Brachycera (Orthorrhapha)

The orthorrhaphous Brachycera group include some of the largest flies in the world. Some South American species of the families Mydidae and Pantophthalmidae have a body length up of up to 60mm.

Brachycera (orthorrhaphous) include horse-flies bee-flies and robber-flies.

The distinguishing features of Brachycera (orthorrhaphous) are:

  • shorter and less segmented antennae
  • much reduced larval head capsule

Horse-flies are

  • large flies
  • blood-sucking females that use the blood for egg production
  • males are non-biting

Robber-flies are usually predators in both the adult and larval stages.

Bee-flies have an elongated proboscis for flower feeding.


Many orthorrhaphous larvae are predators, some:

  • paralyse their prey with a venomous bite
  • are parasitic
  • are saprophagous

The adult fly emerges from a straight or T-shaped suture on the back of the pupa.

Feeding on decaying organic matter.