Acrocera sanguinea, copyright Cor Zonneveld.

Belongs within: Orthorrhapha.
Contains: Ogcodes.

The Acroceridae, small-headed flies, are a group of flies that develop as endoparasitoids of spiders. As indicated by the vernacular name, the head is small and mostly taken up by the enlarged, often holoptic compound eyes. Members of the subfamily Philopotinae are distinguished from other subfamilies by strongly developed postpronotal lobes, coming together to form a shield in front of the mesonotum (Schlinger 2009).

Characters (from Schlinger 1981): Small to large flies, 2.5-21 mm long. Head small to medium-sized, consisting mostly of large compound eyes. Abdomen globose, globose-elongate, or narrow and tapering or parallel-sided; color dull or shiny and often bright metallic green, blue, red, or purple, or sometimes brown, black, orange, yellow, or white with maculations on abdomen and with vittae on mesonotum. Some species bee-like, others wasp-like, and some even beetle-like, many appearing to be mimics. Family characterised by following combination of morphological structures: three-segmented antenna, small head, large calypter, pulvilliform empodia, simple unbranched R2, and body without bristles.

Acroceridae [Cyrtidae, Cyrtidi, Inflatae, Oncodinae, Vesiculosidae] S09
    |--Acrocytinae S09
    |--Philopotinae S09
    |    |--Philopota Wiedem. 1830 [incl. Oligoneura Bigot 1878] B90
    |    |    `--P. truquii S09
    |    |--Prophilopota succinea S81
    |    |--Eulonchiella eocenica S81
    |    |--Megalybus Philippi 1865 S09, B90
    |    `--Thyllis splendens S09, S81
    |--Panopinae S09
    |    |--Eulonchus Gerstäcker 1856 S09, B90
    |    |    `--E. halli S09
    |    |--Ocnaea Erichson 1840 S09, B90
    |    |    `--O. smithi S09
    |    |--Pialea Erichson 1840 S09, B90
    |    |    `--P. ecuadorensis S81
    |    |--Rhysogaster S81
    |    |--Panops Lamarck 1804 B90
    |    |    `--P. bandinii G20
    |    |--Apelleia Bellardi 1862 S09, B90
    |    |    |--A. grossa S09
    |    |    `--A. vittata S09
    |    |--Lasia Wiedem. 1824 S09, B90
    |    |    |--L. colei S09
    |    |    |--L. purpurata S09
    |    |    `--L. rostrata S09
    |    `--Pterodontia Griffith 1833 S09, B90
    |         |--P. flavipes A71
    |         |--P. misella S81
    |         |--P. vix S09
    |         `--P. westwoodi S09
    `--Acrocerinae S09
         |--Villalites electrica S81
         |--Glaesoncodes completinervis S81
         |--Turbopsebius Schlinger 1972 S81
         |    |--*T. diligens [=Opsebius diligens] S81
         |    `--T. sulphuripes S81
         |--Acrocera Meigen 1803 B90
         |    |--A. bimaculata S81
         |    |--A. bulla S81
         |    |--A. convexa S09
         |    |--A. globulus A71
         |    |--A. hirsuta S81
         |    |--A. sanguinea G20
         |    `--A. subfasciata S81
         `--Ogcodes L02

Acroceridae incertae sedis:
  Sabroskya S81
  Protogcodes S81
  Hadrogaster S81
  Nipponcyrtus S81
  Meruia S81
  Dimacrocolus pauliani S81
  Camposella S81
  Villalus S81
  Archipialea S81
  Arrhynchus Philippi 1871 B90
  Exetasis Walker 1853 S09
    `--E. eickstedtae S09
  Psilodera Griffith 1833 B90
    |--P. bipunctata R01
    |--P. cingulata R01
    `--P. fasciatus Widem. 1819 [=Cyrtus fasciatus, P. fasciata; incl. P. capensis] R01
  Leucopsina Westw. 1876 B90
    `--L. odyneroides C91
  Terphis Erichson 1840 B90
  Panocalda CM91
  Mesophysa CM91
  Cyrtus Latreille 1796 B90
    |--*C. acephalus [=Empis acephala] L02
    `--C. gibbus G20
  Neopanops O98
  Plagiocera haemorrhoa Gerst. 1873 R01
  Asarkina salviae Fabr. 1794 R01
  ‘Cteniza’ Brauer 1869 non Latreille 1829 B90
  Pteropexus Macquart 1846 B90
  Mesophyza Macquart 1838 B90
  Astomella marginata B90, G20
  Epicerina Macquart 1850 B90
  Pialoidea Westw. 1876 B90
  Physegaster Macquart 1847 B90, E12
    `--P. maculatus Macquart 1847 E12
  Apsona Westw. 1876 B90
  Mesocera Macquart 1838 B90
  Sphoerogaster Zetterstedt 1842 B90
  Holops Philippi 1865 B90
  Sphoerops Philippi 1865 B90
  Opsebius Costa 1856 [incl. Pithogaster Löw 1857] B90
  Eriosoma Macquart 1838 B90
  Nothra Westw. 1876 B90
    `--N. americana Bigot 1889 B90
  ‘Thersites’ Philippi 1871 nec Pfeiffer 1855 nec Bate 1857 B90
  Paracrocera Mik 1886 B90

*Type species of generic name indicated


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

[B90] Bigot, J.-M.-F. 1890. Diptères nouveaux ou peu connus. 35e partie. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 6e série 9: 313–328.

[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).

[C91] CSIRO. 1991. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1. 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.

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

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

[R01] Ricardo, G. 1901. Notes on Diptera from South Africa (concluded). Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 7: 89–110.

[S81] Schlinger, E. I. 1981. Acroceridae. In: McAlpine, J. F., B. V. Peterson, G. E. Shewell, H. J. Teskey, J. R. Vockeroth & D. S. Wood (eds) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 1 pp. 575–584. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

[S09] Schlinger, E. I. 2009. Acroceridae (spider flies, small-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. 1 pp. 551–556. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

Last updated: 17 April 2022.

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