Biology 625
Fall semester lecture note outline

Updated: 24 September 1999

The text below simply represents a crude lecture outline of one of the topics covered in class. It is not meant to substitute for attending lectures or ignoring the textbook. Additional material, including line drawings, kodachromes, and more extensive information on life-cycles and basic biology, will be supplied in the lectures.

TOPIC 44. Introduction to the order Diptera (flies)

  1. About 120,000 described species
  2. 1 pair wings on mesothorax
  3. 1 pair halteres (balance organs) on metathorax (derived from a reduced pair of wings)
  4. some species have lost wings secondarily
  5. Some taxa (Simulidae, Tabanidae) display compound eye sexual dimorphism. Females have eyes separated on the top of the head (dichoptic eyes) where the males have no separation (holoptic eyes)
  6. three main groups (Nematocera, Tabanomorpha, Muscomorpha)
    1. suborder: Nematocera
      1. antennae with many segments; many filamentous
      2. wings with many veins
      3. larvae active, with distinct head capsule
      4. pupae often free-swimming, or develop in very moist soils
      5. representative parasitic families
        1. Ceratopogonidae (biting midges)
        2. Culicidae (mosquitos)
        3. Psychodidae (sand flies and moth flies)
        4. Simulidae (blackflies)
    2. suborder: Brachycera
      1. antennae with 3 segments; terminal segment often pointed
      2. wing venation reduced
      3. larvae active and mostly predators; heads often vestigial, incomplete, or retractable
      4. 2 groups
        1. infraorder: Tabanomorpha
          1. face bulbous; larval head retractable
          2. includes the families Tabanidae (tabanids) and Rhagionidae (snipe flies)
        2. infraorder: Muscomorpha (=old suborder Cyclorrhapha)
          1. antennae short, pendulous
          2. large compound eyes
          3. maggots without true head, with 2 posterior spiracles
          4. pupae a puparium, which is a surrounding encasement of hard larval tegumental material
          5. many species in some families may cause myiasis (infection by the maggots); especially in the Calliphoridae, Oestridae, and Sarcophagidae
            1. facultative myiasis (normally free-living maggot can successfully establish parasitism by gaining access to the host accidentally
            2. obligatory myiasis (necessary for completion of the life-cycle)
            3. pseudomyiasis where eggs/larvae ingested and larvae may reside for a time enterically; most common family for this is the Fanniidae and Muscidae
            4. different species may reside in different locations. Many species cutaneous, either ingesting necrotic or live tissues; others may be gastric, urogenital, nasopharyngeal, or ophthalmic
          6. many different families are parasitic; some representative families as below
            1. Calliphoridae (blow flies and screwworms)
            2. Chloropidae (eye gnats)
            3. Fanniidae (latrine and lesser house flies)
            4. Glossinidae (tsetses)
            5. Hippoboscidae (louse flies)
            6. Muscidae (house flies)
            7. Nycteribiidae (bat spider flies)
            8. Oestridae (head maggots, sheep bots, skin bots, heel flies, stomach bots; a number of previous families are now included as subfamilies in this taxon, although there are four main subfamilies)
              1. Cuterebrinae (rodent or skin bots)
              2. Gastrophilinae (stomach bots)
              3. Hypodermatinae (warbles or heel flies)
              4. Oestrinae (nose and pharyngeal bots)
            9. Sarcophagidae (flesh flies)
            10. Streblidae (bat flies)

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