Atelestidae is a family of true flies in the superfamily Empidoidea. The four genera were placed in a separate family in 1983; they were formerly either in Platypezidae (which are not even particularly closely related) or considered incertae cedis. While they are doubtless the most basal of the living Empidoidea, the monophyly of the family is not fully proven. The genus Nemedina seems to represent a most ancient lineage among the entire superfamily, while Meghyperus is probably not monophyletic in its present delimitation, and it is liable to be split up eventually, with some species being placed elsewhere.
Atelestidae has been shown to form the sister group to the remaining members of the Empidoidea superfamily. Subfamilies include Atelestinae and Nemedininae.
Atelestidae are small (2–3 mm) greyish-dusted flies. They are quite similar to Empididae and Ragadidae as all three families have a symmetrical male terminalia without rotation, and the origin of vein Rs (radial sector) is at a distance from humeral crossvein (h) as long or longer than length of h. However, it is distinguished from Ragadidae by a costa ending at or near the first and second medial vein (M1+2), and from Empididae by having the prosternum separated from proepisternum.
Based on the most recent phylogenetic studies, the relationship between Atelestidae and other members of Empidoidea is as follows. The placement of Atelestidae is emphasized in bold formatting.
The Brachyceran infraorder Asilomorpha is a large and diverse group of flies, containing the bulk of the nonmuscoid Brachycera. The larvae of asilomorphs are extremely diverse in habits, as well.Calyptratae
Calyptratae is a subsection of Schizophora in the insect order Diptera, commonly referred to as the calyptrate muscoids (or simply calyptrates). It consists of those flies which possess a calypter that covers the halteres, among which are some of the most familiar of all flies, such as the house fly.
About 18,000 described species are in this group, or about 12% of all the flies yet described.Carnoidea
Carnoidea are a superfamily of Acalyptratae flies.Chironomoidea
The Chironomoidea are a superfamily within the order Diptera, suborder Nematocera, infraorder Culicomorpha. This superfamily contains the families Chironomidae, Ceratopogonidae, Simuliidae, and Thaumaleidae. One of the more important characteristics used to define them is the form of the larval mouthparts.Culicoidea
The Culicoidea are a superfamily within the order Diptera. The following families are included within the Culicoidea:
Dixidae – meniscus midges
Corethrellidae – frog-biting midges
Chaoboridae – phantom midges
Culicidae – mosquitoesCulicomorpha
The Culicomorpha are an infraorder of Nematocera, including mosquitoes, black flies, and several extant and extinct families of insects.Empididae
Empididae is a family of flies with over 3,000 described species occurring worldwide in all the Ecozones but the majority are found in the Holarctic. They are mainly predatory flies like most of their relatives in the Empidoidea, and exhibit a wide range of forms but are generally small to medium-sized, non-metallic and rather bristly.
Common names for members of this family are dagger flies (referring to the sharp piercing mouthparts of some species) and balloon flies. The term "dance flies" is sometimes used for this family too, but the dance flies proper, formerly included herein, are now considered a separate family Hybotidae.Empidoidea
The Empidoidea are a large monophyletic superfamily of true flies, the sister taxon to the Muscomorpha (Cyclorrhapha). These two groups are sometimes united in the unranked taxon Eremoneura. There are some 10,000 known species within Empidoidea, which are represented on all continents except Antarctica. They are known to have existed since the Jurassic period.Empidoidea has been subject to much debate regarding its phylogeny. Based on morphology alone, three major hypotheses had been proposed up until 2007 and seemed to be consensus for some time—however, in 2018, Wahlberg & Johanson published the most current phylogeny supported by extensive genetic data, changing the relationship between quite a few families and tribes.Hybotidae
Hybotidae, the typical dance flies, are a family of true flies. They belong to the superfamily Empidoidea and were formerly included in the Empididae as a subfamily.
Some, such as Tachydromia, are predators that run around on the bark of trees in complex patterns, hence the common name. Tachydromia species are only about three millimeters long.Lauxanioidea
The Lauxanioidea are a superfamily of flies that includes the two large families, the Lauxaniidae and Chamaemyiidae, and the small family Celyphidae. Generally, they are small to medium, densely populated, coloured flies. The Chamaemyiidae and Cremifaniidae live as parasites on insects. The family Celyphidae look like beetles.
Some authors also recognize the family Cremifaniidae, but most place this in the Chamaemyiidae.Muscoidea
Muscoidea is a superfamily of flies in the subsection Calyptratae. Muscoidea, with approximately 7000 described species, is nearly 5% of the known species level diversity of the Diptera, the true flies. Most muscoid flies are saprophagous, coprophagous or necrophagous as larvae, but some species are parasitic, predatory, or phytophagous.Oestroidea
Oestroidea is a superfamily of Calyptratae including the blow flies, bot flies, flesh flies, and their relatives.The superfamily includes the families:
Mesembrinellidae (formerly included in Calliphoridae)
Rhiniidae (formerly included in Calliphoridae)
Platypezidae is a family of true flies of the superfamily Platypezoidea. The more than 250 species are found worldwide primarily in woodland habitats. A common name is flat-footed flies, but this is also used for the closely related Opetiidae which were included in the Platypezidae in former times.Some other genera formerly included here have been recognized as quite more distant and are nowadays placed in the asilomorph family Atelestidae.Sciaroidea
Sciaroidea is a superfamily in the infraorder Bibionomorpha. There are about 16 families and more than 15,000 described species in Sciaroidea. Most of its constituent families are various gnats.Sciomyzoidea
Sciomyzoidea is a superfamily of Acalyptratae flies.
The families placed here are:
Coelopidae – seaweed flies
Sepsidae – scavenger flies
Sciomyzidae – marsh flies, snail-killing flies (including Huttoninidae, Phaeomyiidae, Tetanoceridae)Tabanoidea
Superfamily Tabanoidea are insects in the order Diptera.Tephritoidea
The Tephritoidea are a superfamily of flies. The following families are included:
Pallopteridae — flutter flies
Piophilidae — skippers
Platystomatidae — signal flies
Tephritidae — fruit flies
Ulidiidae (Otitidae) — picture-winged fliesThe Tachiniscinae, formerly ranked as the family Tachiniscidae, are now included in the Tephritidae.Tipuloidea
Tipuloidea is a superfamily of flies containing the living families Cylindrotomidae, Limoniidae, Pediciidae and Tipulidae, and the extinct families Architipulidae and Eolimnobiidae.At least 15,300 species of crane flies have been described, most of them (75%) by the specialist Charles Paul Alexander.Tipulomorpha
The Tipulomorpha are an infraorder of Nematocera, containing the crane flies, a very large group, and allied families.
One recent classification based largely on fossils splits this group into a series of extinct superfamilies (below), and includes members of other infraorders, but this has not gained wide acceptance.
Extant Diptera families