The Celyphidae, commonly known as beetle flies or beetle-backed flies, are a family of flies (order Diptera). About 115 species in about 9 genera are known chiefly from the Oriental and Afrotropic biogeographic regions with one lineage in the New World.

Celyphidae specimen
Scientific classification

Bigot, 1852[1]
Type genus
Dalman, 1818[2]


Celyphidae are small to medium-sized and easily recognised. The scutellum is enlarged, and forming a protective shell over the abdomen, giving them a beetle-like appearance. Also, like many beetles, Celyphidae are often shiny or metallic in color. The head has few bristles. The wings, when at rest, are folded beneath the scutellar "shell". The arista of the antenna is often flattened and leaf-like at the base. The family name is derived from the Greek word κέλνφος for pod or shell. Male celyphids lack an aedeagus and instead have paired gonapophyses that are used in copulation and are of key taxonomic value.[3][4]

Celyphidae Beetle fly
A live specimen from Shendurney Hills, Kerala, India


The biology of the family is poorly known. Adults are found along streams and rivers, and in wet, grassy areas. Larvae are saprophagous.


The family Celyphidae is considered by most authors to be the sister taxon of the Lauxaniidae (e.g., Griffiths 1972), and this has been supported by some molecular studies which suggest the (Chamaemyiidae + (Lauxaniidae + Celyphidae)) within the Lauxanoiodea.[5] In the past they have occasionally been considered a specialized lineage within the Lauxaniidae.[6]



  1. ^ Bigot, Jacques-Marie-Frangille (1852). "Essai d'une classification generale et synoptique de l'ordre des insectes dipteres". Annales de la Société Entomologique de France. 2. 10: 471–489. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b Dalman, J. W. (1818). "Nagra nya genera och species af insekter". Svenska VetenskAkad. Handl. 39 (3): 69–89.
  3. ^ Tenorio, Joann M. (2009-04-24). "A revision of the Celyphidae (Diptera) of the Oriental Region*". Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London. 123 (4): 359–453. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.1972.tb00847.x. ISSN 0035-8894.
  4. ^ Tenoria, JoAnn M. (1969). "A revision of the Celyphidae (Diptera) from the Philippine Islands" (PDF). Pacific Insects. 11 (3–4): 579–611.
  5. ^ Li, Xuankun; Li, Wenliang; Ding, Shuangmei; Cameron, Stephen L.; Mao, Meng; Shi, Li; Yang, Ding (2017-04-14). "Mitochondrial Genomes Provide Insights into the Phylogeny of Lauxanioidea (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha)". International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 18 (4): 773. doi:10.3390/ijms18040773. PMC 5412357. PMID 28420076.
  6. ^ Lauxanioidea Tree of Life Web Project
  7. ^ a b Malloch, J.R. (1929). "Notes on some Oriental sapromyzid flies (Diptera), with particular reference to the Philippine species". Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 74 (6): 1–97. doi:10.5479/si.00963801.74-2751.1. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  8. ^ a b Tenorio, JoAnn M. (1969). "A Revision of the Celyphidae (DIPTERA) From the Philippine Islands" (PDF). Pacific Insects. Hawaii Biological Survey. 11 (3–4): 579–611. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b Frey, R. (1941). "Die Gattungen und Arten der Dipteren familie Celyphidae". Notul. Entomol. 21: 3–16. 1 pl.
  10. ^ Chen, S. H. (1949). "Records of Chinese Diopsidae and Celyphidae (Diptera)". Sinensia. 10 (1–6): 1–6.
  11. ^ Hendel, F. . H. (1914). "Sauter's Formosa-Ausbeute. Acalyptrate Musciden (Dipt.) III". Supplementa Entomologica. 3: 90–117.
  12. ^ Gaimari, Stephen D. (2017-10-23). "The dipteran family Celyphidae in the New World, with discussion of and key to world genera (Insecta, Diptera)". ZooKeys (711): 113–130. doi:10.3897/zookeys.711.20840. ISSN 1313-2970. PMC 5674188. PMID 29134031.

Further reading

  • Frey, R (1941). "Die Gattungen und Arten der Dipterenfamilie Celyphidae". Notul. Entomol. 21: 3–16. Keys genera, species.
  • Vanschuytbroeck, P (1959). "Celyphidae (Diptera Acalyptratae)". Explor. Parc Natl. Garamba Mission H. De Saeger. 13: 27–44. Keys genera, species.
  • Tenorio, J.M. (1972). "A revision of the Celyphidae (Diptera) of the Oriental Region". Trans. R. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 123 (4): 359–453. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2311.1972.tb00847.x.
  • Paap, L. Celyphidae in Soós, Á, Paap, L. (Eds.) 1984 - 1992. Catalogue of Palaearctic Diptera 9 . Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest - Elsevier, Amsterdam: 63-66..

External links

Data related to Celyphidae at Wikispecies


The Acalyptratae or Acalyptrata are a subsection of the Schizophora, which are a section of the order Diptera, the "true flies". In various contexts the Acalyptratae also are referred to informally as the acalyptrate muscoids, or acalyptrates, as opposed to the Calyptratae. All forms of the name refer to the lack of calypters in the members of this subsection of flies. An alternative name, Acalypterae is current, though in minority usage. It was first used by Justin Pierre Marie Macquart in 1835 for a section of his tribe Muscides; he used it to refer to all acalyptrates plus scathophagids and phorids, but excluding Conopidae.

The confusing forms of the names stem from their first usage; Acalyptratae and Acalyptrata actually are adjectival forms in New Latin. They were coined in the mid 19th century in contexts such as "Muscae Calyptratae and Acalyptratae" and "Diptera Acalyptrata", and the forms stuck.The Acalyptratae are a large assemblage, exhibiting very diverse habits, with one notable and perhaps surprising exception: no known acalyptrates are obligate blood-feeders (hematophagous), though blood feeding at various stages of the life history is common throughout other Dipteran sections.


Acelyphus is a genus of beetle flies. It is known from the Oriental ecozone.


Afrocelyphus is a genus of Chloropidae, the genus was originally placed in the family Celyphidae.


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 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.


Celyphus is a genus of beetle flies. It is known from the Oriental and African ecozones. Up to 1859, all species of beetle flies were placed in this genus.


Chamaecelyphus is a genus of Celyphidae.


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.


Idiocelyphus is a genus of beetle flies. It is known from the Oriental ecozone. Most are from the Philippines.


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.


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.


Spaniocelyphus is a genus of beetle flies known from the Oriental ecozone.


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.


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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