Catapicephala splendens, copyright Meenakshi Bharti.

Belongs within: Oestroidea.
Contains: Phumosia, Auchmeromyiinae, Phormiinae, Calliphorinae, Ameniini, Rhinophoridae, Chrysomyinae, Lucilia.

The Calliphoridae include the blowflies, which are often scavengers of rotting meat and/or vegetation. Several species have larvae that are either facultative or obligatory parasites of vertebrates; a smaller number are parasitic on invertebrates (Askew 1971). The monophyly of the Calliphoridae as usually recognised is uncertain; a number of the several subfamilies recognised may need to be reclassified. These include the Ameniinae, a group of large metallic flies whose larvae are parasitic on snails. The Eurasian and northern African Helicoboscinae also feed as larvae on snails, albeit as scavengers; these are black flies with silver pruinosity outlining a longitudinal black line on the abdomen. The Luciliinae are brightly metallic on both thorax and abdomen, usually green, and include both saprophages and facultative parasites on vertebrates.

Characters (from Vargas & Wood 2010): Medium-sized to large flies (body length 5-15 mm), usually shiny, metallic green, blue or purple, at least on abdomen. Frons of male narrower, and eye larger, than that of female, and usually lacking proclinate orbital bristles; chaetotaxy otherwise similar in both sexes. Lowest frontal bristle arising at level of base of antenna. Gena with well-developed genal dilation. Vibrissa usually arising above level of lower facial margin. Facial ridge usually bristled more than halfway to base of antenna. Pedicel with single elongate bristle among few shorter setae. First flagellomere similar in length in both sexes, or slightly longer in female. Arista long-plumose dorsally and ventrally. Palpus clavate. Notopleuron with two setae. Postpronotum with three major bristles in transverse row, sometimes preceded by fourth smaller bristle, ocassionally with middle bristle displaced anteriorly or absent. Meron with row of well-developed bristles. Wing with bend in vein M.

    |--Mimodexia [Mimodexiinae] F92
    |    `--M. magnifica F92
    `--+--+--Calliphorinae SC19
       |  `--Sarconesia [Toxotarsinae] KP10
       |       |--S. chlorogaster (Wiedemann 1830) KP10
       |       `--S. versicolor Bigot 1857 KP10
       `--+--+--Ameniinae SC19
          |  |    |--Ameniini PG-M04
          |  |    `--Parameniini PG-M04
          |  |         |--Paramenia Brauer & Bergestamm 1889 [incl. Calliphoropsis Townsend 1915] PG-M04
          |  |         |    |--*P. semiauriceps Brauer & Bergestamm 1889 PG-M04
          |  |         |    `--‘Musca’ macularis Walker 1859 [=*Calliphoropsis macularis] PG-M04
          |  |         `--Catapicephala Macquart 1851 [incl. Trongia Townsend 1916; Catapicephalini] PG-M04
          |  |              |--*C. splendens Macquart 1851 PG-M04
          |  |              |--C. micans (Fabricius 1805) F92, PG-M04 (see below for synonymy)
          |  |              `--C. sinica Fan 1965 F92
          |  `--+--Rhinophoridae SC19
          |     `--Helicoboscinae [Helicoboscini] KP10
          |          |--Gulmargia Rognes 1993 PG-M04
          |          |    `--*G. angustisquama Rognes 1993 PG-M04
          |          `--Eurychaeta Brauer & Bergenstamm 1891 (see below for synonymy) PG-M04
          |               |--*E. muscaria (Meigen 1826) PG-M04 (see below for synonymy)
          |               `--E. palpalis (Robineau-Desvoidy 1830) KP10, PG-M04 (see below for synonymy)
          `--+--Chrysomyinae SC19
             `--Luciliinae [Luciliini] SC19
                  |--Lucilia VW10
                  |--Blepharicnema Macquart 1843 PG-M04
                  |    `--*B. splendens Macquart 1843 PG-M04
                  |--Francilia Shannon 1924 [incl. Acrophagella Ringdahl 1942] PG-M04
                  |    `--‘Sarcophaga’ fuscipalpis Zetterstedt 1845 (see below for synonymy) PG-M04
                  |--Sinolucilia Fan 1965 PG-M04
                  |    `--*S. appendifera (Fan 1965) [=Lucilia (*Sinolucilia) appendifera] PG-M04
                  |--Viridinsula Shannon 1926 PG-M04
                  |    `--*V. pionia (Walker 1849) [=Lucilia pionia] PG-M04
                  |--Dyscritomyia Grimshaw 1901 [incl. Prostethochaeta Grimshaw 1901] PG-M04
                  |    |--*D. limbipennis (Thomson 1868) [=Catapicephala limbipennis] PG-M04
                  |    `--*Prostethochaeta’ robusta Grimshaw 1901 PG-M04
                  |--Hemipyrellia Townsen 1918 PG-M04
                  |    |--‘Lucilia’ fernandica Macquart 1855 [incl. *Hemipyrellia curriei Townsend 1918] PG-M04
                  |    |--H. fergusoni W01
                  |    `--H. ligurriens (Wiedemann 1830) [=Musca ligurriens] F92
                  |--Bufolucilia Townsend 1919 [incl. Chaetophaenicia Enderlein 1936] PG-M04
                  |    |--*B. bufonivora (Moniez 1876) [=Lucilia bufonivora] PG-M04
                  |    |--B. chini (Fan 1965) [=Lucilia (Bufolucilia) chini] F92
                  |    `--B. silvarum (Meigen 1826) F92 (see below for synonymy)
                  |--Hypopygiopsis Townsend 1916 PG-M04
                  |    |--H. fumipennis (Walker 1856) KP10 (see below for synonymy)
                  |    |--H. fortis (Walker 1857) [=Cynomya fortis] F92
                  |    |--H. infumata (Bigot 1877) F92
                  |    |--H. tumrasvini Kurahashi 1977 F92
                  |    `--H. violacea (Macquart 1835) KP10
                  `--Luciliella Malloch 1926 PG-M04
                       |--*L. fumicosta (Malloch 1926) [=Lucilia (*Luciliella) fumicosta] PG-M04
                       |--L. bazini (Séguy 1934) [=Lucilia (Luciliella) bazini] F92
                       |--L. hainanensis (Fan 1965) [=Lucilia (Luciliella) hainanensis F92
                       |--L. papuensis (Macquart 1842) [=Lucilia (Luciliella) papuensis] F92
                       |--L. shenyangensis (Fan 1965) [=Lucilia (Luciliella) shenyangensis] F92
                       `--L. sinensis (Aubertin 1933) [=Lucilia (Luciliella) sinensis] F92

Calliphoridae incertae sedis:
  Termitolaemus Baranov 1936 PG-M04
    `--*T. marshalli Baranov 1936 PG-M04
  Termitocalliphora Bauristhene in Pont 1980 PG-M04
    `--*T. machadoi Bauristhene 1964 PG-M04
  Cretaphormia McAlpine 1970 PG-M04
    `--*C. fowleri McAlpine 1970 PG-M04
  Gymnostilina Macquart 1855 PG-M04
    `--*G. nitida Macquart 1855 PG-M04
  Pollenoides Matsumura 1916 PG-M04
    `--*P. kuwanianus Matsumura 1916 PG-M04
  Propollenia Müller 1926 PG-M04
    `--*P. setosa Müller 1926 PG-M04
  Aphyssura Hardy 1940 [Aphyssurinae] PG-M04
    `--*A. minuta (Malloch 1928) [=Melinda minuta] PG-M04
  Phumosiinae [Phumosiini] PG-M04
    |--Phumosia PG-M04
    `--Euphumosia Malloch 1926 PG-M04
         |--*E. papua (Meneville 1830) [=Musca papua] PG-M04
         |--E. evittata PG-M04
         `--E. maai PG-M04
  Auchmeromyiinae PG-M04
  Laneella [Laneelinae] VW10
    `--L. nigripes VW10
  Trypocalliphora VW10
  Souzalopesiella [Souzalopesiellinae] VW10
    `--S. facialis VW10
  Coganomyia Dear 1977 [Coganomyinae] PG-M04
    `--*C. ornata Dear 1977 PG-M04
  Phormiinae KP10

Bufolucilia silvarum (Meigen 1826) F92 [=Musca silvarum PG-M04, *Chaetophaenicia silvarum PG-M04, Lucilia (Bufolucilia) silvarum F92]

Catapicephala micans (Fabricius 1805) F92, PG-M04 [=Musca micans PG-M04; incl. *Trongia Townsend 1916 (no species name?) PG-M04]

Eurychaeta Brauer & Bergenstamm 1891 [incl. Helicobosca Bezzi 1906, Theria Robineau-Desvoidy 1830 (preoc.)] PG-M04

*Eurychaeta muscaria (Meigen 1826) PG-M04 [=Sarcophaga muscaria PG-M04, Theria muscaria RD77; incl. Helicobosca distinguenda RD77]

Eurychaeta palpalis (Robineau-Desvoidy 1830) KP10, PG-M04 [=*Theria palpalis PG-M04, *Helicobosca palpalis PG-M04]

Hypopygiopsis fumipennis (Walker 1856) KP10 [=Musca fumipennis PG-M04, *Hypopigiopsis splendens Townsend 1916 PG-M04]

‘Sarcophaga’ fuscipalpis Zetterstedt 1845 [=*Acrophagella fuscipalpis; incl. *Francilia alaskensis Shannon 1924] PG-M04

*Type species of generic name indicated


[F92] Fan Z. 1992. Key to the Common Flies of China 2nd ed. Science Press: Beijing.

[KP10] Kutty, S. N., T. Pape, B. M. Wiegmann & R. Meier. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of the Calyptratae (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha) with an emphasis on the superfamily Oestroidea and the position of Mystacinobiidae and McAlpine's fly. Systematic Entomology 35: 614–635.

[PG-M04] Peris, S. V., & D. González-Mora. 2004. Clave de identificación para los géneros de Calliphoridae del mundo. Subfamilias con vena remigium desnuda y creación de una nueva subfamilia. Bol. R. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. (Sec. Biol.) 99 (1–4): 115–144.

[SC19] Stireman, J. O., III, P. Cerretti, J. E. O'Hara, J. D. Blaschke & J. K. Moulton. 2019. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of world Tachinidae (Diptera). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 139: 106358.

[VW10] Vargas, J., & D. M. Wood. 2010. Calliphoridae (blow flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1297–1304. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[W01] Wallman, J. F. 2001. A key to the adults of species of blowflies in southern Australia known or suspected to breed in carrion. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 15: 433–437.

Last updated: 4 July 2021.

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