Brachycera (Cyclorrhapha – Acalyptrata)

The Acalyptrata contain a large group of families including fruit flies and leaf mining flies.

Distinguishing features

Acalyptrata are distinguished from other Cyclorrhapha by:

  • poorly developed calypters
  • an absent or incomplete dorsal transverse suture on the thorax

Some Acalyptrata have very distinctive features such as:

  • eyes on the ends of long stalks, eg Diopsidae
  • Celyphidae have an enlarged scutellum with makes them look like small beetles
  • Conopidae are often wasp mimics
Larval stages

Acalyptrate larvae can be:

  • saprophagous - feeding mainly on the micro-organisms that proliferate in decaying matter
  • phytophagous - especially fruit-flies and leaf-mining flies and a few of these are agricultural pests
  • parasitic - Conopid and pyrgotid larvae are parasitoids of other insects such as aculeate Hymenoptera and beetles
Glossary

Cyclorrhaphous
Pupae exit the hardened pupal case through a circular line of weakness.

Phytophagous
Feeding on plants, including shrubs and trees.

Saprophagous
Feeding on decaying organic matter.

Calypters
Small membranous flaps or lobes that are located at the base of the wing in some species of fly.