Pipunculidae is a family of flies (Diptera) commonly termed big-headed flies, a reference to the large (holoptic) eyes, which cover nearly the entire head. The family is found worldwide and more than 1300 species have been described.

The larvae of Pipunculidae develop as parasitoids almost exclusively in Auchenorrhyncha, the exception being the genus Nephrocerus, whose hosts are adult Tipulidae (crane flies). The larvae develop rapidly within the crane flies before pupating in the soil.[1] In all pipunculids there are only two larval stages. Some species are used as biological control agents in rice fields.

Temporal range: Ypresian - Present
Verrallia aucta
Verrallia aucta, Chalarinae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Superfamily: Syrphoidea
Family: Pipunculidae
  • Dorilaidae
  • Dorylaidae


Taxonomy as shown at the Tree of life,[2] with modification based on Kehlmaier, Dierick and Skevington (2014).[3]

Subfamily Chalarinae

  • Genus Chalarus
  • Genus Jassidophaga
  • Genus Protoverrallia
  • Genus Verrallia

Subfamily Nephrocerinae

  • Tribe Nephrocerini
    • Genus Nephrocerus
  • Tribe incertae sedis

Subfamily Protonephrocerinae

Subfamily Pipunculinae

  • Tribe Cephalopsini
    • Genus Cephalops
    • Genus Cephalosphaera
  • Tribe Microcephalopsini
    • Genus Collinias
    • Genus Microcephalops
  • Tribe Eudorylini
    • Genus Allomethus
    • Genus Amazunculus
    • Genus Basileunculus
    • Genus Claraeola
    • Genus Clistoabdominalis
    • Genus Dasydorylas
    • Genus Elmohardyia
    • Genus Eudorylas
  • Tribe Tomosvaryellini
  • Tribe incertae sedis
    • Genus Pipunculus


Wing venation of Pipunculidae

Typical wing venation of Pipunculidae

Metanephrocerus belgardeae SR 08-06-02 01

Metanephrocerus belgardeae, Protonephrocerinae

Nephrocerus scutellatus, crop

Nephrocerus scutellatus,

Eudorylas ruralis

Eudorylas ruralis, Eudorylini, Pipunculinae

See also

List of British Pipunculidae


  1. ^ Koenig, D.P. & C.W. Young. (January 2007). "First observation of parasitic relations between bigheaded flies of the genus Nephrocerus (Diptera: Pipunculidae) and crane flies of the genus Tipula (Diptera: Tupulidae: Tipulinae), with larval and puparial descriptions of Nephrocerus atrapilus Skevington". Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. Washington DC: Allen Press/The Entomological Society of Washington. 109 (1): 52–65. ISSN 0013-8797.
  2. ^ Pipunculidae at the Tree of life
  3. ^ Kehlmaier, C; Dierick, M; Skevington, JH (2014). "Micro-CT studies of amber inclusions reveal internal genitalic features of big-headed flies, enabling a systematic placement of Metanephrocerus Aczel, 1948 (Insecta: Diptera: Pipunculidae)". Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny. 72 (1): 23–36.

External links


Allomethus is a genus of flies in the family Pipunculidae.

Allomethus brimleyi

Allomethus brimleyi is a species of fly in the family Pipunculidae. It was described by Hardy in 1943.

It is endemic to North Carolina.

Allomethus catharinensis

Allomethus catharinensis is a species of fly in the family Pipunculidae. It was described by Rafael in 1991.

Allomethus unicicolis

Allomethus unicicolis is a species of fly in the family Pipunculidae. It was described by Skevington in 2002.

Cephalops obtusinervis

Cephalops obtusinervis is a species of fly in the family Pipunculidae. It is found in the Palearctic.

Chalarus spurius

Cephalops spurius is a species of fly in the family Pipunculidae. It is found in the Palearctic.


Holoptic refers to one of the ways in which the Arthropod eye develops, particularly the eyes of various species of insects. As opposed to dichoptic and cycloptic eyes, holoptic eyes meet along the median dorsal line of the head, in many species nearly covering the exterior of the head. Holoptic eyes are typical of several Dipteran males, in particular some Syrphidae, Tabanidae, Pipunculidae, and Acroceridae. Some other insect orders that include species with holoptic males and some in which the females are holoptic as well, include the Coleoptera, Anisoptera and Archaeognatha.

Kálmán Kertész

Kálmán Kertész (2 January 1867 Prešov, Sáros County – 28 December 1922 Budapest was a Hungarian entomologist mainly interested in Diptera.

He was the director of the Zoological Department of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest.

Kertész world catalogues of the Diptera families Tabanidae and Pipunculidae were published in journals in 1900 and 1901, then between 1903 and 1907 he edited the whole Diptera catalogue of the Palaearctic Region and issued it in Budapest. This catalogue was together with Mario Bezzi, Paul Stein (1852-1921) and Theodor Becker his co-authors . He worked on the world catalogue of Diptera which he planned to be 10 volumes and wrote alone. The first two volumes were issued in 1902 with the support of the Hungarian National Museum. The following 5 volumes were printed at his own cost in Szeged.

List of Pipunculidae species of Great Britain

List of British species of the fly family Pipunculidae

This list is based on the world catalogue by De Meyer (1996), with revision of British species by Chandler (1998)

Subfamily ChalarinaeGenus Chalarus Walker, 1834C. argenteus Coe, 1966

C. basalis Loew, 1873

C. brevicaudis Jervis, 1992

C. clarus Jervis, 1992

C. decorus Jervis, 1992

C. exiguus (Haliday, 1833)

C. fimbriatus Coe, 1966

C. griseus Coe, 1966

C. gynocephalus Jervis, 1992

C. holosericeus (Meigen, 1824)

C. indistinctus Jervis, 1992

C. juliae Jervis, 1992

C. latifrons Hardy, 1943

C. parmenteri Coe, 1966

C. perplexus Jervis, 1992

C. pughi Coe, 1966

C. spurius (Fallén, 1816)Genus Jassidophaga Aczél, 1939J. beatricis (Coe, 1966)

J. pilosa (Zetterstedt, [1838])

J. setosa (Verrall, 1901)

J. villosa (von Roser, 1840)Genus Verrallia Mik, 1899V. aucta (Fallén, 1817)Subfamily NephrocerinaeGenus Nephrocerus Zetterstedt, 1838N. flavicornis Zetterstedt, 1844

N. scutellatus (Macquart, 1834)Subfamily PipunculinaeTribe CephalopsiniGenus Cephalops Fallén, 1810Sub Genus Beckerias Aczél, 1939C. pannonicus (Aczél, 1939)Sub Genus Cephalops Fallén, 1810C. aeneus Fallén, 1810

C. vittipes (Zetterstedt, 1844)Sub Genus Parabeckerias De Meyer, 1994C. obtusinervis (Zetterstedt, 1844)Sub Genus Semicephalops De Meyer, 1994C. carinatus (Verrall, 1901)

C. chlorionae (Frey, 1945)

C. penultimus Ackland, 1993

C. perspicuus (de Meijere, 1907)

C. semifumosus (Kowarz, 1887)

C. signatus (Becker, 1900)

C. subultimus Collin, 1956

C. ultimus (Becker, 1900)Genus Cephalosphaera Enderlein, 1936C. furcata (Egger, 1860)

C. germanica Aczél, 1940Tribe EudoryliniGenus Claraeola Aczél, 1940C. halterata (Meigen, 1838)

C. melanostola (Becker, 1898)Genus Dasydorylas Skevington & Yeates, 2001D. horridus (Becker, 1898)Genus Eudorylas Aczél, 1940E. arcanus Coe, 1966

E. caledonicus Ackland, 1999

E. dissimilis Coe, 1966

E. fascipes (Zetterstedt, 1844)

E. fuscipes (Zetterstedt, 1844)

E. fusculus (Zetterstedt, 1844)

E. inferus Collin, 1956

E. jenkinsoni Coe, 1966

E. kowarzi (Becker, 1898)

E. longifrons Coe, 1966

E. montium (Becker, 1898)

E. obliquus Coe, 1966

E. obscurus Coe, 1966

E. restrictus Coe, 1966

E. ruralis (Meigen, 1824)

E. subfascipes Collin, 1956

E. subterminalis Collin, 1956

E. terminalis (Thomson, 1870)

E. unicolor (Zetterstedt, 1844)

E. zermattensis (Becker, 1898)

E. zonatus (Zetterstedt, 1849)

E. zonellus Collin, 1956Tribe MicrocephalopsiniGenus Microcephalops De Meyer, 1989M. vestitus (Becker, 1900)Tribe PipunculiniGenus Pipunculus Latreille, 1802P. campestris Latreille, 1802

P. fonsecai Coe, 1966

P. hertzogi Rapp, 1943

P. oldenbergi Collin, 1956

P. spinipes Meigen, 1830

P. tenuirostris Kozánek, 1981

P. thomsoni Becker, 1898

P. varipes Meigen, 1824

P. zugmayeriae Kowarz, 1887Tribe TomosvaryelliniGenus Dorylomorpha Aczél, 1939Subgenus Dorylomorpha Aczél, 1939D. confusa (Verrall, 1901)

D. extricata (Collin, 1937)

D. imparata (Collin, 1937)

D. rufipes (Meigen, 1824)Subgenus Dorylomyia Albrecht, 1990D. beckeri (Aczél, 1939)Subgenus Dorylomyza Albrecht, 1990D. albitarsis (Zetterstedt, 1844)

D. anderssoni Albrecht, 1979

D. clavifemora Coe, 1966

D. haemorrhoidalis (Zetterstedt, [1838])

D. hungarica (Aczél, 1939)

D. infirmata (Collin, 1937)

D. occidens (Hardy, 1939)

D. xanthopus (Thomson, 1870)Subgenus Pipunculina Albrecht, 1990D. maculata (Walker, 1834)Genus Tomosvaryella Aczél, 1939T. cilitarsis (Latreille, 1910)

T. geniculata (Meigen, 1824)

T. kuthyi (Aczél, 1944)

T. littoralis (Becker, 1898)

T. minima (Becker, 1898)

T. palliditarsis (Collin, 1931)

T. sylvatica (Meigen, 1824)


Metanephrocerus is an extinct genus of big-headed flies in the dipteran subfamily Protonephrocerinae, for which it is one of only two genera. The genus contains four described species, Metanephrocerus belgardeae, M. collini, M. groehni, and M. hoffeinsorum. Metanephrocerus is known from a group of Middle Eocene fossils which were found in Europe and a single early Eocene fossil from North America.


Pipunculinae is a subfamily of big-headed flies (insects in the family Pipunculidae). There are about 9 genera and at least 130 described species in Pipunculinae.

Pipunculus thomsoni

Pipunculus thomsoni is a species of fly in the family Pipunculidae. It is found in the Palearctic.

Priabona (fly)

Priabona is an extinct genus of big-headed flies in the dipteran subfamily Nephrocerinae, within which it is one of only two genera. The genus contains a single described species, Priabona florissantius. Priabona is known from a group of Middle Eocene fossils found in Europe and a single Early Eocene fossil from the Okanagan Highlands, western North America.


The Syrphoidea are a superfamily of flies containing only two families under present classification, one of which (Syrphidae) has a great number of the most common and familiar flies.


Tomosvaryella is a genus of big-headed flies (insects in the family Pipunculidae). There are at least 280 described species in Tomosvaryella.

Tomosvaryella littoralis

Tomosvaryella littoralis is a species of fly in the family Pipunculidae. It is found in the Palearctic.

Tomosvaryella subvirescens

Tomosvaryella subvirescens is a species of big-headed flies, insects in the family Pipunculidae.

Verrallia aucta

Verrallia aucta is a species of fly in the family Pipunculidae. It is found in the Palearctic.

William Lundbeck

William Lundbeck (16 October 1863 in Aalborg – 18 May 1941 in Kongens Lyngby) was a Danish entomologist mainly interested in Diptera. He was a Professor in the University Museum in Copenhagen.

Lundbeck's most important work was Diptera Danica. Genera and species of flies Hitherto found in Denmark. Copenhagen & London, 1902-1927. 7 vols

The Parts of this work are

1907. Stratiomyidae, Xylophagidae, Coenomyiidae, Tabanidae, Leptididae, Acroceridae. Diptera Danica 1. Copenhagen.

1908. Asilidae, Bombyliidae, Therevidae, Scenopinidae. Diptera Danica 2. Copenhagen.

1910. Empididae. Diptera Danica 3. Copenhagen.

1912. Dolichopodidae. Diptera Danica 4. Copenhagen.

1916. Lonchopteridae, Syrphidae. Diptera Danica 5. Copenhagen.

1922. Pipunculidae, Phoridae. Diptera Danica 6. Copenhagen.

1927. Platypezidae, Tachinidae. Diptera Danica 7. Copenhagen.

Extant Diptera families


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