Diptera: India

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Faunal Diversity in India: Diptera

This is an extract from


Edited by

J. R. B. Alfred

A. K. Das

A. K. Sanyal.

ENVIS Centre,

Zoological Survey of India,



( J. R. B. Alfred was

Director, Zoological Survey of India)


The Diptera (name originated with the Greek scholar Aristotle and adopted by the Swedish naturalist Linnaeus in 1744) comprising mosquitoes, midges and flies, are among the most highly specialized members of the Class Insecta. They are generally two-winged insects with two halteres but there are some (among Tipulidae, Sciaridae, Phoridae, Ephydridae, Sphaeroceridae, Hippoboscidae, Nycteribiidae and Streblidae) that have partially or entirely lost their wings, usually leaving their halteres intact behind.

The Diptera are fairly homogeneous in general appearance but some flies may be mistaken for some other kinds of insects of no near relationship, e.g. Bombyliidae, Stratiomyidae, Syrphidae, Conopidae, etc., frequenting flowers ,as mimics of bees and wasps (Hymenoptera), and again Hippoboscidae, Nycteribiidae and Streblidae that are parasitic on birds and mammals appearing at first sight to be lice (Mallophaga and Anoplura). Whereas the Celyphidae dwelling in the grassland look like beetles (Coleoptera), the Sepsidae and the Sphaeroceridae that are liable to be on dungs, are like winged ants (Hymenoptera). Indeed, no other insects present so great a diversity of habits and habitats as the Diptera, and this is the reason why general biologists, parasitologists, medical and veterinary doctors, and others pay serious attention to these insects.

Status Of The Taxon

Global and Indian Status

The Diptera occur almost everywhere from high mountains to the sea, and from the hot desert to the cold ice-water at the oppOSite extreme, and all these cause them to flourish extremely well with more than hundred thousand species belonging to some 130 families spread all over the world.

India, however, holds only 6% of the species under 1,075 genera of 157 subfamilies that pertain to 87 families so far known (Table 1), with the major concentration of the species both qualitatively and quantitatively all along the Himalayan belt where expectedly the number of species still remaining undiscovered is equal to that known till today from the entire country. India harbours 12% as an estimated figure of the world species, of which at least 60/0 still await discovery.

Table -1 Diversity of Diptera (in nos.) in India Suborders families (n) genera (n) spedes (n) Nematocera 22 245 2,759 Brachycera 15 198 1,156 Cyclorrhapha 50 632 2,178 Total 87 1,075 6,093

Biological Diversity And Distribution

There are 3 suborders: Nematocera, Brachycera and Cyclorrhapha in the Order Diptera. The Nematocera contain 22 families; the Brachycera 15 families and the Cyclorrhapha 50 families. The aquatic Diptera (based on the larval habit) mainly belong to the Nematocera with 14 families; Tipulidae, Tanyderidae, Psychodidae, Ptychopteridae, Nymphomyiidae, Blephariceridae, Deuterophlebiidae, Dixidae, Chaoboridae, Culicidae, Thaumaleidae, Ceratopogonidae, Chironomidae and Simuliidae; to the Brachycera with only 4 families: Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, Empididae and Dolichopodidae; and to the Cyclorrhapha with at least 6 families: Syrphidae, Sciomyzidae, Ephydridae, Canaceidae, Scathophagidae and Muscidae. The ratio to which the aquatic Nematocera, Brachycera and Cyclorrhapha stand, figures nearly to 11 ;3; 1.

The dipterous species leading aquatic life (partially) both in fresh and brackish water (ratio 9 : 1) constitute 25% of the fauna hitherto known in India, and account for 70% inhabiting stagnant (lentic) water, viz., plainland rivers, lakes, ponds, pools, ditches, etc., 20% in torrential (lotic) water, viz,. mountain rivers, lakes, cascades, streams, trickles, etc., and 10% in brackish water, viz., seas, estuaries, salt-lakes, etc.

As regards feeding by Diptera, species living in or on animals including humans, account for about 25% ; and in or on plants for about 15%; and the remainder are absolutely saprophagous, subsisting on decaying organic matter. Indeed, the synanthropous flies fall in this group.

The adaptive radiation exhibited by Diptera leads them to four general directions : over the earth's surface, above the surface on to plants and animals, beneath the earth's surface and in or close to water.

Generally speaking, all adult Diptera are terrestrial but some go to water usually for certain special purpose, viz., oviposition. Dancing by adults in swarms in the air, especially for mating, is performed by the Trichoceridae mainly during the winter at high altitudes, by the Chironomidae mainly in the vicinity of water, and by the species of Empis, Hilara and R1Ulmphomyia (Empididae) about forests. Likewise, the Platypezidae, Nymphomyiidae, Anisopodidae, Dixidae and males of the Blephariceridae, Lonchaeidae, Milichiidae, Fanniidae and some Muscidae become on the wing in the wooded areas. The Simuliidae, while particularly attacking their hosts, often swarm enormously. The Bibionidae also often appear in the air in great numbers. Some other flies may also be observed to swarm in the air during mating.

The great majority of Diptera habitually long for flowers and spend much of their time mainly feeding on nectar, whereas others do visit for the time being. The phytophagous habit of adult Diptera is extremely rare and is limited only to feeding on nectar by most species or on plant-sap by Forcipomyia (Ceratopogonidae), Aulacigastridae, a few Agromyzidae and Drosophilidae, etc. or on pollens by most species of the Bombyliidae, Stratiomyidae, Syrphidae, Pipunculidae, etc. Plants are also used as selective ovipositing arena by some flies, of which Cecidomyiidae, Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, Syrphidae, Tephritidae, Chamaemyiidae, Agromyzidae, Chloropidae, Muscidae (Atherigonini), etc. are notable.

Of the zoophagous adult Diptera, females of most Phlebotomidae, Culicidae, Simuliidae and Tabanidae, and some Ceratopogonidae and both sexes of Stygeromyia, Stomoxys, Lyperosia, Haematobia and some Muscinae (Muscidae), Camus (Carnidae), Hippoboscidae, Nycteribiidae and Streblidae feed on blood of warm-blooded vertebrates including man, and a few of them are incriminated as carriers of dreaded diseases, viz., malaria, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, filariasis, dengue fever, encephalitis and several other viral infections of man and animals.

Besides, the predatory habit of adult Diptera is rather surprisingly high and interesting. Small midges like Atrichopogon, Forcipomyia, Palpomyia, etc. (Ceratopogonidae) feed on moths, caterpillars, dragonflies or other smaller insects. Females of the Blephariceridae are predacious upon small slow¬flying Diptera (e.g. Chironomidae). The Asilidae are far more daring in preying upon bees, beetles, butterflies, moths or any Diptera. Some species of the Rl1agionidae, Empididae, Dolichopodidae, Scathophagidae and Muscidae, however, prey upon small soft-bodied insects. The Dryomyzidae live on barnacles, whereas the Sciomyzidae on slugs and snails. The Rhinophoridae are known to prey upon termites.

Apart from parasitic and predacious habits, certain species of Siphunculina and Hippelates (Chloropidae) transmit conjunctivitis and other eye-diseases of man by getting into eyes. There are several dipterous flies, such as, Acroceridae, Bombyliidae, Pipunculidae, Conopidae, Pyrgotidae, Gasterophilidae, Oestridae, etc. that are in the habit of ovipositing on other specific kinds of insects or vertebrates for the purpose of inflicting parasitization.

The adult dipterous species that frequent dead or decaying plant or animal tissues are usually saprophagous and belong to the filth-inhabiting Diptera (e.g. Muscidae, Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, etc.) Some of them live in or near human inhabitations (synanthropous species) and are liable to convey pathogenic organisms from filth to food. A phenomenon of co-existence of certain Diptera as inquilines in the nests of other insects or of birds and mammals, mostly for beneficial effect to them, is remarkable. In some instances, adults become apterous or so in order to lead subterranean life. Some Phoridae (e.g. Rhynchomicropteran, Megaselia, Pl/licipllOra, etc.) inhabit the nests of ants and a large number of them are associated with termites. A few species of the Milichiidae and Sphaeroceridae are also known to live with ants, and the latter with scarabeid beetles too. The Heleomyzidae live in the nests of birds and mammals, and the only known Indian species Camus hemapterus Nitzsch (Camidae) exclusively inhabit the birds' nests. Some species of the Sphaeroceridae also live in the nests of small mammals like rodents or in cow houses. Again, larvae of Microdon and Vall/cella (Syrphidae) live in the nests of ants and termites, and aculeate Hymenoptera respectively, as scavengers.

Adults of Diptera that occur in or on water are far fewer than those encountered on land. Indeed, some Chironomidae, Tipulidae, Empididae, Dolichopodidae, etc. spend much of their time floating or walking on water and some (e.g. Simuliidae, Blephariceridae, Deuterophlebiidae, Thaumaleidae, Culicidae, Chironomidae, etc.) come in contact with water during oviposition or emergence from pupae submerged in water. However, a few species of the Nymphomyiidae remain under water for a longer period for the purpose of oviposition. Dipterous larvae are exceedingly ahead of adults in diversity. The habitats of larvae are usually very different from those of adults. They live in water, in rotting vegetable or animal matter or soil and inside living plant tissue or bodies of other animals. Larvae of the Bibionidae living in relatively dry soil are terrestrial in the true sense.

The great majority of the Cecidomyiidae, Psilidae, Tephritidae, Lonchaeidae, Agromyzidae, and Chloropidae are phytophagous. The majority of the Agromyzidae, some Tephritidae (e.g. Trypetinae) and a few Drosophilidae (e.g. Scaptomyza) are miners in different parts of plants, predominantly in leaves, while most of the Cecidomyiidae (e.g. Cecidomyiinae), some Tephritidae (e.g. some Tephritinae and Trypetinae) and a few Lonchaeidae make galls. A few are also known as stem-or root¬borers or feeders. There are, however, several mycophagous Diptera but most notable ones are the Mycetophilidae, Sciaridae and Platypezidae. The great majority of dipterous larvae (e.g. Culicidae, Simuliidae, some Cecidomyiidae, Coenomyiidae, Rachiceridae, Solvidae, Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, Rhagionidae, Therevidae, Scenopinidae, Asilidae, Syrphidae, Chloropidae, Ephydridae, Muscidae, etc.) take preferably larvae or adults of insects and worms as their food. The Blephariceridae feed on flagellates, whereas the Sciomyzidae on pulmonate snails, slugs, etc. in their aquatic habitat. The parasitic larvae living externally or internally belong mainly to the Nemestrinidae (e.g. Hirmoneura and Nycterimyia), Acroceridae, Bombyliidae (mostly), Phoridae (a few), Pipunculidae, Conopidae, Pyrgotidae, Sciomyzidae (some), Muscidae (e.g. Passeromyia, etc.), Calliphoridae (among Calliphorinae and Chrysomyinae), Sarcophagidae (a few), Rhinophoridae (Termitoloemus), Tachinidae (mostly), Gasterophilidae and Oestridae.

Indeed, larvae of some Diptera (e.g. a species of the Phoridae and Syrphidae each, a few Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, and all of the Gasterophilidae and Oestridae) that are saprophagous in habit, cause myiasis in man and animals. Aquatic habits are best developed among the nematocerous Diptera and among brachycerous Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, Empididae and Dolichopodidae. Several species of the cyclorrhaphous Sciomyzidae, Ephydridae and Canaceidae and a few species of the Muscidae (e.g. Limnophora, etc.) and of the Scathophagidae have adapted well to water. Some (e.g. Simuliidae, Blephariceridae, Deuterophlebiidae, Thaumaleidae, Nymphomyiidae, Culicidae, Dixidae, Chaoboridae, Tanyderidae, most Chironomidae and some Ceratopogonidae, etc.) are strictly aquatic and need not come in contact with soil for pupation but some others (e.g. some Tipulidae, Ceratopogonidae, Ptychopteridae, Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, etc.) come to pupate in wet soil bordering water-bodies or in rotten organic matter.

Dipterous larvae occurring in the aquatic habitat remain either freely suspended (e.g. Culicidae, Chaoboridae, Dixidae, some Chironomidae and a few Ceratopogonidae) or attached to some substrata submerged in water (e.g. Simuliidae, Blephariceridae, Deuterophlebiidae, etc.) or buried in mud, sand, etc. (e.g. some Tipulidae, Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, Empididae, Dolichopodidae, a few Muscidae, Scathophagidae, etc.).

Larvae or pupae attached to some substrata are adapted to torrential water, whereas others that remain exposed or buried, inhabit standing or stagnant water. Larvae of the Culicidae, Dixidae, Tanyderidae and some Chaoboridae generally occur in small shallow water-bodies and those of the Chironomidae, Ceratopogonidae and Chaoboridae capable of swimming, can live in large water-bodies. However, the Chironomidae inhabit most kinds of aquatic eco-system because of their wide range of tolerance.

Dipterous pupae are mostly terrestrial (e.g. nearly all of phytophagous and zoophagous and/or endoparasitic species). Of course, speciation to a great number of Diptera is the consequence of this ecological amplitude only.

Endemic And Exotic Species

The dipterous fauna in India is the vast assemblage of curious elements comprising both endemic and exotic units. It appears to own 35% endemic species; most of them are nematocera that are generally of weak vigour and sluggish nature. Indeed, much more species are widespread. It is estimated that species amounting to 25% have intruded and established themselves in India from abroad but it remains unresolved for others that are in effect either of immigration or of emigration or of both under pressing circumstances. As for examples, all species of the Gasterophilidae and Oestridae have certainly been imported with their hosts. Likewise, several pest and parasitic species (among Culicidae, Ceratopogonidae, Simuliidae, Phlebotomidae, Hippoboscidae, Nycteribiidae, Streblidae, etc.) to animals and those (among Tephritidae, Drosophilidae, Agromyzidae, etc.) to plants, have made their way to India mainly either by carriages or by birds and other animals or by imported fruitage and vegetables.

Moreover, rushing waters of rivers, streams, etc. carry the immature stages of so-called aquatic species from neighbouring countries to India.


All Diptera together in intimate association with other animals and variegated flora interact with each other in order to maintain the equilibrium of Nature in the region. Flower-visitors (invariably Stratiomyidae, Syrphidae, Bombyliidae, Conopidae, Calliphoridae and Tachinidae) help plants perpetuate through pollination. Larvae of the Sciaridae, Cecidomyiidae, Tephritidae, Agromyzidae, Muscidae, etc. that eat up especially useful plants, are depredated by dipterous and other insect larvae. Larvae of mosquitoes, midges and flies that annoy man and livestock, are devoured by those of Diptera and other insects. Many saprophagous species (of the Bibionidae, Phoridae, Sepsidae, Milichiidae, Scathophagidae, Calliphoridae, etc.) clean up dirty organic matter as scavengers. The Chironomidae not only serve as fish-food but also help in indicating the level of pollution of water where they inhabit. Snails, slugs, etc. that act as primary and secondary hosts of several helminth diseases, are eaten up by the Sciomyzidae. Several other insects (e.g. Orthoptera, Homoptera, Heteroptera, Coleoptera, etc.) that are especially detrimental to agriculture and horticulture, are destroyed either by depredation (e.g. Cecidomyiidae, Bombyliidae, Syrphidae, Chamaemyiidae, etc.) or by means of parasitization (e.g. Acroceridae, Bombyliidae, Pipunculidae, Conopidae, Tachinidae, etc.). Humanity should, therefore, be concerned about preserving them.

Threats And Conservation

The main threats to the insect life as to humans are (i) pollution, both air and water, and (ii) destruction of habitats. Air pollution mainly affects the adult life, whereas water pollution mainly acts upon the larval life. Destruction of habitats by way of deforestation and abolition of water-bodies including torrential water-sources in hills, etc., due to increased human inhabitation causes insects either to displace if the magnitude of their tolerance is high or to destroy if their frequency of tolerance is extremely low. If the level of destruction by now goes to 2% upon these causes, it may eventually stand to double by the tum of this century. Therefore, conservation by desisting human interference appears earnestly desirable.

Selected References

Cherian, P. T. 1991. Diptera : Chloropidae, pp. 415-417. In : Animal Resources of India : xxvii + 694 pp. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Datta, M. 1991. Diptera : Simuliidae, pp. 399-402. In : Animal Resources of India: Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Datta, M. 1992. Behavioural diversity of Diptera : an experience in India. Proc. zool. Soc., Calcutta 45 (Supp!. A) : 345-360. Datta, M. and Parui, P. 1991. Diptera, pp. 373•396. In ; Animal Resources of India: Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Joseph, A. N. T. 1991 a. Diptera : Tipulidae, pp. 397-398. In : Animal Resources of India: Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Joseph, A. N. T. 1991 b. Diptera : Asilidae, pp. 403-405. In : Animal Resources of India: Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Radhakrishnan, C. 1991. Diptera: Tephritidae, pp. 407-411. In : Animal Resources of India : Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Tandon, S. K. 1991. Diptera ; Agromyzidae, pp. 413-414. In ; Animal Resources of India: Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta.


This is an extract from
Protozoa to Mammalia
State of the Art.
Zoological Survey of India, 1991.
By Professor Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri
Director, Zoological Survey of India
and his team of devoted scientists.
The said book was an enlarged, updated version of
The State of Art Report: Zoology
Edited by Dr. T. N. Ananthakrishnan,
Director, Zoological Survey of India in 1980.

Note: This article is likely to have several spelling mistakes that occurred during scanning. If these errors are reported as messages to the Facebook page, Indpaedia.com your help will be gratefully acknowledged.


The Diptera comprising mosquitoes, midges and flies are among the most highly specialized members of the Clas.s Insecta. It is the Permian period that gave birth to modem orders of insects and it is thought that the Diptera evolved from the Mecopterous ancestors. The order Diptera is classified into three suborders: Nematocera (primitive forms), Brachycera (intermediate forms) and Cyclorrhapha (advanced forms). An earlier classification into two suborders: Orthorrhapha (Nematocera and Brachycera together) and Cyclorrhapha, is rarely adopted now-a-days. There are about 130 families of Diptera containing more than hundred thousand species in the world.

With the most adaptive capability the Diptera have accommodated themselves nearly to every situation for breeding and colonization. The majority of adult Diptera frequent flowers causing pollination and feed chiefly on nectar and plant sap or on liquids exudated from rotting organic matter. Some prey upon various insects but there are a few having developed the habit of sucking blood and on this account a number of species take an important role in transmitting certain dreaded diseases, viz., malaria, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, filariasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis and several other viral infections of man and animals. The dipterous larvae are close behind adults in economic importance. Majority of them live in water, in rotting flesh, in decaying fruits or other organic materials. There are some others living inside live plant tissues or animal tissues. The most serious damage to animal tissues by infestation of larvae is called myiasis.

Historical Resume

Love for nature was the prime source of collecting and gathering insects in old days. Many-a Icing, emperor and naturalist supported collectors during their expeditions and voyages to acquire knowledge on natural resources of different countries of the world. In such an instance, Joseph Banks of England and Daniel Solander of Sweden went on their expedition round the world with the famous navigator Captain James Cook abroad the "Endeavour" in June, 1768, and collected numerous insects including Diptera Niels Tonder Lund and Count Ove Sehestedt held high posts in the Civil Service, through which they were able to contact officials sent out to the Danish colonies like Tranquebar (Tamil Nadu) and certain other parts of India to obtain collections of insects, including Diptera, which Fabricius studied and published as a •fIrst account on the Indian insect fauna.

i) Pre-1900

Long before the establishment of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (1784), the Indian Museum (1814), the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine (1914), the Zoological Survey of India (1916) or any other Research Institutes in India, collecting, and describing species of Diptera from India was initiated by naturalists from abroad. Among them, Fabricius (1775, 1781-1.805), Leach (1817), Meigen (1818), Wiedemann (1819-1830), Schummel (1829), Robineau-Desvoidy (1830), Macquart (1834-1855), Guerin-Meneville (1834-1844), Westwood (1834-1849), Staeger (1840), Saunders (1841), Walker (1848-1864), Schiner (1868), Bigot (1877-1892), Becher (1885), Wulp (1885, 1894), Karsch (1886), Wood-Mason (1889), Brauer and Bergenstamm (1889-1893), Cotes (1893), Rilbsaamen (1894), Skuse (1895), Kertesz (1897), Coquillett (1898), Giles (1899), Grassi (1899), Speiser (1900) and Wasmann (1900) are notable.

J. C. Fabricius, a naturalist by birth, published a number of treatises on his observations on insects. Of these, Systema EntomQlogiae in 1775, Species Insectorum in 1781, Mantis~a Insectorum in 1787, Entomologia Systematica in 1794, Supplementum Entomologiae Systematicae in 1798 and Systema Antliatorum in 1805 concern Diptera from India. These were based on collections mainly by Rohr, Banks, and Solander; Smidt, Richard, Bose, Palisot de Beauvois, Pflug and Yeats. Tbese collections are now deposited mainly in the Copenhagen Museum, British Museum, Paris Museum and Vienna Museum.

Wiedemann, who was primarily a medical practitioner, became interested in the study ~f Diptera by the strong influence of the great master J.W. Meigen, and studied the collections of the Berlin Museum, Leyden Museum and Copenhagen Museum, as well as of other persons, mainly Westermann, a Danish collector who visited India sometime before 1817. The Indian Diptera were dealt with in an article entitled "Beschreibung neuer Zweifluegler aus Ostinden und Afrika" in 1819 and in Diptera Exotica (1821), Analecta Entomologica (1824), and Aussereuropaische zweijlilgelige Insekten (1828, 1830).

B. Robineau ..Desvoidy of France worked in Paris for his treatise "Essai sur les Dipteres" (1830) that includes many Indian species deposited in the Paris Museum. P. J. M. Macquart, a French Commander began his studies on Diptera under the influence of the great masters J.W. Meigen and P .A. Latreille and published his "Histoire Naturalle des Insectes : Dipteres" (1834¬1835) on collections of the Paris Museum and of several private owners .. In the following years (1838-1855) he published on exotic species brought by French expeditions around the globe including India. F. E. Guerin-Meneville studied the collections by Lesson ann Duperrey during the cruise of La Coquille and several others of the Paris Museum in 1834 ..1844.

O. Westwood, a lawyer by profession, who was later actively associated with the Entomological Society of London, published five articles including that on Diptera from India dwing 1834-1849. F. Walker, son of a naturalist and himself an extensive collector, worked on the collections of the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) and published "List of the specimens of Dipterous Insects in the collection of the British Museum" in series from 1848. In the succeeding years, •he also began to publish Insecta Saudersiana from 1851 and "Characters of undescribed Diptera in the Collection of W.W. Saunders" from 1857. An Austrian Dipterist, I.R. Schiner published his famous treatise "Reise der tisterreischischen Fregatte Novara urn die Erde" in 1868 on Diptera collected also from India.

M. F. Bigot, a French Dipterist published a series of articles mainly entitled "Dipteres nouveaux ou peu connus" in the Annales Societe Entomologique de France during 1877-1892 containing Diptera from India. A few other workers (mentioned above) about whom meagre infonnation is available, studied the Indian Diptera represented in various museums and private collections of Europe. Beginning from Fabricius, the entire period was aimed at collecting with keen interest, maintaining with tremendous care and describing species with the utmost capability within the then limited scope.

ii) 1901-1947

The Indian Museum/Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta and the then Central Research Institute, Kasauli, in India, and the British Museum (Natural History), London during this period played a significant role in studying the Indian Diptera fauna. The period is remarkable for the precious contributions of the great workers like Ricardo (1902-1927),. Brunetti (1907-1928), Kieffer (1909-1913), Christophers (1911-1933), Edwards (1915-1934), Senior-White (1922-1940), Patton (1922-1937); Barraud (1923-1934), Sinton (1923-1933), Purl (1929-1933), Mani (1934¬1974), Emden (1965) etc.

G. Ricardo, while working in the British -Museum (Nat Hist.), published a series of papers on the Indian Asilidae and Tabanidae mainly based on the collections of this Museum and the Indian Museum. E. Brunetti (1912) published his first volume in "The Fauna of British India" series on the families: Bibionidae, Simuliidae, Psychodidae (inc I. Phlebotomidae), Dixidae, Tipulidae and Anisopodidae (Rhyphidae), comprising 425 species. Brunetti's (1920) second volume included the following families: Stratiomyidae, Rhagionidae (Leptidae), Nemestrinidae, Acroceridae (Cyrtidae), Bombyliidae, Therevidae, Scenopinidae, Mydidae (Mydaidae), Empididae (Empidae),. Lonchopteridae and Platypezidae, dealing with 327 species. His third volume (1923) dealt with the families: Pipunculidae, Syrphidae (including Microdontidae), Conopidae and Oestridae, comprising 319 species. The bulk material for these valuable contributions to the Dipterology was collected by T. N. Annandale, S. W. Kemp, J. T. Jenkins, E. E. Green and C. Paiva of the Indian Museum; some by F. M. Howlett and T.B. Fletcher of the then Imperial Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa and a few by F. H. Gravely, H. T. Pease, R. E. Lloyd, A.D. Imms, G. C. Chatterjee and J. W. Yerbury of other organisations in the then India and Ceylon. In the meantime, J. J. Kieffer, a French worker, contributed substantially by over 230 species to the Indian Chironomidae (includiqg Cemtopogonidae) and Cecidomyiidae.

The discoveries of the causation of malaria due to mosquitoes by Ronald Ross in .1898 and of other mosquito-borne diseases in India and abroad led to the concerted effort to work out the species involved. "Fauna of British India" fourth volume dealing with the Anophelini (43 species and 10 varieties) by S. R. Christophers of the then Central Research Institute, Kasauli and the fifth volume on the Megarhinini and Culicini (245 species) by P. J. Barraud on the then Malaria Survey of India, Kasauli, were published respectively in 1933 and 1934. Indeed, F. W. Edwards of the British Museum (Nat. Hist.), London, had to do much for these works. Edwards himself as an eminent entomologist, published a lot of papers not only on the Culicidae but also on several other families during 1915-1934.

R.Senior-White, working at times in the British museum (Nat. Hist.rLondon, on many families was transferred to the Indian Medical Service, and for once in the then Malaria Institute of India, Madras. He in collaboration with D. Aubertin and J. Smart of the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) published the sixth "Fauna of British India" volume on the Calliphoridae comprising 214 species in 1940. The seventh "Fauna of India" volume dealing with the Muscidae (Muscinae, Stomoxydinae and Phaoniinae) comprising 294 species, by F. I. van Emden of the Commonwealth Institute of Entomology, housed in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.), London, was due to be published long before, but could be brought out only in 1965. The type-specimens of the species treated in these "Fauna" series are deposited mainly in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) and the Zoological Survey of India. The collections considered for these volumes were mainly made by T. N. Annandale, E. E. Green, J. T. Jenkins and E. Brunetti of the Indian Museum; T. B. Fletcher and Shobha Ram of the then Pusa Agricultural Research Institute; S. R. Christophers of the then Kasauli Central Research Institute; P. J. Barraud and J. A. Sinton of the then Malaria Survey of India; W.S. Patton and F. H. Gravely of the Pasteur Institute of Southern India, Coonoor and R. Senior-White, M.O.T. Iyenger and Khazan Chand of the then Malaria Institute of India.

A series of works on the Muscidae, Calliphoridae, Oestridae and Gasterophilidae by W.S. Patton, sometimes with R. Senior-White or F.W. Cragg of the then Central Research Institute, Kasauli, during 1922-1937 are certainly in themselves a mine of information. As a member of the Kala-azar Commission, J.A. Sinton's works (1923-1933) on the Psychodidae (Phlebotomidae) are ever remembered in India. I.M. Puri of the then Central Research Institute contributed a number of papers on the Culicidae and Simuliidae, during 1929-1933 from his own collections that are mainly housed in th~ National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi. He was too particular to imply a modem concept of taxonomical works, especially of the Simuliidae. Lastly, the works by M.S. Mani from the St. John's College, Agra, since 1934 have enriched our knowledge on the cecidomyiid fauna.

Apart from these contributions, several others referred to as under each family below, are equally invaluable to the students of Dipterology. This period witnessed the Indian Dipterology to expand at a prodigious rate. There were many reasons supplemented each other to this end, e.g., (1) Devastating outbreaks of diseases of man and his animals by dipterans occurred periodically; (2) Arousing widespread interest in collecting throughout the country and maintaining the collections in institutional museums were provided by the European assistance; and (3) Demand for ttained personnel brought about teaching of entomology/dipterology in colleges and universities.

iii) 1948-1990

Research on Diptera during this period in the Zoological Survey of India was initiated by A. N. T. Joseph as the Officer-in-Charge of the newly organised Diptera Section of the Entomology Division at the end of 1964. He began his work sometimes in collaboration with his colleagues on Syrphidae (Joseph, 1967, 1968, 1~70; Joseph and Sharma, 1976; Joseph and Parui, 1979) and thereafter became interested mainly in the Tipulidae and the Asilidae (excluded here). In the meanwhile, he published papers also on the'Coenomyiidae (Joseph, 1970), Muscidae (Joseph and Parui, 1972), Lonchopteridae (Joseph and Parui, 1976, 1979, 1981), Celyphidae (Joseph and Parui, 1978), Phlebotomidae (Joseph, 1979, 1981; Joseph and Parui, 1980; Joseph and Ninan, 1981) and the Diptera fauna in general of Arunachal Pradesh and adjoining areas of Assam (Joseph and Rao, 1972; Joseph and Parui, 1973, 1977; Joseph and Ray, 1976), of Chotanagpur, Bihar (Joseph and Parui, 1977) and of the Silent valley, Ketala (Joseph and Parui, 1986). Joseph and Parui (1980) also made some behavioural studies on the filth inhabiting flies of the Calcutta city. He was succeeded by P.T. Cherian who had been working on Chloropidae (excluded here). During this period, D.K. Guha and B.C. Nandi, of this Section worked on the Chironomidae (in collaboration with the Zoology Dept. of the Burdwan University) and the Sarcophagidae, respectively.

M. Datta, the present Officer-in-charge of the Section, came into prominence on his contributions towards the taxonomy, distribution, ecology and bionomics of the Simuliidae (excluded here), some in collaboration with others (Datta, 1973-1988; Datta and Dasgupta, 1972-1977; Datta and Dast 1975; Datta and Pal; 1975, Datta, Dey and Paul, 1975; Datta, Dey, Paul and Pal, 1975, 1976; Datta, Chaudhury and Dasgupta, 1984). Alongside, in collaboration with his colleagues, he published'on the Tabanidae (Datta. 1979-1981. 1985, 1986; Datta and Biswas, 1977; Datta and Das, 1978; Datta and Chakraborti 1985), Syrphidae (Datta and Chakraborti, 1983, 1986), Diopsidae (Datta and Biswas, 1985), Celyphidae (Datta, 1986, 1987), Gasterophilidae (Datta and Pal, 1985), Oestridae (pal and Datta, 1989) and also on the Diptera fauna'in general of the Namdapha Biosphere Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh (Datta and Chakraborti, 1985), and of Orissa state (Parui and Datta, 1987). Lastly, on joining the Section, T.K. Pal studied Culicidae (pal~ 1989; Pal and Ghosh, 1988) and Bibionidae (pal, 1989). Works on Streblidae by Vazirani et al. (1976, 1981), Cecidomyiidae by Sharma et ale (1983-1988) and Tephritidae (excluded here) by Radhakrishnan (1984) are also worth-mentioning.

The School of Entomology in the St. John's College, Agra, had 'been in the forefront of dipterologica1 research under the guidance of M. S. Mani. The main field of research was on the high altitude Diptera (especially Blepharoceridae : Kaul, 1971, 1976, 1984), and Cecidomyiidae (Mani, 1934-1974) and Agromyzidae (excluded here). The family Cecidomyiidae was also extensively studied by S. N. Rao and his collaborators (1950-1978) in the Marathwada University and by P. Grover and her collaborators (1961-1986) in'the Allahabad University. Studies on the Drosophilidae were undertaken under the leadership of J. P. Gupta (1968-1989) from the Banaras Hindu University and of N. B. Krishnamurthy (1968-1989) from the Mysore University. P. K. Chaudhuri of the Burdwan University built up an effective school of Dipterology and made significant contributions on the Chironomidae, Sciaridae and Ceratopogonidae. The Chironomidae were also studied by A. K. Kulshrestba (1979) in'the Garhwal University and by J. R. B. Alfred (1973-1975, 1990) in the North-Eastern Hill University. The Ceratopogonidae were initially studied by S. K. Das Gupta in the Presidency College, Calcutta and Darjeeling Government College, where Dasgupta B. led a team ofworkers on various aspects of the Simuliidae, Muscidae, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae. Under the guidance of V. C. Kapoor in the Punjab Agricultural University, several family-groups, such as, Bombyliidae, Tephritidae and Pipunculidae were worked out in detail. In the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, K.D. Ghorpade contributed a lot on the families Syrphidae, Scenopinidae, Sciomyzidae and Tachinidae. M. Zaka¬ur-Rab studied Tephritidae in the Aligarh Muslim University, and at Govt. Agric. College, Sopore (J. &K.). In other Research Institutes, B.L. Wattal, N.L. Kalra and others worked on the Culicidae at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi; H.R. Bhat and others worked on the haematophagous Diptera at the National Institute of Virology, Pune; P.K. Rajagopalan, R. Reuben and others worked on the Culicidae at the Vector Control Research Centre, Pondicherry;

A.K. Hati, N. Tandon and others worked on the Culicidae and the Phlebotomidae at the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine; K.M. Rao, P.R. Malhotra and others worked on the Simuliidae and the Culicidae at the R&D organization, Tezpur; and M.L. Srivastava worked on the Muscidae at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. They mainly ,worked on the bionomical aspects of pest and vector species of Diptera. Besides, there are also a few works done in certain colleges, universities and institutes, which have been cited under the family account below.

Studies from Different Environs

Capturing Diptera in India began long after the middle of the eighteenth century (ca. 1769) by the European naturalists who initially did it from south India, Assam and Bengal, and thereafter from other parts of India. Most of these collections were mainly studied by workers like Fabricius (1775), Speiser (1900) and Wasmann (1900). Earlier workers of the current century studied collections made nearly throughout India, especially the Himalayan belt, Assam hills and the rest of east India and the south. These were incorporated in publications since 1907 and subsequently in the "Fauna of British India" series since 1912.

In the later part of this century, most of the workers were near selective to the field of investigation, irrespective of ecosystems. Consequently, it was evident that certain groups had thoroughly been worked out, while some others had not been. Joseph and his collaborators (1972, 1973, 1976, 1977) studied the Diptera fauna of Arunachal Pradesh and adjoining areas of Assam. Parui and Datta (1987) worked out the Diptera fauna of Orissa. On the other hand, Edwards (1922, 1927, 1934), Alexander (1927-1965), Tonnoir (1930, 1932), Hora (1931), Schmid (1958, 1970), Cutten and Kevan (1970), Kaul (1971, 1976, 1984), Datta (1973-1988) and Datta et ale (1972¬1976) studied the eutorrenticolous families in the Himalaya. The references from Annandale (1908) to Chaudhuri et ale (1988) on the wetland fauna are worth-mentioning. These were the contributions based on nematocerans breeding in the truly aquatic situations. But the majority of the family-groups are associated either with grassland. herbage, woods, etc. or with other animals occasionally as parasites predominantly in the larval stage and do not need as much water as those mentioned above. They mostly belong to the Brachycera and the Cyclorrhapha.

The former category includes works of Edwards (1923-1924); S6guy (1928, 1956), Cresson (1929-1948), Parent (1929-1941), Mani (1934-1974), Rao (1950-1953), Hardy (1948-1965), Steyskal (1952¬1971), McAlpine (1956, 1964), Grover (1961-1986), Crosskey (1967-1974), Nagatomi and Saigusa (1970), Kapoor (1970-1985), Krishnamurthy et al. (1973-1986), Kapoor et al. (1977¬1987), Datta and Chakraborti (1983-1986), Zaitzev (1987-198.8), and Alam, Das Gupta and Chaudhuri (1988). The latter comprises works of Patton (1920-1937), Senior-White (1922-1930), Smith (1958), Schlinger (1959), Disney (1981, 1988) and Papp (1982).

Broadly speaking, the Diptera fauna is known from all the easily accessible habitats in India, but those that predominantly inhabit high mountains, deep forests, plateaux, deserts, costal belts and oceanic islands, are less-known because extensive collecting from these areas have not so far been made. In this context, dipterologists should bear in mind that taxonomy of a species remains incomplete until the biological or ecological infomlation and evidence furnished by immature stages are taken into conSIderation. It is, therefore: imperative to emphasize investigation on the immatures so as to have complete knowledge on the environs where a species does actually occur.

Estimation Of Taxa

The order Diptera comprises 3502 species under 801 genera of 138 subfamilies belonging to 81 families (excluding 6 families: Tipulidae, Simuliidae, Asilidae, Tephritidae, Agromyzidae and Chloropidae) and 25 superfamilies in India.

Of these, the suborder Nematocera includes 1342 species under 184 genera of 28 subfamilies belonging to 20 families (excluding Tipulidae and Simuliidae) and 6 superfamilies. The Brachycera comprise 674 species under 142 genera of 38 subfamilies belonging to 14 families (excluding Asilidae) and 3 superfamilies, and the rest numbering 1486 species under 475 genera of 72 subfamilies belongmg to 47 families (excluding Tephritidae, Agromyzidae and Chloropidae) and 16 superfamilies constitute the suborder Cyclorrhapha.

Classified Treatment

Suborder Nematocera

Family Trichoceridae

The Trichoceridae or "winter crane flies", the adults of which resemble those of the Tipulidae, are represented by 20 species under 2 genera of the subfamily Trichocerinae in India. Adults are found to swarm mainly in winter at high altitudes. Larvae that resemble those of the Anisopodidae develop commonly in humus and are saprophagous in habit. Contributions from : Brunetti (1911, 1912); Karandikar (1931); Alexander (1935, 1959¬1961). Family Tipulidae (Given separately)

Family Tanyderidae

The Tanyderidae are regarded as the most primitive of all living Diptera and are known in India by all 3 Oriental species under the genus Protanyderus Handlirsch. Larvae are aquatic and pupae generally develop in the sandy soil along the stream margin. Contributions from : Alexander (1927, 1930, 1959, 1960). Family Psychodidae

The Psychodidae, commonly known as "moth flies", are represented by 41 species under 8 genera of 2 subfamilies in India. Adults are found on vegetation in the vicinity of shady moist or wet places where they breed especially in freshwater marginal habitats, marshes, tree holes, water accumulated in leaf bases, pitchers, etc. Larvae are predominantly saprophagous. Contributions from : Annandale (1908, 1910); Brunetti (1908, 1911-1913); Senior-White (1922); Tonnoir (1933); Quate (1962); Kaul (1971); Duckhouse (1987). Family Phlebotomidae

The phlebotomids or "sand flies" as they are popularly called, comprise 38• species under 2 genera in India. Adults occur in close proximity to the larval habitat in dark or shaded damp situations. Females suck the blood of vertebrates including man and cause much irritation. Certain species are notorious vectors of leishmaniasis (Kala-azar and Oriental sore) and sand fever in India.

Contributions from : Annandale (1908, 1910, 1911); Sinton (1923, 1924, 1926, 1929-1933); Adler and Theodor (1927); Young and Chalam (1927); Theodor (1931); Mitra and Roy (1952¬1954); Mitra (1953); Lewis and Lane (1976); Lewis (1978, 1982, 1987); Lane and Rahman (1980); Joseph (1981; Joseph and Ninan (1981); Kaul and Modi (1982); Kumar, Rahman, Nim, Chirwatkar and Kalra (1983); Addy, Mitra, Ghosh and Hati (1983); Pandya (1983, 1985); Diptera 379 Mukhopadhyay, Kumar and Rahman (1986, 1987); Lewis and Kaul (1987); Saxena (1987).

Family Ptychopteridae

The Ptychopteridae, commQnly known as "phantom crane flies" comprise 4 species under a single genus Ptychoptera Meigen in India Adults are found at the edges of streams, pools, etc. and larvae are aquatic or semi-aquatic living in mud saturated in decaying organic matter and are saprophagous. Contributions from : Brunetti (1911); Alexander (1927, 1959, 1965).

Family Nymphomyiidae

This is a very small family known only by a single monotypic genus endemic to IRdia. The species Felicitomyia brundini Kevan is known only from its type locality "Darjiling" in West Bengal. Larvae occur in small fast-flowing cold streams at high altitudes where adults are sometimes seen to swarm in subdued light Contribution/rom: Cutten and Kevan (1970).

Family Blephariceridae

The Blephariceridae or "net-winged midges" are represented by 23 species under 6 genera of2 subfamilies in India. The genus Manaliella Kaul is endeinic to India. Larvae and pupae are highly resistant to the most rapid streams, cascades, falls and cataracts in mountainous regions where they inhabit. Adults are found to frequent banks of streams or on vegetation along these watercourses. Contributions from : Brunetti (1911); Agharkar .(1914); Tonnoir (1930, 1932); Hora (1931); Alexander (1958); Kaul (1971, 1976, ~984);Zwick (1991).

Family Deuterophlebiidae

This is a very small family, discovered from Kashmir in India and studied by Edwards (1922). So far two species under the genus Deuterophlebia Edwards are known from India. These midges occur in the same situations as the blepharicerids do. Contributionfrom : Edwards (1922).

Family Dixidae

The Dixidae are closely related to the Culicidae with which they were previously treated. There is a single genus Dixa Meigen with 11 species in India. Adults are usually seen to swarm in places like streams1 rivers, pools etc. where females breed. Larvae feed upon unicellular plants and pupae attach themselves to floating substrata. Contributions from : Brunetti (1911); Senior-White (1924); Edwards (1934); Freeman (1948); Alexander (1959).

Family Chaoboridae

A small family also closely related to the Culicidae is represented by Qnly 2 species under the genus Chaoborus Lichtenstein of the subfamily Chaoborinae in India Adults are rarely seen in the vicinity of their breeding places like streams, pools, ditches, etc. where larvae and pupae occur. Contribution/rom: Giles (1901, 1904).

Family Culicidae

The Culicidae or "mosquitoes" are represented by 300 species under 15 genera of 3 subfamilies in India. Females feed on blood and on this account are important vectors of certain dreaded diseases of man and animals, viz., malaria, filariasis, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, etc. They oviposit in aU kinds of water, with preference to stagnant water-bodies. ~oth larvae and pup~are highly motile, and larvae and pupae are phytophagous or carnivorous. Because of their medical importance, enormous works have been done in India

Cqntributions from : Wiedemann (1820); Skuse (1895); Grassi (1899); Giles (1899-1902, 1904); Liston (1901); Theobald (1901-1903, 1905, 1907, 1908, 1910); James (1902, 1903, 1911); Cogill (1903); Rothwell (1907); James and Liston (1911); Christophers (1911, 1912, 1924, 1933); Edwards (1915, 1916, 1920-1923, 1932, 1934); Mello (1918); Prasad (1918); Barraud (1923, 1924, 1926-1929, 1931, 1932, 1934); Iyengar (1924); Covell (1927); Young and Majid (1928); Choudhury (1929); Purl (1929, 1930); Christophers and Pori (1931); Strickland and Choudhury (1931); Sweet and Rao (1937); Senior-White (1937); Russel and Jacob (1942); Menon (1944, 1950); Qutubuddin (1947, 1951); Mattingly (1954, 1957, 1958); Wattal, Phatia and Kalra (1958, 1965, 1966); Watta! and Kalra (1965); Wattal, Kalra and Krishnan (1966); Reuben (1961, 1980); Rahman, Wattal and Sharma (1973); Bhat (1975); Hati (1976); Hati, Tandon and Mukhopadhyay (1978); Tandon, Hati aI)d Mukhopadhyay (1918); Rajagopalan and Panicker¬(1978); Hati, Ghosh and Das (1980); Hati and Mukhopadhyay (1980); Ghosh and Hati (1980); Rao (1984); Rajput and Singh (1987); Pal (1989).

Family Thauma1eidae

The Thaumaleidae comprise 14 species under a single genus Thaumalea Ruthe in India. Larvae are found on wet rocks of cold streams and feed mainly on diatoms. Pupae are found in wet moss or leaves or buried in mud. Adults may be found on vegetation or flowers not far from the larval habitat Contributions from : Schmid (1958, 1970).

Family Ceratopogonidae

The Ceratopogonidae or commonly called "biting midges"are represented by 270 species under 21 genera of 4 subfamilies in India The genus Haasiella Kieffer with a single species is endemic to India. Adults may be found on vegetation or flowers. Some are predaceous on smaller insects, some are ectoparasites on larger insects and some are notorious pests of man and animals. A few act as vectors of malaria in animals in India. Larvae and pupae may be terrestrial under bark or in damp wood or may be aquatic or semi-aquatic in mud or sand of stream margins, pools, marshes, tree-holes etc. or in decomposing plant material in banana stalks, pine apple mdls etc.

Contributions from : Meigen (1818); Kieffer (1910-1911, 1913, 1914, 1918, 1919); Brunetti (1912); Annandale (1913); Patton (1913); Edwards (1924, 1932); Senior-White (1929); Smith (1929); Mukherji (1931); Macfie (1932, 1936): Smith and Swaminath (1932); Das Gupta and Ghosh (1956,.1957, 1961); Sen and Das Gupta (1958, 1959, 1968); Ghosh and Das Gupta (1962); Das Gupta (1962-1964); Das Gupta and Wirth (1968, 1970); Das Gupta, Chaudhuri and Sanyal (1971); Chaudhuri, Das Gupta and Sinharay (1974, 1976): Chaudhuri and Sinharay (1976); Dasgupta and Pal (1916); Chaudhuri and Ghosh (1980); Wirth, Chaudhuri and Das Gupta (1985); Ray and Choudhury (1986, 1988); Wirth and Hubert (1989).

Family Chironomidae

The Chironomidae or "midges" are known by over 165 species under 25 genera of 4 subfamilies in India. the genus Himatendipes Tokunaga with a single species is endemic to India. Adults occur abundantly in the vicinity of lakes, pools, ponds, streams etc. and are seen to swarm in the air. Females lay their eggs in masses enveloped by a transparent gelatin secreted by the female. Larvae usually inhabit slow streams, pools, ponds, water trough, etc. but they have high range of temperature tolerance by which they can live in glacier fed rivulets to hot (42°C) spring water. They significantly serve as fish food.

Contributions from Walker (1850); Kieffer (1910-1914, 1918); Edwards (1932); Pagast (1947); Singh (1958); Tokunaga (1959); Singh and Kulshrestha (1975, 1977); Sinharay, Chaudhuri and Choudhuri (1978); Kulshrestha (1979); Chaudhuri, Sinharay and Das Gupta (1979); Chaudhuri and Ghosh (1980, 1982); Chaudh~, Goba and Das Gupta (1981); Guha and Chaudhuri (1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987); Chaudhuri (1982); Ghosh and Chaudhuri (1982); Chaudhuri and Debnath (1983); Chaudhuri, Guha and Ghosh (1984); Guha, Das, Chaudhuri and Choudhuri (1985); Chaudhuri, Bhattacharyay and Dutta (1985, 1989); Maheshwari (1986, 1987); Halvorsen and Saether (1987); Chaudhuri and Guha (1987); Coffman,• Yurasits and Rosa (1988); Chaudhuri, Nandi and Ghosh (1988). Family Simuliidae (Given separately)

Family Anisopodidae

A small family of "window gnats" comprising only 8 species under the genus Sylvicola Harris of the subfamily Anisopodinae in India is akin to the Tipulidae. Adults are commonly found in swanns, preferably near trees and larvae live in decaying vegetable matter or manure. Contributionsfrom : Van der Wulp (1885); Brunetti (1911); Edwards (1923, 1928).

Family Bibionidae

The family of "march flies" comprises 39 species under 4 genera of 2 subfamilies in India. Adults often enormously frequent meadows, grassy hillsides or decaying vegetation and predominantly feed on decaying vegerable matter. Larvae are known to feed gregariously on roots and tubers of a wide variety of crops.

Contributions from : Fabricius (1775, 1781); Gu~rin-M~neville (1838); Bigot (1890); de Meijere (1904); Brunetti (1911-1913, 1917, 1925); Fletcher (1919); Hardy (1948, 1949, 1953, 1965); Strenzke (1951); Pal (1989).

Family Mycetophilidae

The Mycetophilidae or "fungus gnats" are represented by 77 species under 22 genera of 3 subfamilies in India. Adults are mostly nocturnal and so they are commonly met with in damp, dark places, especially among forest undergrowth during the day. Larvae prefer to feed on fungi to any other organic matter, often living there. Several species exhibit luminosity. Contributions from : Lehmann (1822); Walker (1848, 1856); Brunetti (1912, 1917); Senior¬White (1922); Edwards (1924); Coher (1988).

Family Sciaridae

The sciarids resemble the mycetophilids in most habits and so were once treated together. Larvae feed on fungus, animal excrement or decaying plant material. There are over 61 species under 8 genera in India. The genus P silomegalosphys Enderlein is endemic to India. Contributions from : Walker (1856); Riibsaamen (1894); Enderlein (1911); Brunetti (1912); Senior-White (1921); Roy (1983); Alam, Das Gupta and Chaudhuri (1988).

Family Scatopsidae

This is a small family con raining only 3 species each under a genus of 3 subfamilies in India. Adults are generally encountered in grasslands and larvae usually live in decaying plant matter. Contributions from : Brunetti (1911, 1925); Cook (1956).

Family Cecidomyiidae

The Cecidomyiidae or "gall midges" as they are commonly called, are represented in India by 310 species under 60 genera of 3 subfamilies of which some 18 genera are endemic to India. Adults are inconspicuous fragile flies and are entirely saprophagous. Larvae exhibit a wide range of habits: some are predacious on mites and small insects; some feed on decomposing organic matter and the great majority feed in or on tissues of leaves or stems of plants, form galls and affect nearly all parts of plants.

Contributions from : Schiner (1868); Wood-Mason (1889); Anonymous (1903); Kieffer (1905, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1913); Kieffer and Cecconi (1906); Felt (1916, 1917, 1920-1922, 1926, 1927); Senior-White (1922); Mani (193~-1938, 1942, 1943, 1946,1947, 1953, 1954, 1963, ~964, 1973, 1974); Barnes (1936); Nayar (1944, 1949, 1953); Rao (1950-1953, 1956, 1957, 1960); Agarwal (1956); Rao and Saksena (1959); Rao and Grover (1959, 1960); Grover (1961-1970, 1972, 1975, 1979, 1981); Grover and Prasad (1966, 1981), Rao and Sharma (1977, 1978); Grover and Bakshi (1977-78); Sharma and Rao (1977-1978); Gangwar (1982); Prasad and Grover (1982); Sharma, Dev Roy and Das (1983); Sharma (1983-1988); Sharma and Das (1984); Sharma, Dev Roy, Mitra and Das (1984); Sharma and Dev Roy (1985); Kashyap (1986); Kashyap and Grover (1986).

Subordex Brnchycem Family Coenomyiidae The Coenomyiidae are primitive brachycerans comprising 4 genera of which Coenomyia. Latreille with 2 species occur in the Himalaya. Adult frequent woods, and larvae live in the soil or decaying wood and are carnivorous. Contributionsfrom : Enderlein (1921); Nagatomi and Saigusa (1970).

Family Rachiceridae The Rachiceridae are known in India by 4 species only under'a single genus Rachicerus Walker. They are closely related to the coenomyiids and have the same habit and habitat. Contributionsfrom : Brunetti (1920); Nagatomi (1970).

Family Solvidae The family contains 13 Indian species under 2 genera: Coenomyiodes Brunetti and Salva Walker. They are related to both coenomyiids and rachicerids and have similar habits and habitats. Contributions from : Brunetti (1920, 1923); Enderlein (1921); S6guy (1956).

Family Stratiomyidae

The Stratiomyidae, commonly known as "soldier flies" are often colourful. In India, 73 species belonging to 34 genera under 6 subfamilies are known. Adults are commonly encountered in woods, dense vegetation and grass meadows near water or around garbage or deca~ngplants. Many are flower-visitors too. Larvae are either terrestrial.or aquatic and carnivorous or saprophagous. A few species damage plant tissues. Pupae remain enclosed in the larval skin and differ from those of other brachycerans.

Contributions from : Fabricius (1794, 1805); Wiedemann (1819, •1824); Macquart (1838, 1846); Walker (1851, 1854); Schiner (1868); Bigot (1879); de Meijere (1904, 1911), Kertesz (1906, 1923); Brunetti (1907, 1912, 1913, 1920, 1923, 1925); Enderlein (1914, 1921); Seguy (1934); Lindner (1937); Das, Sharma &Dev Roy (1984).

Family Tabanidae

The Tabanidae, comprising "horse flies" and "deer flies" are represented in India by nearly 200 species of 12 genera under 3 subfamilies. The genus Melis~omorpha Ricardo with a single species DipteTa 383 is endemic, hitherto. known only from Rangaroom (alt. 1500 m) in the eastern Himalaya (West Bengal). Adults are usually swift-fliers and are found in forests, vegetation and meadows in the vicinity of water. Larvae live in aquatic and semi-aquatic situations. Females of most species are blood-sucking pests and a few are mechanical carriers of Trypanosoma causing surra in equines in India and for this reason the group has been much studied in respect of habit, habitat, behaviour and prophylaxis (Datta, 1985).

Contributions from : Fabricius (1798, 1805); Wiedemann (1821, 1824); Macquart (1838, 1846, 1850, 1855), Saunders (1841); Walker (1848, 1850, 1854); Schiner (1868); Bigot (1891, 1892); Ricardo (1902, 1906, 1909, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1917); Brunetti (1912); Surcouf (1921); Austen (1922); Senior-White (1922, 1924, 1927), Enderlein (1925), Szilady (1926), Schuurmans Stekhoven (1926, 1932); KrOber (1930); Basu, Menon and Sen Gupta (1952); Philip (1959, 1960, 1962, 1970, 1972); Philip and Mackerras (1960); Mackerras (1962); Sen and Fletcher (1962); ChvaIa (1969); Stone and Phlip (1974); Datta and Biswas (1977); Datta and Das (1978); Datta (1980, 1981, 1986); Datta and Chakraborti (1985).

Family Rbagionidae

The family of "snipe flies" comprises 30 species under 5 genera in India. Adults are found in open woods and meadows in the vicinity of water or marshy places, and are predacious upon other insects. Larvae live in streams, damp soil or wet decaying wood. Contributions from : Schiner (1868); Brunetti (1909, 1912, 1920); Szilady (1934).

Family Therevidae

The Therevidae are represented by 16 species under 3 genera in India. Adults frequent vegetation and grass-meadows near water, and are predacious upon other insects. Larvae inhabit the soil in leaf-mould, fungi, decaying wood etc. and are carnivorous. Contributions from : Wiedemann (1824); Walker (1848, 1852); Bigot (1889); KrOber (1912); Brunetti (1912, 1917, 1920). Family Scenopinidae

The scenopinids or "window flies" are poorly known in India and are represented by 2 species under SeguyeUa Kelsey and Scenopinus Latreille out of over 300 species in the world. Adults are found on windows or about stables and outbuildings. Larvae are predaC<!ous on the larvae of wood¬boring beetles, fleas and lice, stored food pests, household pests and on termites. Contributions from : Brunetti (1920); Kelsey (1969, 1973); Ghorpade (1981). Family Mydidae

The family Mydidae of "mydas flies" contains 5 species from India The subfamilies Mydinae and Syllegomydinae with at least 3 genera are supposed to accommodate these species. Adults are flower-visitors and are believed to be predaceous on other insects. Larvae feed on Coleopterous larvae. Contributions from : Wiedemann (1824); Brunetti (1912, 1913); Seguy (1928). Family Asilidae (Given seperately)

Family Nemestrinidae

The Nemestrinidae are represented in India by only 6 species under 2 genera of 2 subfamilies occurring mainly in hot and arid regions. Adulls .frequent flowers and larvae are believed to be internal parasites such as of grasshoppers.

Contributionfrom : Lichtwardt (1910).

Family Acroceridae

The acrocerids, often called "small-headed flies" or "swollen-bodied flies" are internal. spider parasitoids. Adults having functional mouth-parts visit flowers. The pupae of this family are remarkable for the great size of their thorax that is exceptional in Diptera. There are 14 species under 8 genera of 2 subfamilies so far known in India.

Contributions from : Walker (1852); Litcbwardt (1909); Brunetti (1912, 1920, 1926); Schlinger (1959).

Family Bombyllidae

The bombyliids, the so-called "bee flies" are represented in India by 118 species under 24 genera of 10 subfamilies and are abundant in arid and semi-arid areas favoured by them. Adults are nectar .. and pollen-feeders and larvae are pamsitic on those of other endoptergote insects. Contributions from : Fabricius (1775, 1781, 1787, 1794, 1805); Wiedemann (1824, 1828); Macquart (1840); Westwood (1842, 1849); Guerin-Meneville (1844); Walker (1849, 1852); van dec Wulp (1885); Bigot (1892); Brunetti (1909, 1912, 1917, 1920); Nurse (1922); Enderlein (1926); Aldrich (1928); Bowden (1964); Franc;ois (1967, 1968); Kapoor, Agrawal and Grewal (1978); Evenhuis (1979); Grewal and Kapoor (1987); Zaitzev (1987, 1988).

Family Empididae

The Empididae, commonly known as "dance flies" are observed in aerial dances for mating. They prey chiefly upon small Diptera or other soft insects and may be found on flowers, in woods and over pools and streams. Larvae are found in soil, decaying wood, dung or in water. The Indian fauna comprises 57 species under 19 genera of 5 subfamilies.bestrepresented in the Himalaya. Contributions from : Walker (1849);' Bigot (1889); Bezzi (1904); Brunetti (1913, 1917, 1920); Collin (1960).

Family Dolichopodidae

The Dolichopodidae or "long-legged flies" are represented in India by 134 species under 27 genera of 8 subfamilies. Adults are commonly found on foliage and mud in moist situations. Larvae generally live beneath the ground, in decaying wood and among humus, and some others are aquatic. Both adults and larvae are carnivorous. Adults of many species are also known to feed on nectar. Contributions from : Fabricius (1805); Macquart (1842, 1846); Walker (1849); Schiner (1868); Becker (1922); Lamb (1924); Parent (1929, 193~, 1934, 1937, 1941); Robinson (1971). Suborder Cyclorrhapha Division Aschiza

Family LOnchopteridae

The family is poorly represented in India only by 3 species under a single genus Lonchoptera Meigen. Adults are found resting or running on herbage, dead leaves or wet stones near shady streams in damp forests. Larvae are believed to be semi-aquatic. Contributions from : Panzer (1809); Joseph and Parui (1976, 1979, 1981). Family Phoridae The Phoridae, the "scuttle flies" as they are commonly called,. are represented by 48 species under 18 genera of 4 subfamilies hitherto known in India. The 2 genera, viz., Assmutherium Schmitz and Indoxenia Schmitz are endemic to India. Adults are frequently seen in decaying vegetation, or in nests of ants and termites. Larvae live in decaying-vegetable matter and dead animals. Some are parasitic, while others have symbiotic relation with ants.

Contributions from : Schiner (1868); Bigot (1890); Wasmann (1900, 1902, 1913); Brues (1905, 1907); Brunetti (1912, 1914); Schmitz'(1912-1915, 1924, 1926, 1938); Senior-White (1922, 1924); Colyer (1961); Rao (1961); Borgmeier (1967); Disney (1981, 1988); Papp (1982).

Family P1atypezidae

The platypezids, commonly known as "flat-footed flies" are known in India by 3 species only under a single genus Plesiociythia Kessel &Maggioncalda in the subfamily Platypezinae. Adults frequent shady woods. Eggs are laid on fungi on which larvae feed. Contributions/rom: de Meijere (1907); Brunetti (1912); Kessel and Clopton (1969).

Family Pipunculidae

The pipunculids or "big-headed flies" are represented in India by 25 species under 4 genera of 2 subfamilies known. Adults are found ~overing on flowers or herbage and larvae 'are parasitic on Homopterous insects.

Contributions from : Brunetti (1912, 1915, 1923); Hardy (1972); Kapoor (1985); Kapoor, Grewal and Shanna (1987).

Family Syrpbidae

The Syrphidae popularly known as "hover flies" or "flower flies" are represented by 256 species under 62 genera of 2 subfamilies so far known in India. The genus Ischyrosyrphus Bigot is endemic to India. Adults are mainly flower-visitors and are of great value in pollination. Larvae of many Syrphinae are natural enemies of aphids, scale insects and other soft-bodied insects. Larvae of Milesiinae are habitually saprophagous and a few of Eristalis Latreille occasionally cause myiasis in humans, and a few other damage bulbs of cultivated plants.

Contributions from : Fabricius (1781, 1787, 1794, 1798, 1805); Wiedemann (1819, 1824, 1830); Guerin-Meneville (1834); Saunders (1841); Macquart (1842, 1846); Walker (1849, 1852, 1857); Schiner (1868); Bigot (1880, 1882-1885); Kertesz (1901); de Meijere (1904, 1908); Brunetti (1907, 1908, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1923, 1925); Herve-Bazin (1914, 1922-24); Shannon (1926); Sack (1928); Curran (1929, 1933); Bhatia (1933, 1939); Bhatia and Shaffi (1933); Hull (1941, 1942, 1944, 1950); Deoras (1942); Greene (1949); Coe (1964); Joseph (1967, 1968, 1970); Nayar (1968); Ghorpade (1973, 1981); Roy and Basu (1977); Agarwala, Ghosh and Raychaudhuri (1982); Datta and Chakraborti (1983, 1986); Singh, Sodhi and Gupta (1985, 1986); Chander (1988); Mahalingam (1988).

Family Microdontidae

This is originally a subfamily of the Syrphidae given the status of a family recently by Thompson (1972) to accommodate 16 species under 4 genera. While adults frequent flowers, larvae are exclusively scavengers in the nests of ants.

Contributionsfrom : Wiedemann (1824); Macquart (1834); Walker (1849); de Meijere (1904); Brunetti (1907, 1908, 1915, 1923, 1925).

Family Conopidae

The.Conopidae are parasitic flies 011 aculeate Hymenoptera, cockroaches and calyptrate Diptera represented by 48 species under 11 genera of 3 subfamilies so far known in India. Contributions from : Fabricius (1794); Macquart (1843); Walker (1852); Bigot (1887); Brunetti (1912, 1923, 1925); KrOber (1915, 1916, 1940); Smith (1958); Nayar (1968). Suborder Cyclorrhapha Division Schizophora

Section Acalyptratae Family Neriidae The Neriidae or long-legged flies are closely related to the Micropezidae and are represented by 4 species under 2 genera of 2' subfamilies in India. Adults are seen in rotten wood 'where larvae 'are believed to inhabit Contributions from : Schiner (1868); Brunetti (1913); Hennig (1937);. Steyskal (1966).

Family Micropezidae

The micropezids, popularly known as "stilt-legged flies" are represented by 10 species under 3 genera of 2 subfamilies in India. Larvae are saprophytic to the habitat where adults are found Contributions from : Wiedemann (1830); Schiner (1868); Brunetti (1913); Enderlein (1922); Steyskal (1952); Frey (1958).

Family Psilidae

The family Psilidae is poorly known in India and contains a single species Chyliza cyljndrica (Walker) in the subfamily Chylizinae. Larvae are phytophagous. Adults usually remain hidden in dense vegetation on high lands or mountains.

Contributions/rom: Walker (1852); Frey (1955).

Family Megamerinidae

This family is also poorly represented in India and contains a single species Texara dioctrioides Walker. They are also highland flies and larvae are found under barks.

Contributions from : Walker (1860); de Meijere (1914); Enderlein (1920); Hennig (1941, 1952, 1958).

Family Nothybidae

This is another poorly represented family with a single species Nothybus kempi Brunetti from India. Contributions/rom: Brunetti (1913), Acz~l (1955).

Family Diopsidae

Tho diopsids or "stalk-eyed flies" are represented by 8 species under 5 genera of the Diopsinae' in India. Adults are found on herbage about streams or pools, sometimes in large numbers and larvae are saprophagous or phytophagous.

Contributions from : Wiedemann (1830); Westwood (1837, 1838, 1845); Walker (1856); Bigot (1880); Brunetti (1907); Curran (1936); Shillito (i971); Steyskal (1972); Datta and Biswas (1985).

Family Pyrogotidae

The pyrgotids are parasitic. in their larval stage on adult scarabaeid beetles. Adults are mainly nocturnal and females oviposit when the beetle is in flight the family comprises 15 species under 6 genera in the nominate subfamily in India. The genus Tyiotrypes Bezzi is endemic. Contributions from : Walker (1852, 1861); Bezzi (1914); Hendel (1914, 1934); Aldrich (1928); Enderlein (1942); Hardy (1959). Family Tephritidae (Given sepamtely)

Family Platystomatidae

The Platistomatidae are known by 36 species under 10 genera of 3 subfamilies in India and are predominantly tropical in distribution. AQults are found to be attracted by flowers, decaying fruits, human sweat, faeces, decaying snails, etc. Larvae are found on fresh or decaying vegetables, human corpses, humus, etc.

Contributions from : Wiedemann (1830); Walker (1849, 1852); Kertesz (1897); Coquillett (1904); de Meijere (1904); Enderlein (1912, 1924); Brunetti (1913); Hendel (1914); Steyskal (1965, 1971); McAlpine (1973). Family Otitidae

The family is known in India only by 2 species under the genus Physiophora Fallen-of the subfamily Ulidinae. Adults are commonly found on vegetation and larvae are believed to be saprophagous.

Contributions from : Fabricius (1794); Walker (1849, 1852, 1858); Steyskal (1952).

Family Sciomyzidae

This family includes 10 species under 4 genera of the subfamily Sciomyzinae in India. Adults frequent rice fields or other damp situations and larvae are predators or parasitoids of snails or slugs.

Contributions/rom: Wiedemann (1824); Walker (1858); Hendel (1912); Brunetti (1917).

Family Dryomyzidae

The family is known in India by a single species Dryomyza formosa (Wiedemann). Adults are associated with excrement or decaying fungi and larvae are believed to be saprophagous. Contributionsfrom : Macquart (1851); Steyskal (1957). Family Sepsidae

The sepsids are known by 17 species under 8 genera of 2 subfamilies in India. Adults are abundantly encountered on herbage, excrement, dung or other decaying matter and larvae are coprophagous. Contributions from : Wiedemann (1824); Walker (1852); de Meijere (1906, 1913); Brunetti (1909): Senior-White (1924); Duda (1926); Zuska (1974); Iwasa (1982).

Family Lauxaniidae

The Lauxaniidae comprise 30 species under 12 genera of 2 subfamilies in India. Adults remain in shady undergrowth and larvae live in leaf litter and plant debris etc. and are saprophagous. Contrjbutions from : Wiedemann (1824, 1830); Macquart (1843); Walker (1852); Schiner (1868); Kemsz (1904); Brunetti (1913); Malloch (1929). Family Celypbidae

The Celyphidae. commonly known as "beetle flies" are represented by 12 species under 2 genera in India Adults are found in moist situations alopg streams, ponds or rivers and in grassy

areas and larvae are known to live in decaying vegetation. Contributions fr.om : Dalman (1818); Wiedemann (1830); Macquart (1851); Sen :(1921); Malloch (1929); Vanschuytbroeck (1952); Tenorio (1972); Joseph and Parui (1978); Datta (1986).

Family Chamaemyiidae The Chamaemyiids are known in India only by 7 species under the genus Leucopis Meigen of the subfamily Chamaemyiinae. Larvae are predaceous upon aphids, adelgids and coccids (Homoptera). Contributions from : Malloch (1924); Tanasijtshuk (1968); McAlpine (1971); Das, Poddar and Ray Chaudhuri (1981).

Family Lonchaeidae

The Lonchaeidae or "lance flies" are represented by only 8 species under 3 genera of the subfamily Lonchaeinae in India. Adults are found in forests where males congregate in swanns. Larvae generally live under bark of decaying trees or in fruits or vegetables. Contributions from : Brunetti (1913); Senior-White (1924); Bezzi (1920); McAlpine (1956, 1964).

Family Piophilidae

The family is represented in India by only 2 species under the genus Piophiia Fallen. Larvae are saprophagous and the well-known "Cheese skipper" may'do much damage to cheese and other fatty foods.

Contributions from : Brunetti (1909); Zumpt (1965).

Family Aulacigastridae

This small family is often associated with the Drosophilidae and comprises only 4 species under 2 genera in India. Adults are attracted to the exudation from wounds on trees where larvae are believed to live.

Contributions from : Sabrosky (1956, 1965); Hennig (1971).

Family Asteiidae

This is also a small family often associated with the Drosophilidae and is represented by 3 species, one in each of 3 genera in India. Adults are found in shady places near water where larvae are believed to live.

Contributions from : Sabrosky (1956); Papp (1974).

Family Agromyzidae (Given separately)

Family Milichiidae

The family is repre~ented by 6 species under 3 genera of 2 subfamilies in India. Adults of Desmometopa Loew live on sucking body-fluids of bugs, spiders etc. and of Phyllomyza Loew are associated with ants, and others live in birds' nests. Larvae are saprophagous or coprophagous and inhabit manure, decaying plants or other vegetative materials.

Contributions from : Brunetti (1924); Hennig (1937).

Family Camidae

This is a very small family generally associated with the milichiids and contains a single species earnus hemapterus Nitzsch from India which is an avain blood-sucking ectoparasite. Contributionsfrom : Nitzsch (1818); Hennig (1937, 1972); Bequaert (1942). Family Chloropidae (Given separately)

Family Ephydridae

The Ephydridae, commonly known as "shore flies" inhabit marshy places, damp meadows, etc. and are important food sources for wildlife. Adults rest on mud or water or vegetation near water whereabout larvae are abundantly eQcountered. Some are leaf -or stem-miners. The family comprises 45 species under 24 genera of 4 subfamilies in India.

Contributions from : Wiedemann (1824); Fraunfeld (1867); Schiner (1868); Cresson (1929, 1934, 1945, 1948); Wirth (1964); Clausen (1977); Mathis and Zatwarnicki (1988).

Family Drosopbilidae

The Drosophilidae, the "pomace flies" (erroneously fruit flies) are represented by 102 species under 11 genera of 2 subfamilies in India and are abundant in all situations containing decaying fruits or vegetable matter. These flies are extensively used in cytogenetic researches.

Contributions from : Walker (1864); Schiner (1868); de Meijere (1906); Brunetti (1923); Duda (1924); Malloch (1924, 1929); Chaudhuri and Mukherjee (1941); Pars had and Paika (1964); Parshad and Duggal (1966); Reddy and Krishnamurthy (1968, 1970, 1973, 1974); Gupta (1969¬1974); Gupta and Ray-Chaudhuri 1970); Sajjan and Krishnamurthy (1973, 1975); Vaidya and Godbole (1973, 1976); Singh and Gupta (1974); Sajjan and Reddy (1975); Singh (1976); Singh and Gupta (1977); Gupta and Singh (1978), Prakash and Reddy (1977, 1978); Dwivedi, Singh and Gupta (1979); Gupta and Dwivedi (1980); Muniyappa and Reddy (1980); Muniyappa, Reddy and Krishnamurthy (1981); Dwivedi (1981); Muniyappa, Reddy and Prakash (1982); Gai and Krishnamurthy (1982, 1986); Gupta and Panigrahy (1982, 1986); Panigrahy and Gupta (1983); Kumar and Gupta (1988, 1989).

Family Heleomyzidae

The Heleomyzidae are known in India only by 2 species under the genus Suillia Robineau¬Desvoidy of the subfamily Suillinae. Larvae are mainly scavengers in fungi, excrement etc. where adults are found Contributionsfrom : C7~my (1932); Deeming (1966).

Family Canaceidae

The canaceids or "beach flies" closely resemble the Ephydridae in appearance and habits. They are found in salt marshes. Larvae live on algae on wave-splashed rocks or sandy beaches. The family is known in India by a single species Xanthocanace orientalis (Hendel).

Contributions from : Hendel (1913); Wirth (1951); Mathis (1982).

Family Sphaeroceridae

The Sphaeroceridae comprise 28 species under 16 genera of 3 subfamilies from India. Adults are saprophagous and frequent decaying animal or vegetable matter in which they breed. Larvae are also habitually saprophagous. A few species are apterous.

Contributions from : Wiedemann (1824); Meigen (1830); Haliday (1833); Zetterstedt (1847); Stenhammar (1854); Rondani (1880); Brunetti (1913, 1924); Duda (1923, 1925); Hackman (1965, 1969); Deeming (1969); Papp (1978, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989); Opava and Papp (1988). Section Calyptratae Family Hippoboscidae The family comprises 23 species under 11 genera of 3 subfamilies in India. Adults of both

sexes are haematophagous and are obligatory ectoparasites of birds and certain mammals. Females reproduce by pseudoplacental viviparitr and prepupae are dropped to the ground. Contributions from : Leach (1817); Macquart (1843); Bigot (1885); Onnerod (1895); Austen (1930); Bequaert (1953); Maa (1963, 1965, 1969); Rao, Hiregaudar and Alwar (~964). Family Nycteribiidae

The Nycteribiidae or "bat flies" are represented by 29 species under 7 genera of 2 subfamilie$ in India. Adults are apterous and spider-like, and both sexes are obligatory blood-sucking ectoparasites of bats. The prepupae are found adhered to the perches where the hosts occur.

Contributions from : Westwood (1834); Speiser (1907); Scott (1914, 1925); Theodor (1956, 1967); Hiregaudar and Bat (1956); Choudhuri and Mitra (1965); Maa (1968, 1975). Family Streblidae

The streblids are known in India by 10 species under 4 genera of 2 subfamilies. Adults of both sexes are obligatory blood-sucking ectoparasites of bats. The prepupae remain attached to the wall in the vicinity of roosts of bats.

Contributions/rom : Speiser (1900); Hiregaudar and Bal (1956); Vazirani and Advani (1916): Advani and Vazirnni (1981).

Family Scathophagidae

The family is represented in India by 2 species in the genus Scathophaga Meigen of the subfamily Scathophaginae. Larvae live in dung and are saprophagous whereas adults are believed to be predatory on small insects. Contributions from : Coquillett (1898); Cotterell (1920); Malloch (1935); Seguy (1952).

Family Anthomyiidae

The Anthomyiidae bear a general resemblance to the Muscidae for which they were previously treated under the latter. There are 19 species under 11 genera in India. Adults are usually found in woods or moist situations. Adults are generally saprophagous and larvae are saprophagous or phytophagous as a serious pest in agriculture.

Contributions from : Rondani (1866); Walker (1852, 1856); Malloch (1921, 1924), Seguy (1923); Brunetti (1924); Karl (1935); Auckland (1967, 1968, 1987).

Family Fanniidae

The family, once treated under the Muscidae, contains only 5 species under the genus Fannia Rob-Desv. in India. Adults are found on vegetation and larvae live in excrements and decaying organic matter.

Contributions from : Stein (1918); Chillcott (1961); Pont (1965). Family Muscidae

The Muscidae or the "common true flies" occur in all zoogeographical regions and are represented by over 253 species under 39 genera of 6 subfamilies in India. Adults are found almost everywhere and are generally saprophagous. Some species have biting habit and carry disease germs and SO{11e other species carry genns from filth to food. A few species are extremely detrimental to human beings. Larvae have varied habits being saprophagous, parasitic or phytophagous as leaf¬miners.

Contributions from : Fabricius (1794); Wiedemann (1824, 1830); RObineau-Desvoidy (1830); Macquart (1843, 1855); Walker (1849, 1852, 1861); Schiner (1868); Bigot (1888); Bezzi (1907); Brunetti (1907, 1910, 1913); Picard (1908); Austen (1909, 1910); Stein (1910, 1918); Patton and Cragg (1912, 1913); Awati (1916, 1918); Malloch (1921-1923, 1925, 1928); Patton (1922, 1933); Patton and Senior-White (1924); Aubertin (1933); Enderleln (1934); Zimin (1947); Crosskey (1962); Emden (1965); Steyskal (1966); Shinonaga (1970); Vockeroth (1972); Joseph and Parui (1972); Pont (1972, 1973); Zumpt (1973); Srivastava (1985). Family Eginiidae

The family is closely related to the Muscidae and so it was once included in the latter family. It contains only 2 species, each under a genus of which one under the genus Magma Albuquerque is endemic to India. Contributions from : Malloch (1921); Albuquerque (1949).

Family Calliphoridae

The Calliphoridae, commonly known as "blow flies", "blue bottle flies" or "green bottle flies" are represented by 97 species under' 26 genera of 4 subfamilies in India. Adults often frequent vegetation, flowers, excrement, decaying plant or animal matter. Larvae are scavengers or parasites on insects, earthworms, snails, and other animals. Some species are notorious in causing myiasis in man and animals.

Contributions from : Fabricius (1787, 1794, 1805); Wiedemann (1819, 1824); Robineau¬Desvoidy (1830); Macquart (1835, 1843, 1847); Walker (1849, 1852, 1858); Schiner (1868); Bigot (1874, 1877, 1878, 1887); Bezzi (1913); Surcouf (1914); Townsend (1917, 1937); Patton (1920-1922); Senior-White (1922, 1923, 1930); Seguy (1928, 1946, 1949); Patton and Evans (1929); Aldrich (1930); Malloch (1931); Aubertin (1931); Rao and Pillay (1936); Baranov (1938); Roy and Siddons (1939); Senior-White, Aubertin and Smart (1940); Strickland and Roy (1940, 1941); Peris (1951, 1952); Crosskey (1965); Kurahashi (1970); James (1970); Roy and Dasgupta (1971, 1975, 1980, 1982); Joseph and Rao (1972); Das, Roy and Dasgupta (1978, 1979, 1981); Das and Dasgupta (1982). Family Sarcophagidae

The Sarcophagidae or "flesh flies" as they are often called, comprise over 65 species under 26 genera of 3 subfamilies in India. Adults• are generally found on vegetation, flowers, excrement or decaying plant and animal material. Larvae are saprophagous or coprophagous and live in decaying plant or animal matter or are parasites of insects and other animals.

Contributions from : Fabricius (1794); Fallen (1816), Meigen (1826); Wiedemann (1830); Robineau-Desvoidy (1830); BOettcher (1912, 1913); Sinton (1921); Patton (1922); Parker (1923); Senior-White (1924), Hardy (1927); Rao (1929); Patton and Evans (1929); Baranov (1931, 1934, 1938); Ho (1934); Senior-White, Aubertin and Smart (1940); Strickland.and Roy (1941); Lopes (1961); Lopes and Kano (1969); Shinonaga and Lopes (1975); Roy and Dasgupta (1977); Nandi (1976-1979, 1982, 1988, 1989); Nandi and Roy (1982); Verves (1988).

Family Rhinophoridae

The family is closely related to the Calliphoridae or the Tachinidae. It IS known by Termitoloemus marshall; Baranov only that is endemic to India. The species is predacious on termites.

Contributions/rom : Baranov (1936); Crosskey (1976).

Family Tachinidae

The Tachinidae or "tachina flies" are represented by 207 species under 111 genera of 5 subfamilies in India. The two genera Isochaetina MesniI and Thelairodrino Mesnil with a single

species in each are endemic to India. Adults are generally found on flowers or leaves or vegetation and larvae are all endoparasites mainly in insects. Many species are employed in biological control against a number of insect pests ..They are well-known to create a problem in sericulture in India.

Contributions from : Fabricius (1794); Wiedemann (1819, 1824, 1830); Robineau-Desvoidy (1830); Macquart (1843, 1851); Walker (1849, 1852, 1858); Egger (1860); Bigot (1889); Brauer and Bergenstamm (1893); van der Wulp (1894); Lichtwardt (1909); Tothill (1918); Malloch (1924); Curran (1929, 1933); Baranov (1932, 1934, 1936, 1938); Villeneuve (1937); Gardner (1940); Mesnil (1950-1953, 1957, 1968, 1970); Crosskey (1967, 1976); Ghorpade (1986); Patil and Govindan (1986); Venkatesh, Srinivas and Rani (1987).

F==amily Gasterophilidae==

The Gasterophilidae or "bot flies" as adults are scarcely encountered but larvae are frequently found to live as parasites in the alimentary tracts of equines and elephants. All the 6 species under 3 genera of 2 subfamilies of the Oriental region occur in India

Contributions from : Macquart (1843); Patton (1920-1922, 1924, 1937}; Brunetti (1923); Cross (1926); Datta and Pal (1985). Family Oestridae

The Oestridae, commonly known as "warble flies", are also frequent in the larval stage that lives as a subcutaneous parasite in the bodies of mammals. The family contains 8 species under 1 genera of 2 subfamilies in India.

Contributions from : Steel (1887): Patton (1920-1923, 1936, 1937): Cross and Patel (1921); Brunetti (1923); Cross (1926); Rao (1929); Malkani (1931); Sen (1934); B~atia (1934); Handa (1936); Soni (1938-1942); Chadha and Soni (1939); Soni and Khan (1942, 1944); Grunin (1949); Ghosh (1950); Pal and Datta (1989).

Current Research

The Zoological Survey of India is the premier institute where a maximum number of family-groups are under investigation, primarily on systematics. The family-groups, viz., Simuliidae, Tabanidae. Asilidae and Syrphidae are being currently studied in the Headquarters at Calcutta; the Asilidae and Chloropidae at Madras, and the Cecidomyiidae at Poona Alongside, all the other family-groups collected from Maghalaya and Tripura are currently under study at the Headquarters. Besides, taxonomical researches on some other family-groups are also done in certain Colleges and Universities as indicated in the following title. There are some other institutes, such as, the National Institute of Virology at Pune, the Vector Control Research Centre at Pondicheny, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases/National Malaria Eradication Programme at Delhi. the School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute at Izatnagar and the R and D Organization at Tezpur. where various aspects of bionomical studi~ on dipterans of medical and veterinary importance are carried out

Expertise India


J. R. B. Alfred, Zoological Survey of India, Nizam Palace, 14th Floor, II MSO Building, 234/4, AJ.C. Bose Road, Calcutta -700 020 (West Bengal) [Chironomidae].

A. N. T. Joseph, Marine Biological Station, Zoological Survey of India, 100, Santhome High Road, Madras -600 028 (Tamil Nadu) [Tipulidae and Asilidae].

P. T. Cherian [Chloropidae] &C. Radhakrishnan [Tephritidae], Southern Regional Station, Zoological Survey of India, 100, Santhome High Road, Madras -600028 (Tamil Nadu). R. M. Sharma, Western Regional Station, Zoological Survey of India, 1182/2 Fergusson College Road, Pune -411 005 (Maharashtra) [Cecidomyiidae].

M. Datta [Simuliidae, Tabanidae, Syrphidae, Celyphidae and Diopsidae], Mr. P. Parui [Tipulidae, Asilidae, Muscidae and Sarcophagidae] &Mrs. M. Mukherjee [Syrphidae], Zoological Survey of India, 'M' Block, New Alipore, Calcutta -700 053 (West Bengal).


P. K. Chaudhur:i, Dept. of Zoology, Burdwan University, Golapbag, Burdwan (West Bengal) [Cerntapogonidae, Chironomidae and Sciaridae].

S. K. Das Gupta, Dept. of Zoology, Presidency College, Calcutta (West Bengal) [Ceratopogonidae ].

K. D. Ghorpade, Dept. of Entomology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore (Kamataka) [Bombyliidae, Scenopinidae and Syrphidae].

P. Grover, Dept of Zoology, Allahabad University, Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) [Cecidomyiidae].

J. P. Gupta, Dept. of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [Drosophilidae ].

Ipe M. Ipe. School of Entomology, St. John's College. Agra (Uttar Pradesh) [phlebotomidae and Agromyzidae].

V. C. Kapoor, Dept. of Entomology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (Punjab) [Bombyliidae, Pipunculidae and Tephritidae]. B. K. Kaul, Dept. of Zoology, H. P. Krishi Visva Vidyalaya. Palampur -176062 (Himachal Pradesh) [Blephariceridae].

A. K. Kulshrestha, Dept. of Zoology, Garhwal University, Srinagar -246 174, Garhwal (Uttar Pradesh) [Chironomidae].

N. B. Krishnamurthy, Dept. of Zoology, Mysore University, Mysore (Katnataka) [Drosophilidae].

B. C. Nandi, Dept. of Zoology, Presidency College, Calcutta (West Bengal) [Sarcophagidae]. S. N. Rao, Dept. of Zoology, Marathwada University, Aurangabad (Maharashtra) [Cecidomyiidae]. B. K. Singh, Dept. of Zoology, Kumaon University, Nainital (Uttar Pradesh) [Drosophilidae]. =


D. A. Barraclough, Dept. of Zoology, University of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia) [Acroceridae and Tachinidae].

D. J. Bickel, [Dolichopodidae] &D. K. McAlpine [Heleomyzidae, Platistomatidae and Micropezidae], Dept of Entomology, Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W. 2000 (Australia). I. R. Bock, Dept. of Entomology, La trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3083 (Australia) [Drosophilidae ].

J. F. Burger, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire (U.S.A.) [Tabanidae]. J. E. Chainey [Tabanidae] &R. W. Crosskey [Simuliidae, Calliphoridae, Rhinophoridae and Tachinidae], Dept. of Entomology, British Museum (Nat. Hist.), Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD (U.K.).

M. Chvaia, Charles University, 12844 Praha.2 (Czechoslovakia) [Tabanidae, Empididae and Conopidae] .

P. J. Clausen, Dept. of Entomology, Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108 (U.S.A.) [Ephydridae]. R. H. L. Disney, Dept. of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ (U.K.) [phoridae].

D. A. Duckhouse, Dept. of Zoology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide (Australia) [psychodidae].

A. L. Dyce, 48 Queen's Road, Asquith, N.S.W. 2078 (Au.stralia) [phlebotomidae]. N. L. Evenhuis [Bombyliidae] &F. G. Howarth [Ceratopogonidae], Dept of Entomology, B. P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 (U.S.A.).

V. S. van der Goot, Anslijnsttaat 42, Amsterdam,. (Netherlands) [Sepsidae]. L. Greve, Dept of Zoology, University of Bergen, Bergen (Norway) [~tratiomyidae]. W. Hackman [Heleomyzidae and Sphaeroceridae] &H. Hippa [Syrphidae], Zoology Museum, University of Helsinki (Finland).

B. A. Harrison [Culicidae], G. C. Steyskal [Acalyptratae] &W. N. Mathis [Ephydridae and Canaceidae], National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560 (U.S.A.).

H. Hayakawa, Tohoku National Experimental Station, Morioka 020-01 (Japan) [Tabanidae]. M. Iwasa, Dept. of Zoology, Obihiro University, Hokkaido 080 (Japan) [Sepsidae]. H. Kurahashi [Calliphoridae] &M. Takahashi [Bibionidae], Dept of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Health, Tokyo (Japan).

B. Landry, Dept. of Zoology, McGill University, Quebec (Canada) [Empididae]. T. C. Maa, C/o Institute of Biology, Tunghai University, Taichung 400 (Taiwan) [Hippoboscidae, Nycteribiidae and Streblidae].

S. A. Marshall, Dept. of Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario (Canada) [Sphaeroceridae]. L. Munari, Natural History Museum, S. Croce 1730, 1-30135 Venezia (Italy) [Sphaeroceridae]. A. Nagatomi, Dept of Entomology, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890 (Japan) tLower Brachycera].

A. L. Norrbom, Dept. of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania 16802 (U.S.A.) [Tephritidae and Sphaeroceridae].

T. Okada, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo (Japan) [Drosophilidae].

L. Papp, Dept. of Entomology, Hungarian Nat. Hist .. Museum, H-I088 Budapest (Hungary) [phoridae, Lauxaniidae, Camidae, Aulacigastridae and Sphaeroceridae].

R. V. Peterson, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA, NHB-168, C/o U.S. National Museum (Nat. Hist). Washington, D.C. 20560 (U.S.A.) [Simuliidae and Chloropidae].

(Mrs.) R. Rattanarithikul, Rajvithi Road, Bankok 4 (fhailand) [Culicidae].

B. Rossaro, Dept. of Entomology, University of Milano, Milano (Italy) [Chironomidae).

R. Rozko"sn'y, Univerzita 1. E. Purkyne v Brne, 61137 Brno (Czechoslovakia) [Stratiomyidae and Sciomyzidae).

O. A. Saether, Dept. of Entomology, University of Burgen, N-5007 (Norway) [Chironomidae). A. G. Scarbrough, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Towson State University, Baltimore, Maryland 21204 (U.S.A.) [Bombyliidae and Asilidae]. E. I. Schl!nger, Dept. of Entomology, University of California, Berkeley, California (U.S.A.) [Acroceridae).

S. Shinonaga, Dept. of Medical Entomology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, . Tokyo 113 (Japan) [Muscidae].

H. de Souza Lopes, Academia Basileira de Ciencias, Rio de Janerio (Brazil) [Sarcophagidae). J. E. Sublette, Dept. of Entomology, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales 88130 (U.S.A.) [Chironomiciae).

F. C. Thompson [Syrphidae] &W. W. Wirth [Ceratopogonidae and Canaceidae], ARS, USDA, C/o U.S. National Museum, Washington, D.C. 20560 (U.S.A.). L. Tsacas, Museum Natl. D'Histoire, Paris (France) [Drosophilida~]. V. F. Zaitsev, Zoology Institute, Academy of Sciences of U.S.S.R., Leningrad (U.S.S.R.) [Mycetophilidae and Bombyliidae]. P. Zwick, Limnologische Flus Btation Schlitz des Max-Planck-Instituts filr Limnologie, Postfach 260, D-6407 Schlitz (Germany) [Blephariceridae and Ptychopteridae].

Selected References

Barraud, P. J. 1934. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera. vol. v. Family Culicidae. Tribes Megarhinini and Culicini. xxviii + 463 pp., 8 pIs. Taylor and Francis, Ltd. London.

Brunetti, E. 1912. The Fauna ofBritish India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera. Nematocera (excluding Chironomidae and Culicidae). xxxviii + 581 pp., 12 pIs. Taylor and Francis, Ltd. London.

Brunetti, E. 1920. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera. vol. I. Brachycera. ix + 401 pp., 4 pIs. Taylor and Francis, Ltd. London. Brunetti, E. 1923. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera. vol. III. Pipunculidae, Syrphidae, Conopidae, Oestridae. xi + 424 pp., 6 pis. Taylor and Francis, Ltd. London.

Christophers, S. R. 1933.. The Fauna ofBritish India, including Ceylon and Burma. Diptera. vol.

IV. Family Culicidae. Tribe Anophelini. vi + 371 pp. Taylor and Francis, Ltd. London. Delfinado, M. D. &Hardy, D. E. 1973. A Catalog of Diptera of the Oriental Region. vol. I. Suborder Nematocera. 618 pp. The University Press of Hawii, Honolulu. Delfinado, M. D. &Hardy, D. E. 1975. A Catalog of Diptera of the 'Oriental Region. vol. II. Suborder Brachycera through Division Aschiza, Suborder Cyclorrhapha. 459 pp. The University Press of Hawii, Honolulu.

Delfinado, M. D. &Hardy, D. E. 1977. A Catalog of Diptera of the Oriental Region. vol. III. Suborder Cyclorrhapha (excluding Division Aschiza). x + 854 pp. The University Press of Hawii, Honololu.

Emden, F. I. van. 1965. The Fauna ofIndia and lhe adjacent countries. vol. Vll, Part 1~ Muscidae. xiv +647 pp. Manager of Publications, Govt of India, Delhi. Senior-White, R. A., Aubertin, D. & Smart, J. 1940. The Fauna of British India including the remainder of the Oriental Region. Diptera. vol. VI. Family Calliphoridae. xiii + 288 pp. Taylor and Francis, Ltd. London.

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