Horseflies, robberflies and blowflies

By John Chainey and Nigel Wyatt

Horseflies, robberflies, blowflies and their allies are all members of the Diptera, an order which accounts for some of the most widespread and successful insects in the world. They are extremely diverse in their biology: many are predators or parasites, some mimic bumblebees in order to invade their nests and eat their young, others infect sheep, and sometimes humans, as a strategy for survival. John Chainey and Nigel Wyatt of The Natural History Museum, London, introduce the colourful world of the Diptera.

Horseflies, robberflies and blowflies PDF (64.1 KB)

Cartoon image of lab coats with T.rex name label

Our fossil insect collection includes Rhyniognatha hirsti, the world's oldest fossil insect, dating back some 400 million years.