Nycteribiidae of the true fly superfamily Hippoboscoidea are known as "bat flies", together with their close relatives the Streblidae. As the latter do not seem to be a monophyletic group, it is conceivable not to unite all bat flies in a single family.[1]

They are flattened, spiderlike flies without eyes or wings, and are seldom encountered by general collectors, as they almost never leave the bodies of their hosts. Both males and females take blood meals, thus they qualify as real parasites. Most species are highly host-specific. The family is primarily found in the Old World tropics; a few of the 274[2] known species occur in the Neotropics and in Europe.

Nycteribiidae (parasite fly living on bats) (5021769088)
Scientific classification

Samouelle, 1819

3, see text


  • Subfamily Archinycteribiinae Maa, 1975
  • Subfamily Cyclopodiinae Maa, 1965
  • Basilia Miranda Ribeiro, 1903
  • Hershkovitzia Guimarães & d'Andretta, 1956
  • Nycteribia Latreille, 1796
  • Penicillidia Kolenati, 1863
  • Phthiridium Hermann, 1804
  • Stereomyia Theodor, 1967[2]
  • Stylidia Westwood, 1840


One of the key morphological feature of Nycteribiidae is their highly reduced compound eyes. Many species of Nycteribiidae contain no visible eyes or contain only rudimentary eye spots. None of the species contain wings. They have backward folded legs that resemble spiders and a dorsally inserted head.[3]


  1. ^ Frederik Torp Petersen; Rudolf Meier; Sujatha Narayanan Kutty; Brian M. Wiegmann (2007). "The phylogeny and evolution of host choice in the Hippoboscoidea (Diptera) as reconstructed using four molecular markers". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 45 (1): 111–122. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.04.023. PMID 17583536.
  2. ^ a b Gustavo Graciolli & Carl W. Dick (October 22, 2008). "Checklist of World Nycteribiidae (Diptera: Hippoboscoidea)" (PDF). Field Museum of Natural History. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 13, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
  3. ^ Kirk-Spriggs, Ashley H., Marion Kotrba, and Robert S. Copeland. "Further details of the morphology of the enigmatic African fly Mormotomyia hirsuta Austen (Diptera: Mormotomyiidae)." African Invertebrates 52.1 (2011): 145-165.

Further reading

External links

Adenotrophic viviparity

Adenotrophic viviparity means "gland fed, live birth". This is the reproductive mode of insects such as tsetse flies (Glossinidae), keds (Hippoboscidae) and bat flies [Streblidae and Nycteribiidae]. Adenotrophic viviparity is a characteristic feature of the superfamily Hippoboscoidea.

Adenotrophic viviparity differs from ovoviviparity in that the eggs (usually one at a time) are retained within the female's body, hatch and are nourished through "milk glands" until the developed larvae are ready to pupate. The larvae are then 'larviposited' and immediately pupate. This is one way insects avoid predation during their most vulnerable life stage. In ovoviviparity one or more egg hatches internally in the female, but they are not nourished after hatching and are immediately 'larviposited' and continue their development outside the female.


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.

Basilia boardmani

Basilia boardmani, the southeastern myotis bat fly, is a species of fly in the family Nycteribiidae. The insect is parasitic, and lives by taking blood meals from its host, a species of bat. It differs from all other Basilia species by the presence of a finger-like process on the metanotum of the female (behind thoracic membrane).

Basilia fletcheri

Basilia fletcheri is parasitic bat fly in the genus Basilia, in the subgenus Basilia. It is found in India.


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


The Haemosporida (sometimes called Haemospororida) are an order of intraerythrocytic parasitic alveolates.


Hippoboscidae, the louse flies or keds, are obligate parasites of mammals and birds. In this family, the winged species can fly at least reasonably well, though others with vestigial or no wings are flightless and highly apomorphic. As usual in their superfamily Hippoboscoidea, most of the larval development takes place within the mother's body, and pupation occurs almost immediately.

The sheep ked, Melophagus ovinus, is a wingless, reddish-brown fly that parasitizes sheep. The Neotropical deer ked, Lipoptena mazamae, is a common ectoparasite of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the southeastern United States. Both winged and wingless forms may be seen. A common winged species is Hippobosca equina, called "the louse fly" among riders. Species in other genera are found on birds; for example, Ornithomya bequaerti has been collected from birds in Alaska. Two species of the Hippoboscidae – Ornithoica (Ornithoica) podargi and Ornithomya fuscipennis are also common parasites of the tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) of Australia.

Pseudolynchia canariensis is commonly found on pigeons and doves, and can serve as the vector of "pigeon malaria" (Haemoproteus columbae). Louse flies of birds may transmit other parasites such as those in the genus Plasmodium or other Haemoproteus parasites. Some evidence indicates that other Hippoboscidae can serve as vectors of disease agents to mammals. For example, a louse fly of the species Icosta americana was found with West Nile Virus infection from an American Kestrel


Hippoboscoidea is a superfamily of the Calyptratae. The flies in this superfamily are blood-feeding obligate parasites of their hosts. Four families are often placed here:

Glossinidae - Tsetse flies

Hippoboscidae - Ked flies

Nycteribiidae - Bat flies

Streblidae - Bat flies(Note that the Mystacinobiidae, while also a bat fly, belongs to the superfamily Oestroidea).

The Hippoboscidae are commonly called louse flies or ked flies. The bat flies are Nycteribiidae and Streblidae (along with Mystacinobiidae); the Streblidae are probably not monophyletic. The family Glossinidae, monotypic as to genus, contains the tsetse flies, economically important as the vectors of trypanosomiasis. The enigmatic Mormotomyiidae are entirely monotypic at present, with the single species Mormotomyia hirsuta known from one locality in Kenya. Most probably, the Mormotomyiidae belong to the Ephydroidea and not to Hippoboscoidea as previously constructed.In older literature, this group is often referred to as the Pupipara ("pupa-bearers"), because, unlike virtually all other insects, most of the larval development takes place inside the mother's body, and pupation occurs almost immediately after "birth" – in essence, instead of laying eggs, a female lays full-sized pupae one at a time. In the strict sense, the Pupipara only encompass the Hippoboscidae, Nycteribiidae, and "Streblidae", which in older works were all included in the Hippoboscidae.

Nycteribia kolenatii

Nycteribia kolenatii is a species of fly in the family Nycteribiidae. It is found in the Palearctic .


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)





Paul Gustav Eduard Speiser

Paul Gustav Eduard Speiser (1877–1945) was a German entomologist who specialised in Diptera.

Speiser was first a physician, then a Medizinalrat, a medical adviser to a district. He worked on world Diptera, especially

Nycteribiidae, and was an eminent medical entomologist.


The Streblidae are flies in the superfamily Hippoboscoidea, and together with their relatives the Nycteribiidae, are known as bat flies. They are winged or wingless ectoparasites of bats, and often have long legs. They appear to be host-specific, with different species of bat flies occurring only on particular species of bat hosts, sometimes with multiple species of flies sharing a host bat.


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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