649, text cont.. • Dorycera graminum, Melieria crassipennis, Physiphora alceae, Seioptera vibrans (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.’.