Achanthiptera rohrelliformis, copyright Henk Soepenberg.

Belongs within: Calyptratae.
Contains: Atherigona, Azeliinae, Reinwardtiinae, Coenosiinae, Mydaeinae.

The Muscidae, house flies, are a cosmopolitan group of ecologically diverse flies. Members are characterised by wings with vein A1 extending halfway to the wing margin and hind tibiae lacking a mid-dorsal bristle (Savage & Vockeroth 2010).

Representatives include Achanthiptera rohrelliformis, a yellowish fly found in the Palaearctic region whose larvae feed on decaying matter in wasp nests. This species has relatively primitive external genitalia, placing it as the sister taxon to other members of the family (Fan 1992). Philornis is a New World genus whose larvae are associated with bird nests, varying from scavengers to subcutaneous parasites of the nestlings. Charadrella, a Neotropical genus in which the first flagellomere of the antenna is about six times as long as wide, includes at least one viviparous species whose larvae feed on dead gastropods (Savage & Vockeroth 2010).

Characters (from Savage & Vockeroth 2010): Small to large flies (body length 2–20 mm). Stout or slender, generally dull grey, black or yellow but occasionally metallic blue or green. Male frons narrow to broad, with one to many frontal bristles. Female frons at least one-fourth as wide as head, with or without pair of cruciate interfrontal bristles. Eyes bare or setulose. Antennal pedicel with distinct dorsal seam, arista almost bare to long plumose or pectinate. Proboscis generally with prementum broad and labella fleshy, but with prementum tapering to slender apex and labella reduced in some. Thoracic bristles usually distinct and long, meron without row of strong bristles. Wings well developed, with vein A1 incomplete, not reaching wing margin, occasionally with setulae above or below R3 and R4+5. Both calypters generally well developed. Legs usually slender, occasionally with marked modifications or tufts of fine setae in males. Hind tibia without true dorsal bristle on apical half, but often with posterodorsal bristle (calcar) at about two-thirds from base. First hind tarsomere usually without sub-basal ventral seta. Abdominal sclerites 6–8 in males usually asymmetric.

<==Muscidae [Eginiidae]
    |--Achanthiptera Rondani 1856 [=Acanthiptera Lioy 1864; Achanthipterinae]F92
    |    `--*A. rohrelliformis (R.-D. 1830)F92 [=Phyllis rohrelliformisF92; incl. A. inanisRD77]
Muscidae incertae sedis:
    |--P. downsiHSS13
    `--P. piciSWK87
  Neomuscina tripunctataSV10
  Cyrtoneurina [Cyrtoneurininae]SV10
  Neivamyia Pinto & Fonseca 1930SV10, P73
    |--C. macrosomaSV10
    `--C. malacophagaSV10
  Sarcopromusca arcuataSV10
  Agenamyia exoticaSV10
  Biopyrellia bipunctaSV10
  Callainireinwardtia woodiSV10
  Polietina pruinosaHV87
  Hemichlora scordalusSV10
  Chortinus bequaertiSV10
  Tetramerinx littoralisSV10
  Bithoracochaeta leucoproctaSV10, HV87 [incl. Hydrophoria calopus Bigot 1885H72, H. calopoda msH72]
    |--N. basalisSV10
    `--N. ovata [=Coenosia ovata]SV10
    |--L. aequifronsSV10
    `--L. guatemalaSV10
  Pilispina medinaiSV10
    |--M. amazonicaSV10
    `--M. fuscisquama [=Phorbia fuscisquama]SV10
  Pentacricia aldrichiiHV87
  Lophosceles cinereiventrisHV87

*Type species of generic name indicated


[F92] Fan Z. 1992. Key to the Common Flies of China 2nd ed. Science Press: Beijing.

[HSS13] Hirschfeld, E., A. Swash & R. Still. 2013. The World’s Rarest Birds. Princeton University Press: Princeton (New Jersey).

[H72] Huckett, H. C. 1972. Notes on Bigot’s North American type-specimens at the University Museum, Oxford (Diptera: Anthomyiidae, Muscidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 48 (2): 81–85.

[HV87] Huckett, H. C., & J. R. Vockeroth. 1987. Muscidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1115–1131. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

[KP10] Kutty, S. N., T. Pape, B. M. Wiegmann & R. Meier. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of the Calyptratae (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha) with an emphasis on the superfamily Oestroidea and the position of Mystacinobiidae and McAlpine’s fly. Systematic Entomology 35: 614–635.

[P73] Pont, A. C. 1973. Studies on Australian Muscidae (Diptera). IV. A revision of the subfamilies Muscinae and Stomoxyinae. Australian Journal of Zoology, Supplementary Series 21: 129–296.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms’ General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

[SV10] Savage, J., & J. R. Vockeroth. 2010. Muscidae (house flies, stable flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1281–1295. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[SWK87] Snyder, N. F. R., J. W. Wiley & C. B. Kepler. 1987. The Parrots of Luquillo: Natural history and conservation of the Puerto Rican parrot. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology: Los Angeles.

[T90] Teskey, H. J. 1990. Insecta: Diptera larvae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1253–1276. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

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