Sphyracephala brevicornis, photographed by Karl Hillig.

Belongs within: Schizophora.

The Diopsidae, stalk-eyed flies, are a distinctive family of flies in which the head is usually extended laterally, with the antennae positioned near the ends of the lateral processes close to the eyes (in other flies with similarly-shaped heads, the antennae remain close to the midline of the head). The majority of species are found in Eurasia and Africa with only a single species Sphyracephala brevicornis known from North America (Peterson 1987).

Characters (from van Bruggen 1961): Head with two pairs of bristles (inner and outer orbital bristles) and no vibrissae. Head usually produced laterally (except in Centrioncus) to a varying degree in both sexes; eyes and antennae borne on these processes. Thorax showing modification of pleurotergite into dome-shaped swelling or well-developed spine; scutellum with two spines, supra-alar spines may also be present; posterior thoracic spiracle encircled by weak hairs, none of which are developed into a bristle. Fore femora frequently incrassate, bearing a double series of small teeth on ventral surface, bristles may be present between these teeth. Wing venation greatly reduced, C complete, R2+3, R4+5 and M1+2 reaching margin near apex of wing, M4+Cu1 and A1 not always present.

<==Diopsidae [Centrioncidae]
    |--Teloglabrus WT11
    `--+--Cyrtodiopsis WT11
       |    |--C. africana B61
       |    `--C. dalmanni WT11
       `--Sphyracephala Say 1828 WT11, B61 (see below for synonymy)
            |--*S. brevicornis [=Diopsis brevicornis] B61
            |--S. beccarii (Rondani 1873) (see below for synonymy) B61
            |--S. hearseiana P87 [=Diopsis hearsejana (l. c.) B61, *Zygocephala hearsejana (l. c.) B61]
            |--S. munroi Curran 1928 B61
            `--S. succini B61

Diopsidae incertae sedis:
  Prosphyracephala P87
    |--P. rubiensis P87
    `--P. succini [incl. P. breviata] P87
  Trichodiopsis B61
  Phryxodiopsis B61
  Cladodiopsis B61
  Centrioncus Speiser 1910 B61
    `--*C. prodiopsis Speiser 1910 B61
  Diopsina Curran 1928 B61
    `--*D. ferruginea Curran 1928 B61
  Teleopsis Rondani 1875 B61
    |--*T. sykesii [=Diopsis sykesii] B61
    |--T. erythrocephala (Westwood 1837) B61
    `--T. nitida Adams 1903 B61
  Diasemopsis Rondani 1875 [incl. Chaetodiopsis Séguy 1955] B61
    |--*D. aethiopica (Rondani 1873) (see below for synonymy) B61
    |--D. amora Curran 1931 B61
    |--D. concolor (Westwood 1837) B61
    |--D. dubia (Bigot 1874) B61
    |--D. elegantula B61
    |--D. fasciata (Gray 1832) B61
    |--D. meigeni (Westwood 1837) [=Diopsis meigenii, *Chaetodiopsis meigeni] B61
    |--D. munroi Curran 1931 B61
    |--D. obstans (Walker 1861) B61
    |--D. signata (Dalman 1817) B61
    |--D. silvatica B61
    `--D. terminata Macquart 1845 B61
  Diopsis Linnaeus 1775 B61
    |--*D. ichneumonea B61
    |--D. anthracina Brunetti 1928 B61
    |--D. apicalis Dalman 1817 B61
    |--D. basalis B61
    |--D. circularis Macquart 1835 B61
    |--D. collaris Westwood 1837 B61
    |--D. cruciata Curran 1934 B61
    |--D. curva Bertoloni 1862 B61
    |--D. dimidiata Curran 1929 B61
    |--D. fumipennis B61
    |--D. furcata Macquart 1845 B61
    |--D. globosa Curran 1931 B61
    |--D. leucochira Bezzi 1908 B61
    |--D. macquarti Guérin-Méneville 1829 B61
    |--D. macrophthalma Dalman 1817 (see below for synonymy) B61
    |--D. munroi Curran 1929 B61
    |--D. phlogodes Hendel 1923 B61
    |--D. pollinosa Adams 1903 B61
    |--D. punctigera Westwood 1837 B61
    |--D. servillei Macquart 1843 B61
    |--D. surcoufi Séguy 1955 B61
    `--D. tenuipes Westwood 1837 B61
  Eurydiopsis O98
  Pseudodiopsis O98

*Diasemopsis aethiopica (Rondani 1873) [=Diopsis aethiopica; incl. Dia. varians Eggers 1816, Dia. veliventris Hendel 1923] B61

Diopsis macrophthalma Dalman 1817 [=Diasemopsis macrophthalma; incl. Diopsis longicornis Macquart 1835, Diopsis thoracica Westwood 1837] B61

Sphyracephala Say 1828 WT11, B61 [incl. Hexechopsis Rondani 1875 B61, Hexecopsis (l. c.) B61, Zygocephala Rondani 1875 B61]

Sphyracephala beccarii (Rondani 1873) [=Diopsis beccarii, *Hexechopsis beccarii; incl. Sphyracephala africana Karsch 1887] B61

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B61] Bruggen, A. C. van. 1961. Diptera (Brachycera): Diopsidae. A partial revision of the Diopsidae or stalk-eyed flies of southern Africa. In: Hanström, B., P. Brinck & G. Rudebeck (eds) South African Animal Life: Results of the Lund University Expedition in 1950–1951 vol. 8 pp. 415–439. Almqvist & Wiksell: Uppsala.

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

[P87] Peterson, B. V. 1987. Diopsidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 785–789. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

[WT11] Wiegmann, B. M., M. D. Trautwein, I. S. Winkler, N. B. Barr, J.-W. Kim, C. Lambkin, M. A. Bertone, B. K. Cassel, K. M. Bayless, A. M. Heimberg, B. M. Wheeler, K. J. Peterson, T. Pape, B. J. Sinclair, J. H. Skevington, V. Blagoderov, J. Caravas, S. N. Kutty, U. Schmidt-Ott, G. E. Kampmeier, F. C. Thompson, D. A. Grimaldi, A. T. Beckenbach, G. W. Courtney, M. Friedrich, R. Meier & D. K. Yeates. 2011. Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108 (14): 5690–5695.

Last updated: 30 June 2021.

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