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Family Pipunculidae - Big-headed flies

Big-headed fly? fly - Chalarus - male Pipunculid Pipunculidae - Cephalosphaera - male Fly - male Diptera Diptera pipunculid?
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Aschiza")
Family Pipunculidae (Big-headed flies)
Explanation of Names
Pipunculidae Walker 1834
130 spp. in ?14 genera in our area(1), >1,400 described (>2,500 estimated) spp. in 22 genera worldwide, arranged 3 subfamilies (all represented in our area)(2)(3)
1.5-9.5 mm(1)
Hemispheric head almost completely made up of the huge compound eyes. Body usually black. Wings tend to be elongated and to be narrowed at the base. Antennae are aristate and the (usually long) arista arises on the dorsal side of the antenna. Dissection of genitalia normally required for identification of species.
Key to genera in(4)
all biogeographical regions of the world
adults are usually seen hovering among vegetation in forest clearings and edges(2)
adults feed on honeydew secretions; larvae mostly parasitize leafhoppers and planthoppers; Nephrocerus spp. parasitize crane flies(2)
Infected female
Life Cycle
A single egg is injected into a nymph or adult planthopper or leafhopper, either while the bug is stationary or after the fly has picked up the bug and is in flight; the larva feeds internally and when mature, leaves the host through a break in one of the dorsal intersegmental membranes of the abdomen; pupation occurs in soil, leaf litter, at the base of plants, or rarely, attached to leaves.
Larvae Puparium Adult ♂♀
considered sister to Schizophora(5)
Internet References
Family overview with pictorial key to European genera
Family overview [Tree of Life]
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Skevington J. (2005-2008) Pipunculidae, big-headed flies (in The Tree of Life Web Project)
3.Order Diptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Pape T., Blagoderov V., Mostovski M.B. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 222–229.
4.Phylogenetic classification of Eudorylini (Diptera: Pipunculidae)
J.H. Skevington, D.K. Yeates. 2001. Systematic Entomology 26: 421-452.
5.Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life
Wiegmann B.M. et al. 2011. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108(14): 5690-5695.