Africa Wild Insect Book Flies (Diptera)

Mon May 21, 2012 6:33 pm

Africa Wild Insect Book: Diptera (Flies)

Upload your picture of a fly and add a description underneath. Please only do one species per post.

All entries will be edited and updated (additional photos and information will be added by moderators). New entries will be posted according to taxonomic order and the post date does not reflect the actual date of new posts.


Index to Flies (Order Diptera)

Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:50 pm

Flies (Diptera) - Index


Flies are distinguished from all other insects by having one pair of wings instead of two. Instead of a pair of hindwings they have a pair of halteres which are knob-like processes evidently used for balance in flight.

Suborder Nematocera (Long-antennae Flies)
Infraorder Culicomorpha
Non-biting Midge ... 50#p267450
Culicidae (Mosquitoes)
Aedes aegypti Bush Mosquito, Yellow Fever Mosquito ... 56#p267456

Infraorder Tipulomorpha
Tipulidae (Crane Flies)
Crane Fly ... 67#p267467

Suborder Brachycera (Long-arista Flies)
Stratiomyidae (Soldier Flies)
Subfamily Hermetiinae
Hermetia illucens Black Soldier Fly ... 91#p267491
Subfamily Stratiomyinae
Odontomyia sp. Soldier Fly ... 93#p267493

Asilidae (Robber Flies)
Hyperechia marshalli Carpenter Bee Robber Fly ... 39#p268239
Neolophonotus sp. Robber Fly ... 41#p268241
Synolcus dubius Robber Fly ... 42#p268242
Unidentified Robber Fly ... 45#p268245
Unidentified Robber Fly ... 44#p268244
Daspletis sp. Robber Fly ... 91#p268391

Therevidae (Stiletto Flies)
Orthactia fascipennis Stiletto Fly ... 10#p268410

Mythicomyiidae (Micro Bee Flies)
Unidentified Mythicomyiid Fly ... 04#p269504
Subfamily Platypyginae
Cephalodromia sp. Mythicomyiid Fly ... 28#p269528

Bombyliidae (Bee Flies) Infraorder Asilomorpha
Subfamily Bombyliinae
Bombylella sp, Bombyliid Bee Fly ... 60#p276560
Bombylella sp. Bombyliid Bee Fly ... 61#p276561
Systoechus sp. Woolly Bee Fly ... 62#p276562
Subfamily Lomatiinae
Notolomatia pictipennis Bee Fly ... 72#p276572
Subfamily Anthracinae
Exoprosopa sp. Bomyliid Bee Fly ... 90#p276590
Petrorossia sp. Bombyliid Bee Fly ... 47#p277047

Anthomyiidae Infraorder Muscomorpha
Anthomyia sp Root Maggot Fly ... 90#p148890

Calliphoridae Infraorder Muscomorpha
Chrysomya albiceps Banded Blowfly ... 14#p147314
Chrysomya marginalis Regal Blowfly ... 32#p179332
Lucilia sp., possibly L. cuprina Green Blowfly, Sheep Blowfly ... 56#p181256

Conopidae (Thick-headed Flies) Infraorder Muscomorpha
Physocephala sp Thick-headed Fly ... 20#p148920

Lauxaniidae Infraorder Muscomorpha
Homoneura rhodesi Lauxaniid Fly ... 97#p194997

Milichiidae (Jackal Flies) Infraorder Muscomorpha
Unidentified Jackal Fly ... 10#p163489

Muscidae Infraorder Muscomorpha
Musca domestica Housefly, Common Housefly ... 10#p150380

Platystomatidae (Signal Flies) Infraorder Muscomorpha
Bromophila caffra Red-headed Fly ... 43#p265143
Paryphodes sp. Signal Fly ... 54#p182254

Rhiniidae Infraorder Muscomorpha
Cosmina sp Rhiniine Blowfly ... 56#p183656
Rhinia apicalis Rhiniine Blowfly ... 26#p178426
Rhyncomya sp. Rhiniine Blowfly ... 23#p186121

Sarcophagidae (Flesh Flies) Infraorder Muscomorpha
Sarcophaga cruentata, Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis Red-tailed Flesh Fly ... 19#p181019
Flesh Fly or Miltogrammine Satellite Fly ... 10#p184710

Syrphidae (Hoverflies) Infraorder Muscomorpha
Asarkina africana Hoverfly ... 10#p167659
Eristalinus megacephalus Spotted-eye Syrphid Fly ... 10#p152465
Eristalinus taeniops Hoverfly, Band-eyed Drone Fly ... 73#p150376
Eristalis tenax Drone Fly ... 03#p149403
Eupeodes corollae Migrant Hoverfly ... 10#p164789
Ischiodon aegyptius Egyptian Hoverfly ... 47#p178447
Phytomia natalensis Eristaline Hoverfly ... 60#p185760
Syritta sp. Thick-legged Syrphid Fly ... 10#p152831
Syritta sp. Thick-legged Syrphid Fly

Tachinidae Infraorder Muscomorpha
Linnaemya sp. Tachinid Fly ... 43#p247943

Dolichopodidae (Long-legged Flies) Infraorder Asilomorpha
Unidentified Long-legged Fly ... 10#p152478

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:27 pm

Banded Blowfly Chrysomya albiceps
Family: Calliphoridae

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Medium-sized (wingspan 20 mm), stout, uniformly green, with black abdominal bands and extensive silvery white facial pattern.

Throughout South Africa. Not endemic. The species is distributed widely in Africa and Europe.
This species has a very wide climatic and geographic distribution and can probably be found in all parts of South Africa except at very high altitudes.

Chrysomya albiceps develops on animal carcasses and may cause secondary myiases.

The species is also of importance in forensic science and forensic entomology because it is the first insect to come in contact with carrion due to their ability to smell dead animal matter from up to 16 km away.

Image © ExFmem
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Links: The Blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) of Southern Africa

Diptera, Nematocera

Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:15 am

Suborder Nematocera

The Nematocera (thread-horns) are a suborder of elongated flies with thin, segmented antennae and mostly aquatic larvae, consisting of the mosquitoes, crane flies, gnats, black flies, and midges.

Nematocera are typically characterized by filamentous, multisegmented antennae which may be plumose in some males. The Nematocera are a paraphyletic suborder, because one of its constituent families (Anisopodidae) is apparently a sister taxon to the entire suborder Brachycera; an alternative classification has been proposed in which the family Nymphomyiidae (traditionally classified within the Blephariceromorpha) is removed to its own suborder, the Archidiptera, and all the remaining nematoceran families are placed in a suborder called Eudiptera; however, the Eudiptera are also paraphyletic, and this classification has not been widely accepted. Largely due to its long history, the name Nematocera continues to be used.

Examples of the Nematocera include the mosquitoes (Culicidae), crane flies (Tipulidae) and black flies (Simuliidae). Many of the remaining families (especially Mycetophilidae, Anisopodidae, and Sciaridae), are called gnats, while others (especially Chironomidae, Cecidomyiidae, and Ceratopogonidae) are called midges.

The larvae are mostly aquatic and have distinct heads with mouthparts that may be modified for filter feeding. The pupae are orthorrhaphous (meaning adults emerge from the pupa through a straight seam in the pupal cuticle). The bodies and legs of the adults are usually elongate, and these flies often have relatively long abdomens.

Many species form mating swarms of males, and in some of these, competition for females is extreme. Although many species (as larvae) have a strong association with water, even within a single family there may be a trend toward semiaquatic and terrestrial habitats.

Links: Diptera Classification

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:17 pm

Anthomyia Fly, Root Maggot Fly sp Species of Anthomyia
Family: Anthomyiidae

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Anthomyia Flies are small (wingspan 10mm), resembling a slender house fly in build, but with contrasting silvery grey and black stripes across the body.
Larvae breed in rotting organic matter.

Links: - Photo Gallery Anthomyiidae

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:55 pm

Thick-headed Fly sp Species of Physocephala
Family: Conopidae. Subfamily: Conopinae. Tribe: Physocephalini

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Physocephala have an petiolate abdomen with segment 2 long and narrow, the others broader and shorter. Very wasp-like in appearance. Head wider than thorax.
Their larvae are endoparasites of bees.
Last edited by BluTuna on Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:58 pm

Drone Fly Eristalis tenax
Family Syrphidae. Subfamily Eristalinae. Tribe Eristalini

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Size 10-15 mm. It looks remarkably like a Honey Bee (Apis mellifera).
Drone Flies can be easily differentiated from Honey Bees because they lack a constricted waist between the thorax and the abdomen, and they only have two wings, while honey bees have four. Short, brownish-yellow hairs are located on the thorax and the first segment of the abdomen. The body is darkish brown to black in color, with yellow-orange patches on the side of the second abdominal segment while a narrow yellow-orange band crosses the third abdominal segment.
Like many other fly species, males can easily be distinguished from females because they have larger eyes that almost touch, while females have smaller eyes that are spaced further apart. Flies from the family Syrphidae can be distinguished from all other fly species by the identification of a spurious vein, or "false vein." This vein does not terminate at the end of the wing or at another vein but has a free end, and is not as sclerotized as the other wing veins.

Eristalis tenax is a widespread species, occurring on every continent except Antarctica and has been introduced to South Africa, where it is common.

Adults feed on flowers.
The larva has a long thin tail. Thus it is called a rat-tailed larva. It lives in stagnant water, farmyard drains, etc. A female Drone Fly can lay 100 to 200 eggs (sometimes even more). It takes about 15 days untill the larvae pupate. The adult hatches after another 10-15 days.

Links: Biodiversity Explorer

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:27 pm

Hoverfly, Band-eyed Drone Fly Eristalinus taeniops
Family: Syrphidae

Image © BluTuna


Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Length 11-13 mm. Largish, robust hoverfly with characteristically-banded eyes. The adults are mimics of honey bees.

Portugal, Spain and around the Mediterranean, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, North Africa, The Canary Islands, The Caucasus, Eastern parts of Afrotropical region to South Africa, Nepal Northern Pakistan and Northern India, Iran. Introduced to Parts of North America.

Eristalinus taeniops feeds on pollen and nectar.

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:52 pm

Housefly, Common Housefly Musca domestica
Family: Muscidae

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

The adults are about 5–8 mm long. Their thorax is gray or sometimes even black, with four longitudinal dark lines on the back. The whole body is covered with hair-like projections. The females are slightly larger than the males, and have a much larger space between their red compound eyes. The sponge-like mouthparts are adapted for feeding on liquids, and the reddish compound eyes are large.
Like other Diptera (meaning "two-winged"), houseflies have only one pair of wings; the hind pair is reduced to small halteres that aid in flight stability. Characteristically, the media vein (M1+2 or fourth long vein of the wing) shows a sharp upward bend.

The Housefly is, perhaps, the most common and widespread animal in the world.

Occurs in a wide range of habitats, and is often associated with human activities.

Houseflies contaminate food, and in developing countries are responsible for millions of infant deaths per year as a result of dehydration caused by diarrhoea.
Houseflies undergo 'complete metamorphosis'; the larvae (maggots) progress through three stages known as 'instars' before a pupal stage develops in which complex changes take place as the body of the maggot re-organises into the adult fly. Adults feed on rotting plant and animal matter and sugary liquids. They repeatedly salivate on food, ingest it and regurgitate it in order to pre-digest the food.

Image © ExFmem

Life Cycle
Female flies lay numbers of eggs in suitable larval food sources such as decomposing food in garbage, animal excrement or other decomposing organic materials. Eggs hatch within a day into small maggots. Within a week, maggots grow and develop through three stages (instars) before they inflate their last larval skin into a puparium (pupa). After 4 to 6 days, adult flies emerge. Development from egg to adult can be completed in about 8 days under optimal conditions, and 12 generations can occur each summer. Adults normally live up to 25 days but may overwinter.

Image © ExFmem

Its mouthparts are made of soft, spongy structures called a labella and a proboscis. The labella gently dabs liquids into the proboscis, which then sucks up the liquid. If the fly encounters solid food it wants to eat, it drops saliva onto it, turning the food into a liquid.
Flies with sponging mouthparts are usually incapable of biting, however some species have sharp teeth on the pseudotracheae to rasp flesh and draw up blood e.g. the tsetse fly.

Links: Wikipedia; ARKive

Re: Africa Wild Insect Book Flies Photos & Descriptions

Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:10 pm

Spotted-eye Syrphid Fly Eristalinus megacephalus
Family: Syrphidae

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Length 8 to 10 mm. This hover fly has yellow stripes on the upperside of the black thorax. It is yellow and black banded on the abdomen. The eyes are covered with numerous, small, brown spots. The legs are white and black banded. The wings are transparent.

Palearctic and Africa.