The Nematoceran family Axymyiidae is the sole member of the infraorder Axymyiomorpha, though it is often included within the infraorder Bibionomorpha in older classifications. It is known from only seven species in three genera, plus three fossil species.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Infraorder: Axymyiomorpha
Family: Axymyiidae
Genera & species

See text

Family characteristics

For terms see Morphology of Diptera.

The Axymyiidae have the general appearance of the Bibionidae. Unlike bibionids, axymyiids have four branches of the radial vein, Bibionidae have two or three.

The head is rounded. The eyes of the male are holoptic for a considerable distance and divided into a larger dorsal part consisting of large facets and (separated by a groove) a smaller ventral part of smaller facets. The eyes of the female are separated by a broad frons and consist of separated facets. The three ocelli are on a prominence. The antennae are short with 14 to 16 transverse segments which are covered with sparse, short hairs. The oral parts are reduced. The palpi are four- to five-segmented.

Wings have an ocellus. Wing-venation: The subcostal vein merges into the anterior alar margin near its midpoint; radial vein 1 reaches the distal quarter of wings, there usually fused with radial vein 2+3; radial vein 4 is branched proximal to the anterior crossvein of the wing. Median vein 1 and 2 have short trunks. The anal vein does not reach the alar margin.

The tibiae are slightly longer than the femora, but somewhat shorter than the tarsi. The empodium and pulvilli are well developed.


Larvae live in decomposing wood.


  • Axymyia McAtee 1921
  • Mesaxymyia Mamaev 1968
    • M. kerteszi (Duda), 1930
    • M. stackelbergi Mamaev 1968
  • Protaxymyia Mamaev & Krivosheina 1966
    • P. melanoptera Mamaev & Krivosheina 1966
    • P. sinica Yang 1993
    • P. taiwanensis Papp, 2007


  • Krivosheina, M. G. 2000. A. 2. Family Axymyiidae, pp. 31–39. In L. Papp, and B. Darvas [eds.]. Contribution to a Manual of the Palaearctic Diptera, Appendix. Science Herald, Budapest, Hungary.
  • B. M. Mamaev Family Axymyiidae in Bei-Bienko, G. Ya, 1988 Keys to the insects of the European Part of the USSR Volume 5 (Diptera) Part 2 English edition.
  • Mamaev, B. M. 1968. New nematocerous Diptera of the USSR fauna (Diptera, Axymyiidae, Mycetobiidae, Sciaridae, Cecidomyiidae). Entomol. Oboz. 47: 605–616.
  • Mamaev, B. M., and N. P. Krivosheina. 1966. New data on the taxonomy and biology of Diptera of the family Axymyiidae. Entomol. Obozr. 45: 168–180.

External links


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.


Axymyia is a genus of gnats, gall midges, and March flies in the family Axymyiidae. There are at least two described species in Axymyia.

Axymyia furcata

Axymyia furcata is a species of non-brachyceran flies in the family Axymyiidae.


The Bibionomorpha are an infraorder of the suborder Nematocera. One of its constituent families, the Anisopodidae, is the presumed sister taxon to the entire suborder Brachycera. Several of the remaining families in the infraorder (those shown without common names) are former subfamilies of the Mycetophilidae, which has been recently subdivided. The family Axymyiidae has recently been removed from the Bibionomorpha to its own infraorder Axymyiomorpha.

Most representatives of the Bibionomorpha are saprophages or fungivores as larvae with the Cecidomyiidae being predominantly gall-formers. Some Sciarids are common indoor pests, developing large populations in potting soil that has become moldy from overwatering. The larvae of the Bibionidae sometimes migrate in large, snake-like masses to minimize dehydration while seeking a new feeding site.


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 are a superfamily of Acalyptratae flies.


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.


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 – mosquitoes


The Culicomorpha are an infraorder of Nematocera, including mosquitoes, black flies, and several extant and extinct families of insects.


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.


The Nematocera (the name means "thread-horns") are a suborder of elongated flies with thin, segmented antennae and mostly aquatic larvae. Major families in the suborder include the mosquitoes, crane flies, gnats, black flies, and a group of families described as midges.

The Nematocera typically have fairly long, fine, finely-jointed antennae. In this they differ from the most familiar flies, the suborder Brachycera (the name means "short-horns"), which includes the house flies, blow flies and many similar flies; Brachycera generally have short, stubby antennae. In many species, such as most mosquitoes, the female antennae are more or less threadlike, but the males have spectacularly plumose antennae.

The larvae of most families of Nematocera are aquatic, either free-swimming, rock-dwelling, plant-dwelling, or luticolous. Some families however, are not aquatic; for instance the Tipulidae tend to be soil-dwelling and the Mycetophilidae feed on fungi such as mushrooms. Unlike most of the Brachycera, the larvae of Nematocera have distinct heads with mouthparts that may be modified for filter feeding or chewing, depending on their lifestyles.

The pupae are orthorrhaphous which means that adults emerge from the pupa through a straight, longitudinal seam in the dorsal surface of the pupal cuticle.

The bodies and legs of most adult Nematocera are elongated, and many species have relatively long abdomens.

Males of many species form mating swarms like faint pillars of smoke, competing for females that visit the cloud of males to find a mate.


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)






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 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)


Sphaeroceroidea is a superfamily of flies. It includes the cosmopolitan families of Sphaeroceridae (small dung flies), Heleomyzidae, and Chyromyidae, as well as a few smaller groups.


Superfamily Tabanoidea are insects in the order Diptera.


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 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.


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


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