Physocephala vittata, photographed by Pietro Niolu.

Belongs within: Sciomyzoidea.

The Conopidae is a family of flies of which most members are mimics of wasps. Larvae are endoparasites of other insects. Living conopids are divided between three subfamilies, Dalmanniinae, Myopinae and Conopinae (a fourth subfamily, Stylogastrinae, is probably not monophyletic with other conopids), with a further subfamily Palaeomyopinae known from the fossil record (Skevington et al. 2010). Members of the subfamily Conopinae have an apical three-segmented stylus on the antenna and a basally constricted abdomen. The Myopinae and Dalmanniinae possess a dorsal two- or three-segmented arista on the antenna. The ovipositor is short in Myopinae but elongate in Dalmannia. Within Conopinae, the genus Physocephala has crossvein r-m on the wing well beyond cell dm, and lacks ocelli or bristles on the proepisternum; Conopini have r-m at most a little past dm and have at least one bristle on the proepisternum (Smith & Peterson 1987).

Characters (from Smith & Peterson 1987): Rather bare and elongate flies, 3.0-20.0 mm long, usually pruinose, and colored black and yellow, reddish brown, or blackish, often with striking resemblance to solitary wasps and other Hymenoptera. Head broad; proboscis usually long, singly or doubly geniculate. Wing spotted or unmarked, or with a band along costal margin; cell r4+5 closed or nearly so.

<==Conopidae [Archischiza, Conopoidea]
    |--Palaeomyopa SP87 [Palaeomyopinae STC10]
    |    `--P. tertiaria SP87
    |--Dalmannia SP87 [Dalmanniinae STC10]
    |    |--D. nigriceps SP87
    |    `--D. punctata SP87
    |--Myopinae STC10
    |    |--Robertsonomyia palpalis SP87
    |    |--Thecophora SP87
    |    |    |--T. nigripes STC10
    |    |    `--T. occidensis STC10
    |    |--Zodion Latreille 1802 SP87, L02
    |    |    |--*Z. cinereum L02 [=Conops (Zodion) cinereus G20, Myopa cinerea L02]
    |    |    |--Z. abitus SP87
    |    |    |--Z. americanum STC10
    |    |    |--Z. fulvifrons SP87
    |    |    |--Z. intermedium SP87
    |    |    |--Z. obliquefasciatum STC10
    |    |    `--Z. perlongum STC10
    |    `--Myopa STC10
    |         |--M. buccata SP87
    |         |--M. fasciata STC10
    |         |--M. ferruginea [=Conops (Myopa) ferrugineus] G20
    |         |--M. picta A71
    |         |--M. rubida SP87
    |         `--M. variegata K01
    `--Conopinae STC10
         |  i. s.: Pleurocerinella O98
         |--Physocephala STC10 [Physocephalini SP87]
         |    |--P. bimarginipennis SP87
         |    |--P. chrysorrhoea BM76
         |    |--P. flavipes SP87
         |    |--P. furcillata STC10
         |    |--P. gigas O98
         |    |--P. inhabilis STC10
         |    |--P. marginata SP87
         |    |--P. rufipes K01
         |    |--P. sagittaria SP87
         |    |--P. texana STC10
         |    `--P. vittata BM76
         `--Conopini SP87
              |--Physoconops SP87
              |    |--P. brachyrhynchus STC10
              |    |--P. bulbirostris STC10
              |    |--P. fronto STC10
              |    |--P. ornatifrons STC10
              |    `--P. (Gyroconops) sylvosus STC10
              `--Conops Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--C. aculeatus G20
                   |--C. algira Macquart 1847 E12
                   |--C. (Asiconops) bermudensis SP87
                   |--C. buccata Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--C. flavipes Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--C. fuscipennis Macquart 1847 E12
                   |--C. geminatus STC10
                   |--C. macrocephala Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--C. nobilis STC10
                   |--C. rostrata Linnaeus 1758 L58
                   |--C. rufiventris Macquart 1847 E12
                   `--C. splendidus CM91

Conopidae incertae sedis:
  Leopoldius coronatus A71
  Oncomyia K01
    |--O. distincta K01
    `--O. sundevalli K01
  *Parazodion schmidti STC10
  Tropidomyia bimaculata STC10
  Myopella Robineau-Desvoidy 1853 M10
  Microconops CM91
  Palaeosicus loewi SP87
  Zodiomyia O98
  Australoconops splendidus O98
  Poliomyia recta RJ93
  Sicus lineatus SP87, G20

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[BM76] Bohart, R. M., & A. S. Menke. 1976. Sphecid Wasps of the World. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[CM91] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1991. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 717–786. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[K01] Kertész, K. 1901. Legyek [Dipteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 179–201. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[L02] Latreille, P. A. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes vol. 3. Familles naturelles des genres. F. Dufart: Paris.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[M10] Michelsen, V. 2010. Anthomyiidae (anthomyiid 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. 1271–1276. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[O98] Oosterbroek, P. 1998. The Families of Diptera of the Malay Archipelago. Brill: Leiden.

[RJ93] Ross, A. J., & E. A. Jarzembowski. 1993. Arthropoda (Hexapoda; Insecta). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 363–426. Chapman & Hall: London.

[STC10] Skevington, J. H., F. C. Thompson & S. Camras. 2010. Conopidae (thick-headed 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. 847–855. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[SP87] Smith, K. G. V., & B. V. Peterson. 1987. Conopidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 749–756. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

Last updated: 29 June 2021.

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