The Tanyderidae, or primitive crane flies, of the order Diptera, are long, thin, delicate insects with spotted wings, superficially similar in appearance to some Tipulidae, Trichoceridae, and Ptychopteridae. Most species are restricted in distribution. They are found in many parts of the world, including North America, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and various islands in the Pacific Ocean. Adults are usually found hanging from vegetation near streams. Larvae are found either in sandy stream margins or in wet, rotten wood. Fossil species are known.
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
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
Carnoidea are a superfamily of Acalyptratae flies.Chironomoidea
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.Culicoidea
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 – mosquitoesCulicomorpha
The Culicomorpha are an infraorder of Nematocera, including mosquitoes, black flies, and several extant and extinct families of insects.Lauxanioidea
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.Muscoidea
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.Nematocera
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
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)
Protoplasa is a genus of primitive crane flies in the family Tanyderidae. There is at least one described species in Protoplasa, P. fitchii.Ptychopteridae
The Ptychopteridae, phantom crane flies, are a small family (three extant genera) of nematocerous Diptera. Superficially similar in appearance to other "tipuloid" families, they lack the ocelli of the Trichoceridae, the five-branched radial vein of the Tanyderidae, and the two anal veins that reach the wing margins of the Tipulidae. They are usually allied with the Tanyderidae based on similarities of the mesonotal suture, this group being called the Ptychopteromorpha.Ptychopteromorpha
The nematoceran infraorder Ptychopteromorpha includes two uncommon families. In older classifications, the group is included within the infraorder Tipulomorpha, but it does not appear to be closely related at all, having only superficial similarities (e.g., slender bodies and long legs).Sciaroidea
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.Tabanoidea
Superfamily Tabanoidea are insects in the order Diptera.Tephritoidea
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
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.Tipulomorpha
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.Trichoceridae
Trichoceridae, or winter crane flies, of the order Diptera are long, thin, delicate insects superficially similar in appearance to the Tipulidae, Tanyderidae, and Ptychopteridae. The presence of ocelli distinguishes the Trichoceridae from these other families. There are approximately 160 known species. The adults can be found flying in the fall and the spring and some are active even in the winter, hence their common name. They form dancing, loose swarms of mostly males. Adults can also be found resting inside caves and hollow logs. Larvae occur in moist habitats where they feed on decaying vegetable matter. They are of no economic importance.
Extant Diptera families