Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 BugGuide Gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington


Family Nycteribiidae

Nycteribiidae - Basilia bat fly - Basilia boardmani - female bat fly - Basilia boardmani - female bat fly - Basilia boardmani - female Basilia forcipata Basilia forcipata Basilia antrozi - Basilia
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Calyptratae)
Superfamily Hippoboscoidea
Family Nycteribiidae
1 genus (Basilia) and 6 species in North America (1)
1.5-5.0 mm (2)
Found in the fur of bats
Adults are obligate blood feeders on bats; larvae remain in mother until ready to pupate (as in other Pupipara)
Life Cycle
"These bat flies, as well as the related flat fly parasites of birds, have some of the lowest offspring numbers in the insects. Females give live birth to one (sometimes more) offspring that are nurtured in the insect equivalent of a uterus and are born alive in process that resembles true viviparity. The only times these flies leave their hosts is to deposit the larvae in a safe place to pupate. Flat flies retain their wings and ability to fly, however it seems these bat flies have lost their wings entirely. This may be allowable due to the fact their hosts return to the same sheltered roost regularly." B. Zvolanek, FB comm.

"Bat flies, on the other hand – like humans – prefer to invest a lot in a much smaller number of offspring, hoping that they will all make it to the reproductive age. Instead of laying eggs the female gives birth to a single, fully developed larva, which immediately turns into a pupa." P. Naskreki, see "Internet References" below

"In fact, because the parasites can't survive for very long on their own, the only time a female bat fly will leave its host is when the time comes to drop her larva off in a safe place – usually the wall of the bat's cave roost. Then, she'll quickly rush back, guided by the smell and warmth of her host." S. Keartes, see "Internet References" below
Works Cited
1.Catalogue of American Nycteribiidae (Diptera, Hippoboscoidea)
Gustavo Graciolli, Analía G. Autino & Guillermo L. Claps. 2007. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 51(2): 142-159.
2.Manual of Nearctic Diptera Volume 2
Varies for each chapter; edited by J.F. McAlpine, B.V. Petersen, G.E. Shewell, H.J. Teskey, J.R. Vockeroth, D.M. Wood. 1987. Research Branch Agriculture Canada.