Female Basilia boardmani, copyright Matt Bertone.

Belongs within: Streblidae.

The Nycteribiidae, spider bat flies, are a group of flattened, flightless flies that live as blood-feeding ectoparasites of bats. The head is remarkably small and held folded back on the thorax when not feeding, and the insertions of the legs are displaced to the dorsal side of the thorax (Graciolli 2010). Members of the Old World subfamilies Archynycteribiinae and Cyclopodiinae are primarily parasitic on Megachiroptera whereas the more widespread Nycteribiinae are mostly found on Microchiroptera.

Characters (from Graciolli 2010): Small light brown flies, body length 1.5–5.5 mm. Head small, laterally compressed, rounded, or flattened ventrally, folded back over the thorax during resting (non-feeding) periods. Eyes with one to four facets or absent. Ocelli absent. Thorax compressed dorsoventrally with few sclerotised plates and ridges. Mesonotum small, unsclerotised. Pleuron and insertion of legs displaced to dorsal surface. Scutellum absent. Thoracic ctenidium present on each side between fore- and midcoxae. Wings absent. Halter situated in grooves of metathoracic pleural plates. Femora and tibiae compressed laterally. Empodia absent. Thoracic sterna broad and flat sclerotised plates with oblique (inverted V-shaped) and median sutures. Female abdomen usually largely membranous. Male abdomen sclerotised with large clasperlike surstyli that fold anteriorly under apex of abdomen. Both sexes usually with abdominal ctenidium present at posterior margin of sternite 2.

<==Nycteribiidae G10
    |--Dipseliopoda setosa KP10
    `--+--Penicillidia KP10
       |    |--P. dufourii PW87
       |    |    |--P. d. dufourii PW87
       |    |    `--P. d. tainani PW87
       |    |--P. fulvida KP10
       |    |--P. jenynsi RD77
       |    `--P. (Eremoctenia) vandueseni PW87
       `--Nycteribiinae G10
            |--Hershkovitzia G10
            |    |--H. inaequalis G10
            |    `--H. primitiva G10
            |--Nycteribia Latreille 1802 L02
            |    |--*N. vespertilionis (Linnaeus 1758) L02, L58 [=Pediculus vespertilionis L02]
            |    |--N. kolenatii A71
            |    |--N. latreillii KK54
            |    |--N. schmidlii KK54
            |    `--N. vexata KK54
            `--Basilia KP10 [incl. Pseudelytromyia Miranda-Ribeiro 1907 G10]
                 |--B. anomala G10
                 |--B. antrozoi G10
                 |--B. bathybothyra G10
                 |--B. boardmani KP10
                 |--B. corynorhini PW87
                 |--B. costaricensis G10
                 |--B. falcozi CM91
                 |--B. ferrisi G10
                 |--B. ferruginea G10
                 |--B. flava G10
                 |--B. forcipata G10
                 |--B. handleyi G10
                 |--B. hispida G10
                 |--B. juquiensis G10
                 |--B. mimoni G10
                 |--B. myotis PW87
                 |--B. rugosa G10
                 |--B. speiseri G10
                 |--B. tiptoni G10
                 `--B. transversa G10

Nycteribiidae incertae sedis:
  Stylidia biarticulata A71
  Cyclopodia PW87 [Cyclopodiinae G10]
    |--C. albertisii CM91
    |--C. australis CM91
    `--C. greeffi A71
  Archinycteribia O98 [Archynycteribiinae G10]
  Eucampsipoda hyrtlii PW87
  Leptocyclopodia O98
  Conotibia O98
  Phthiridium O98
  Stereomyia O98

*Type species of generic name indicated


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

[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).

[G10] Graciolli, G. 2010. Nycteribiidae (bat flies, spider bat 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. 1261–1266. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[KK54] Klemmer, K., & H. E. Krampitz. 1954. Zur Kenntnis der Säugetierfauna Siziliens. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35 (3–4): 121–135.

[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.

[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.

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

[PW87] Peterson, B. V., & R. L. Wenzel. 1987. Nycteribiidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1283–1291. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

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

Last updated: 9 July 2021.

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