Diptera – Flies & mosquitoes

These buzzing dancers are the aerialists of insect world

“Fly” is written as one word but when we’re talking about Diptera, it’s written as two words… fly logic!!

The term “fly” appears in the names of many insects, such the whitefly, dragonfly, and butterfly, however these insects are not dipterans. Any term that refers to other than Diptera is written as one word (e.g., dragonfly, stonefly, mayfly). However, the names of the Diptera order that contain the word “fly” are written as two words (crane fly, black fly, horse fly).

This order is characterized by having a single pair of functional wings. This is distinguishing character because other insects have either two pairs of wings or four wings. The second pair in dipterans is modified into knob-like halteres, which serve as balancing organs during flight.

Mouthparts adapted for various feeding strategies, including piercing-sucking, sponging, or chewing.

Flies, evolving for 240 million years since the Early Triassic, diversified significantly during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, leading to various fly families and ecological adaptations.

Dipterans, impact agriculture, health, and forestry with some groups causing nuisances and health issues. Despite drawbacks, flies play vital roles as scavengers, pollinators, bio-indicators, and tools in scientific research.