Asteia beata, copyright John Rosenfeld.

Belongs within: Schizophora.

The Asteiidae are a cosmopolitan but little-studied group of small, generally soft-bodied flies. Most species (placed in the subfamily Asteiinae) have wings with vein R2+3 relatively short, reaching the costa at about the middle of the wing, but the Holarctic genus Leiomyza has this vein longer and reaching the costa about the distal quarter of the wing. Members of the Asteiinae may be divided between the tribes Sigaloessini, in which wings possess both crossvein dm-cu and an alula, and Asteiini, in which both these features are absent (Freidberg 2010).

See also: The asteiids: overlooked flies.

Characters (from Freidberg 2010): Small (body length 1–5 mm), winged, generally weakly sclerotised flies. Coloration varying from predominantly yellow to predominantly black, but more or less elaborate and contrasting pattern usually present on some or all major body parts. Head rectangular to oval in lateral view, with zero to two short to long fronto-orbital seta. Antenna short, with first flagellomere usually rounded. Arista usually well developed, with short to long alternating rays (microtrichia), occasionally reduced or absent. Proboscis short, with fleshy labella. Males with interfrontal stripes. Thorax with one to four dorsocentral setae; when four then anterior dorsocentral seta presutural. Scutellum short, convex, usually with two pairs of setae, basal seta much shorter than apical seta or absent. Acrostichal setulae zero to two rows, without setae. Pleura without setae; anepisternum sometimes with setulae. Legs without overt features. Wing usually elongate, covering abdomen and extending beyond it when at rest. Vein R2+3 short, ending at tip of vein R1 or slightly more distally except in Leiomyza, in which it reaches distal 0.75 of wing. Vein M1 concave anteriorly, distally convergent with vein R4+5. Crossvein dm-cu present or absent. Alula bare or with marginal cilia. Abdomen with weakly sclerotised tergites except in Leiomyza. Spiracles two to six situated in tergites; spiracle seven absent. Male terminalia symmetric in Leiomyza, asymmetric in most other taxa. Surstylus fused with epandrium. Phallus usually large and heavily sclerotised. Female terminalia simple, segment 7 sometimes developed as an incomplete oviscape. Two sclerotised spermathecae present.

<==Asteiidae F10
    |  i. s.: Astiosoma flaveolum S87
    |         Succinasteia carpenteri S87
    |         Bahamia longiceps S87
    |--Leiomyza Macquart 1835 C-T92 [Leiomyzinae F10]
    |    |--L. dudai Sabrosky 1956 C-T92
    |    |--L. laevigata (Meigen 1830) C-T92
    |    `--L. nitidula CM91
    `--Asteiinae [Asteinae] F10
         |--Asteiini F10
         |    |--Loewimyia bifurcata F10
         |    `--Asteia [incl. Asteimyia] F10
         |         |--A. (Asteia) amoena Meigen 1830 C-T92
         |         |--A. antennata [=Asteimyia antennata] F10
         |         |--A. beata F10
         |         |--A. palikuensis O98
         |         `--A. spinosa [=Asteimyia spinosa] F10
         `--Sigaloessini F10
              |--Anarista F10
              |--Tucumyia liniaris F10
              |--Sigaloessa [incl. Crepidohamma] CM70
              |    `--S. bicolor F10
              `--Phlebosotera F10
                   |--P. setipalpis F10
                   `--P. shewelli S87

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C-T92] Carles-Tolr√°, M. 1992. New and interesting records of Diptera Acalyptrata from Spain. Part I: Acartophthalmidae, Opomyzidae, Anthomyzidae, Asteiidae, Carnidae, Tethinidae, Milichiidae and Cryptochetidae. Bull. Annls Soc. R. Belge Ent. 128: 343–353.

[CM70] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1970. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 656–740. Melbourne University Press.

[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).

[F10] Freidberg, A. 2010. Asteiidae (asteiid 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. 1093–1096. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

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

[S87] Sabrosky, C. W. 1987. Asteiidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 899–902. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

Last updated: 29 June 2021.

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