The Order Diptera is usually
divided into two suborders, the Nematocera,
a suborder of elongated
flies with thin, segmented antennae and mostly aquatic larvae,
consisting of the mosquitoes, crane flies, gnats and the
a suborder of short horned
flies represents a major division of the Diptera containing
approximately 120 families and a great diversity of species,
morphological innovations, and life history strategies. The name
Brachycera or shortened horn, refers to their shortened
antennae, a reduced antenna with fewer than 8 antennal.
About 150,000 species of living
Diptera have been described in approximately 10,000 genera and
150 families. The true number of fly species is probably many times
more than this. Many species of flies are cool or cold adapted
and the relative abundance of Diptera in the total insect fauna
is higher in northern countries such as Canada than in the world
as a whole. In high arctic sites, the number of fly species is
greater than that of all other insects combined.
The astounding success of flies
is owing to their great versatility in the exploitation of
habitats and their ability to utilize every possible sort of
Flies are ubiquitous and are abundant in individuals as well
as in species number. They are an important food for other animals.
Many are parasitic on other insects and help keep
their populations under control.
Some herbivorous flies have
been successfully used to control weeds. Many are
important pollinators of plants. Many are invaluable as scavengers and are vital in aiding the decomposition of plant and animal material.
They are the insects most known to infect humans and domesticated animals
with deadly diseases.
Blood sucking flies transmit many diseases, including malaria,
yellow fever, and sleeping sickness.