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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Diptera (flies)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum: Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Panorpida > Antliophora

Musca domestica (Housefly) Leptynoma sericea (Vermilionidae)

Musca domestica (Housefly) feeding on sweetmelon [photo Hamish Robertson ]

Leptynoma sericea (Vermilionidae) on Lapeirousia corymbosa flower.[photo Hamish Robertson ]

Bombyliidae (bee fly)

Bee fly (Bombyliidae) feeding from Lobelia flower. [photo Hamish Robertson ]

Flies are distinguished from all other insects by having one pair of wings instead of two. Instead of a pair of hindwings they have a pair of halteres which are knob-like processes evidently used for balance in flight. A total of 5830 fly species have been recorded from South Africa (SA Animal Checklist).
These pages on flies for Biodiversity Explorer were created some time ago when information resources about flies were sparse and relatively inaccessible. Most of the pages were not developed in detail. The publication of the Manual of Afrotropical Diptera (Kirk-Spriggs and Sinclair, 2017a, 2017b plus two further volumes to come) provides a fantastic source of information on African flies that cannot be bettered and as the volumes can be downloaded for free, it is fully accessible. So, other than some minor updating of these fly pages, no attempt is made to update the information with this new resource that is available (or becoming available) and instead you are referred to the Manual for detailed information on flies of the region.

Classification of southern African taxa

Ptychopteromorpha

 
 

Tanyderidae

 

 
 

Ptychopteridae

 

Culicomorpha

 

 
 

Culicidae (mosquitoes)

 

 

Chaoboridae

 

 
 

Dixidae

 

 
 

Chironomidae (midges)

 

 
 

Ceratopogonidae

 

 
 

Simuliidae

 

 
 

Thaumaleidae

 

 

Blephariceromorpha

 

 
 

Blephariceridae

 

 

Bibionomorpha

 

 
 

Bibionidae

 

 
 

Mycetophilidae

 

 
 

Cecidomyiidae

 

 
 

Sciaridae

 

 

Psychodomorpha

 
 

Scatopsidae

 

 

Psychodidae (moth flies and sand flies)

Tipulomorpha

 
 

Limoniidae

 

 
 

Tipulidae (crane flies)

 

 

Anisopodidae

 

BRACHYCERA

 

Publications

  • Kirk-Spriggs, A.H. and Sinclair, B.J. 2017a. Manual of Afrotropical Diptera. Volume 1. Pretoria: South African National Biodiversity Institute. Download from afrotropicalmanual.org.

  • Kirk-Spriggs, A.H. and Sinclair, B.J. 2017b. Manual of Afrotropical Diptera. Volume 2, Pretoria: South African National Biodiversity Institute. Download from afrotropicalmanual.org.