Brachycera (Cyclorrhapha – Aschiza)

The Aschiza is a group of only seven families, the largest of these being the hover-flies (Syrphidae) and the scuttle-flies (Phoridae).

Distinguishing features of Cyclorrhaphous Brachycera are:

  • short, three-segmented antennae
  • headless larvae, which when fully grown harden their skin to form a protective capsule called the puparium, inside which the pupa is formed

Unlike other Cyclorrhapha, flies belonging to Aschiza do not have a special organ on the head (ptilinum) to help emergence from the pupal case.

Hover-flies 

Hover-flies are:

  • among the most colourful Diptera
  • important pollinators of flowering plants
  • mimics of bees or wasps

Their larvae can be predators of aphids or mealy bugs as well as saprophagous or phytophagous (feeding on plants).

Glossary

Cyclorrhaphous
Diptera who’s pupae are able to escape the hardened pupal case by pushing off a lid or covering circular seam.

Saprophagous
Feeding on decaying organic matter.