The Pyrgotidae are an unusual family of flies (Diptera), one of only two families of Cyclorrhapha that lack ocelli. Most species are "picture-winged" (i.e, have patterns of bands or spots on the wings), as is typical among the Tephritoidea, but unlike other tephritoids, they are endoparasitoids; the females pursue scarab beetles in flight, laying an egg on the beetle's back under the elytra where the beetle cannot reach it. The egg hatches and the fly larva enters the body cavity of the beetle, feeding and eventually killing the host before pupating. In the United States, some species of Pyrgota and Sphecomyiella can be quite common in areas where their host beetles (typically the genus Phyllophaga, or "June beetles") are abundant. Like their host beetles, these flies are primarily nocturnal, and are often attracted to artificial lights.
^Hardy, D. E. (1954). "Notes and descriptions on Australian fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)". Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society. 15: 327–333.
^Steyskal, G. C. (1978). "Synopsis of the North American Pyrgotidae (Diptera)". Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. The Entomological Society of Washington. 80: 149–155.
^ abAczél, M. L. (1956). "Revisión parcial de las Pyrgotidae neotropicales y antárticas, con sinopsis de los géneros y especies (Diptera, Acalyptratae). Parte I". Revista Brasileira de Entomologia. 4: 161–184.
^ abcdefghijklmEnderlein, G. (1942). "Klassifikation der Pyrogotiden". Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin. 2: 98–134.
^ abHendel, Friedrich (1908). "Acht neue Pyrgotinen (Dipt.)". Wiener entomologische Zeitung. 27: 145–153.
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.
The enigmatic fly family Ctenostylidae is a small group of very rare flies formerly included in the family Pyrgotidae (as the subfamily "Lochmostyliinae"); the principal reason for their inclusion in the Pyrgotidae was the absence of ocelli, a feature originally thought to be a unique defining feature ("autapomorphy") of the Pyrgotidae. Subsequent careful analysis has revealed that this anatomical feature shared with Pyrgotidae may not be indicative of a close relationship, and even the inclusion of Ctenostylidae within the superfamily Tephritoidea was cast into doubt, leaving this as the only family of Acalyptratae presently unassignable to superfamily.There are fewer than 20 described species in 6 genera in this pantropical family, all characterized not only by the lack of ocelli, but the lack of functional mouthparts, and unusual modifications of the antennal arista; it is the only family of Diptera where the arista has two or more branches. All but one of the described species are known from fewer than 10 specimens. The male antennal arista is simple and unmodified. So far as is known, females are viviparous, laying larvae instead of eggs; larval biology is unknown, but it is assumed they are parasitoids.
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