Flies - Order Diptera
This page contains pictures and information about flies and mosquitoes that
we have founded in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
and mosquitoes are classified as order Diptera, which mean two wings. The
insects in this order have only one pair of membranous flying wings. The second
pair of wings are reduced to small knobs, called halteres , for the purpose of balancing. Their
body is relatively soft and hairy. They have a pair of large compound eyes, a
pair of very short antennae and a sucking mouth.
in this order are strong
flier. They are active in day time but some are active at night. Most species
with external digestion, foods are liquidized by their enzymes before suck up by
their sucking mouths. Some species, like the mosquitoes, pierce the prey skin
with their sharp mouthparts and suck up the blood.
develop by complete
metamorphosis with four stages, i.e., eggs, larva, pupa and adult. Their
larvae are known as maggots. Usually there are four larval instars. In some
species, females deposit live larvae. Larvae in this order do not have legs and most of their heads
reduced to very simple form. The
mosquitoes larvae are mainly aquatic.
Order Diptera is divided into two suborders, Nematocera and Brachycera.
- Members in this suborder are generally primitive flies, all with filamentous antenna
of 6-14 segment. Usually their bodies and legs are elongated, with a relatively long abdomen.
Larvae are mostly aquatic.
- Family Tipulidae - Crane Flies
- Flies in this family look like giant mosquitoes
(mosquitoes will not be that large). However, not like mosquitoes, they do not feed
on blood. Crane flies only drink water but do not feed at adult stage. Most
of them have their long thin legs and slender body.
- Family Culicidae - Mosquitoes
- Mosquitoes could
be the most encountered insects when we go for bush-walking and talking insect
photos. Only a few species of mosquitoes suck human blood. Some species
suck blood from other vertebrate animals. Some species do not suck blood at
- Family Bibionidae - March Flies
- Adults in this family are slow moving, usually dark in colour. They are
nectar and pollen feeder. Larvae live in soil or plants, feeds on decaying
- Members in this suborder are with short to very short antennae. Their adults are generally robust
fliers. Larvae are all with three instars stages. Their head capsule is
incomplete or absent. They pupae inside puparium formed from last larval skin.
- Family Rhagionidae
- Snipe Flies
- Flies in this family are usually small in size. They have slender body,
sparse hairs and long legs. Most of them are in dull colours. Some species
in this family suck blood.
- Family Tabanidae - March Flies
- March Flies are from small to large in size. They have large eyes with
reflective iridescent colour. Their wings always have the 'Y' shaped veins at
the tip. Usually there are the dense short hairs on their body. Some species of
female feed on blood, they target on horse, cattle and humans.
- Family Stratiomyidae - Solder
cannot find more information about Solder flies from internet nor reference
books. It seems we do not know much about them. Their Larvae are carnivorous and occur in various habitats such as aquatic, decaying materials and under
- Family Asilidae - Robber
The Robber Flies have strong legs which can catch prey on flight. They are
large flies with large eyes and necked head. They are active predators on flying
insects, unselective in prey species. Their mouthparts are the triangular proboscis
which insert into prey and suck the juice.
- Family Apioceridae - Flower-loving Flies
- This fly is easily identified by its wing veins. Although they are called
Flower-loving Flies and feed on flowers, they usually are found resting on
ground. We only found one species of this family.
- Family Bombyliidae - Bee
- Bee Flies are with long proboscis and feed on nectar. They are
hairy resemble bees. Most of them mimic wasps or bees. However, they have stout
bodies and do not have narrowed waist. Their wings are usually dark in colour,
some with patterns. When at rest, their wings are flat in outspread
- Family Dolichopodidae - Dolichopodid
- They are small to minute in size with bright metallic colors,
mostly green or bronze. Their legs are long and so they have their common name.
Adult Dolichopodid Flies feed on smaller insects such
as aphids. Larvae
are usually found in moist soil and under tree bark.
- Family Syrphidae - Hover
- Hover Flies may sometimes confused with bees or wasps because their
mimic colour. Their bodies are medium to slender. On their abdomen there
are the yellow-black wasps pattern and the narrow waist mimic pattern. The flies feed on nectar and are the pollinators of plants as
- - Vinegar
- Vinegar Flies are small in size. They usually have red-eyes and yellowish
body colour. They often attracted to fermenting or rotting fruit. The larvae
are tiny maggots that develop quickly in rotting fruit.
- Family Platystomatidae - Signal Flies
- Most flies in this family feed on mammalian faeces. Their larvae habits
are varied. Some lives in plant trunk damaged by other insects or fungi. This
group of flies contains the spectacular species, the stalk-eyed signal flies.
The males have eyes on long stalks extending from either side of their
- Family Tephritidae - Fruit
- Most larvae in this family are fruit feeders and some are serious
economic pests. The female Fruit flies insert their eggs inside fruit and the
larvae live inside.
- Family Muscidae
- Bush Flies
- Bush Flies develop as maggots in the animals dung. Adults have two stripes
on their back. The Common House Fly Musca domestica is also in this
- Family Calliphoridae - Blowflies
- Most of the flies in this family are metallic green or blue colour. They
are medium to large in size. There are the bristles on the both sides of their
thorax and abdomen tip. Adult Blowfly feeds on nectar, honey dew and other
sweet liquid, or liquid products of organic decomposition.
- Family Sarcophagidae - Flesh
Flesh flies have three black stripes on the top of their thorax. The females are viviparous, producing live maggots
directly onto their food source. They are either breed in rotting vegetation or
parasites on other insects. They are commonly seen in Brisbane backyards.
- Family Tachinidae - Tachinid
- All Tachinid Flies share the parasitoid habit, their larvae are parasites in other insects. They mainly parasites on larvae of moths or butterflies, larvae or adults of beetles. Others Tachinid Flies species attack adults of bugs, or adults of various orthopteroid
- Others - Please also visit this page, there are the flies
that we cannot identify yet.
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[ Crane Flies ] [ Mosquitoes ] [ March Flies ] [ Snipe Flies ] [ March Flies ] [ Solder Flies ] [ Robber Flies ] [ Flower-loving Flies ] [ Bee Flies ] [ Dolichopodid Flies ] [ Hover Flies ] [ Vinegar Flies ] [ Signal Flies ] [ Fruit Flies ] [ Bush Flies ] [ Blow Flies ] [ Flash Flies ] [ Tachinid flies ] [ Others ]