Achanthiptera rohrelliformis, copyright Henk Soepenberg.

Belongs within: Calyptratae.
Contains: Atherigona, Azeliinae, Reinwardtiinae, Coenosiinae, Mydaeinae.

The Muscidae, house flies, are a cosmopolitan group of ecologically diverse flies. Members are characterised by wings with vein A1 extending halfway to the wing margin and hind tibiae lacking a mid-dorsal bristle (Savage & Vockeroth 2010). They include Achanthiptera rohrelliformis, a yellowish fly found in the Palaearctic region whose larvae feed on decaying matter in wasp nests. Philornis is a New World genus whose larvae are associated with bird nests, varying from scavengers to subcutaneous parasites of the nestlings. Charadrella, a Neotropical genus in which the first flagellomere of the antenna is about six times as long as wide, includes at least one viviparous species whose larvae feed on dead gastropods (Savage & Vockeroth 2010).

Characters (from Savage & Vockeroth 2010): Small to large flies (body length 2–20 mm). Stout or slender, generally dull grey, black or yellow but occasionally metallic blue or green. Male frons narrow to broad, with one to many frontal bristles. Female frons at least one-fourth as wide as head, with or without pair of cruciate interfrontal bristles. Eyes bare or setulose. Antennal pedicel with distinct dorsal seam, arista almost bare to long plumose or pectinate. Proboscis generally with prementum broad and labella fleshy, but with prementum tapering to slender apex and labella reduced in some. Thoracic bristles usually distinct and long, meron without row of strong bristles. Wings well developed, with vein A1 incomplete, not reaching wing margin, occasionally with setulae above or below R3 and R4+5. Both calypters generally well developed. Legs usually slender, occasionally with marked modifications or tufts of fine setae in males. Hind tibia without true dorsal bristle on apical half, but often with posterodorsal bristle (calcar) at about two-thirds from base. First hind tarsomere usually without sub-basal ventral seta. Abdominal sclerites 6–8 in males usually asymmetric.

<==Muscidae [Eginiidae]
    |--Achanthiptera Rondani 1856 [=Acanthiptera Lioy 1864; Achanthipterinae] F92
    |    `--*A. rohrelliformis (R.-D. 1830) F92 [=Phyllis rohrelliformis F92; incl. A. inanis RD77]
    `--+--Azeliinae F92
       `--+--Reinwardtiinae KP10
          `--+--Coenosiinae KP10
             `--Mydaeinae KP10

Muscidae incertae sedis:
  Atherigona SV10
  Lyperosia exigua A71, B88
  Dendrophaonia T90
  Philornis SV10
    |--P. downsi HSS13
    `--P. pici SWK87
  Neomuscina tripunctata SV10
  Cyrtoneuropsis SV10
  Cyrtoneurina [Cyrtoneurininae] SV10
  Cordiluroides SV10
  Cariocamyia SV10
  Neivamyia SV10
  Charadrella SV10
    |--C. macrosoma SV10
    `--C. malacophaga SV10
  Sarcopromusca arcuata SV10
  Agenamyia exotica SV10
  Biopyrellia bipuncta SV10
  Callainireinwardtia woodi SV10
  Polietina pruinosa HV87
  Hemichlora scordalus SV10
  Pseudoptilolepis SV10
  Chortinus bequaerti SV10
  Pachyceramyia SV10
  Tetramerinx littoralis SV10
  Bithoracochaeta leucoprocta SV10, HV87 [incl. Hydrophoria calopus Bigot 1885 H72, H. calopoda ms H72]
  Neodexiopsis SV10
    |--N. basalis SV10
    `--N. ovata [=Coenosia ovata] SV10
  Lispoides SV10
    |--L. aequifrons SV10
    `--L. guatemala SV10
  Pilispina medinai SV10
  Micropotamia SV10
    |--M. amazonica SV10
    `--M. fuscisquama [=Phorbia fuscisquama] SV10
  Chaetophaonia SV10
  Pentacricia aldrichii HV87
  Lophosceles cinereiventris HV87

*Type species of generic name indicated


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

[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

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

[HSS13] Hirschfeld, E., A. Swash & R. Still. 2013. The World’s Rarest Birds. Princeton University Press: Princeton (New Jersey).

[H72] Huckett, H. C. 1972. Notes on Bigot's North American type-specimens at the University Museum, Oxford (Diptera: Anthomyiidae, Muscidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 48 (2): 81–85.

[HV87] Huckett, H. C., & J. R. Vockeroth. 1987. Muscidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1115–1131. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

[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.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms' General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[SV10] Savage, J., & J. R. Vockeroth. 2010. Muscidae (house flies, stable 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. 1281–1295. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[SWK87] Snyder, N. F. R., J. W. Wiley & C. B. Kepler. 1987. The Parrots of Luquillo: Natural history and conservation of the Puerto Rican parrot. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology: Los Angeles.

[T90] Teskey, H. J. 1990. Insecta: Diptera larvae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1253–1276. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

Last updated: 9 July 2021.

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