Female Basilia boardmani, copyright Matt Bertone.

Belongs within: Streblidae.

The Nycteribiidae, spider bat flies, are a group of flattened, flightless flies that live as blood-feeding ectoparasites of bats. The head is remarkably small and held folded back on the thorax when not feeding, and the insertions of the legs are displaced to the dorsal side of the thorax (Graciolli 2010). Nycteribiids are vectors for haemosporidian parasites (Graciolli 2010).

Members of the Old World subfamilies Archynycteribiinae and Cyclopodiinae are primarily parasitic on Megachiroptera whereas the more widespread Nycteribiinae are mostly found on Microchiroptera. Nycteribiids are represented in the New World by two genera, Basilia and Hershkovitzia (Graciolli 2010).

Characters (from Graciolli 2010): Small light brown flies, body length 1.5–5.5 mm. Head small, laterally compressed, rounded, or flattened ventrally, folded back over the thorax during resting (non-feeding) periods. Eyes with one to four facets or absent. Ocelli absent. Thorax compressed dorsoventrally with few sclerotised plates and ridges. Mesonotum small, unsclerotised. Pleuron and insertion of legs displaced to dorsal surface. Scutellum absent. Thoracic ctenidium present on each side between fore- and midcoxae. Wings absent. Halter situated in grooves of metathoracic pleural plates. Femora and tibiae compressed laterally. Empodia absent. Thoracic sterna broad and flat sclerotised plates with oblique (inverted V-shaped) and median sutures. Female abdomen usually largely membranous. Male abdomen sclerotised with large clasperlike surstyli that fold anteriorly under apex of abdomen. Both sexes usually with abdominal ctenidium present at posterior margin of sternite 2.

|--Dipseliopoda setosaKP10
| |--P. dufouriiPW87
| | |--P. d. dufouriiPW87
| | `--P. d. tainaniPW87
| |--P. fulvidaKP10
| |--P. jenynsiRD77
| `--P. (Eremoctenia) vandueseniPW87
| |--H. inaequalisG10
| `--H. primitivaG10
|--Nycteribia Latreille 1802L02
| |--*N. vespertilionis (Linnaeus 1758)L02, L58 [=Pediculus vespertilionisL02]
| |--N. kolenatiiA71
| |--N. latreilliiKK54
| |--N. schmidliiKK54
| `--N. vexataKK54
`--BasiliaKP10 [incl. Pseudelytromyia Miranda-Ribeiro 1907G10]
|--B. anomalaG10
|--B. antrozoiG10
|--B. bathybothyraG10
|--B. boardmaniKP10
|--B. corynorhiniPW87
|--B. costaricensisG10
|--B. falcoziCM91
|--B. ferrisiG10
|--B. ferrugineaG10
|--B. flavaG10
|--B. forcipataG10
|--B. handleyiG10
|--B. hispidaG10
|--B. juquiensisG10
|--B. mimoniG10
|--B. myotisPW87
|--B. rugosaG10
|--B. speiseriG10
|--B. tiptoniG10
`--B. transversaG10

Nycteribiidae incertae sedis:
Stylidia biarticulataA71
CyclopodiaPW87 [CyclopodiinaeG10]
|--C. albertisiiCM91
|--C. australisCM91
`--C. greeffiA71
ArchinycteribiaO98 [ArchynycteribiinaeG10]
Eucampsipoda hyrtliiPW87

*Type species of generic name indicated

[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[CM91] Colless, D. H., & D. K. McAlpine. 1991. Diptera (flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 717–786. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[G10] Graciolli, G. 2010. Nycteribiidae (bat flies, spider bat 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. 1261–1266. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[KK54] Klemmer, K., & H. E. Krampitz. 1954. Zur Kenntnis der Säugetierfauna Siziliens. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35 (3–4): 121–135.

[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.

[L02] Latreille, P. A. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes vol. 3. Familles naturelles des genres. F. Dufart: Paris.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[O98] Oosterbroek, P. 1998. The Families of Diptera of the Malay Archipelago. Brill: Leiden.

[PW87] Peterson, B. V., & R. L. Wenzel. 1987. Nycteribiidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1283–1291. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

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


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