Flies (Order Diptera)

True Flies are found everywhere, and include delicate craneflies, mosquitoes, and midges, as well as robust horseflieshouse flies and blowflies.

Many sorts of insects are described as flies but "true flies" are a distinct group of insects which have only one pair of wings, unlike the caddisflies, scorpion flies, mayflies and butterflies that have two pairs of wings.

There are many species of true fly with medical, veterinary, and agricultural importance. Biting, blood-feeding flies such as mosquitoes, midges, horseflies and blowflies are able to transmit diseases to humans and domestic animals. Fruit flies and leaf mining flies damage fruit and crops. But most flies are not pests, most are important decomposers of plant and animal matter. Many flies are predators and parasites of other insects, and some are used in the biocontrol of insect pests and weeds.

Flies come in many shapes and sizes. Some are difficult to recognise as flies as they mimic other invertebrates such as wasps, beetles and spiders.

Flies belong to the Order Diptera. In Australia there are almost 7500 described species in 100 families. However, some suggest that only 25% of Australia's fly species are described and have proper scientific names.

Crane fly, Nephrotoma australasiae The large crane fly Nephrotoma australasiae is not a mosquito. There are more craneflies (over 700 species) in the family Tipulidae than in any other group of flies in Australia.

Aedes vigilax (Family Culicidae)Mosquitoes like Aedes vigilax (Family Culicidae) are true flies as they have one pair of wings.

A predacious mosquitor wriggler, Toxorynchites speciosusA predacious mosquito wriggler, Toxorynchites speciosus.

The wasp mimicking Adapsilia illingworthana (Family Pyrgotidae)The wasp mimicking Adapsilia illingworthana (Family Pyrgotidae).

The Green Signal Fly, Lamprogaster imperialis (Family Platystomatidae)The Green Signal Fly, Lamprogaster imperialis (Family Platystomatidae), has a bright metallic green thorax and abdomen and wings patterned with dark spots and streaks.

American Soldier Flies, Hermetia illucens (Family Stratiomyidae)American Soldier Flies, Hermetia illucens (Family Stratiomyidae), look and even behave like wasps.

Bush fly, Musca vetustissima (Family Muscidae)The bush fly, Musca vetustissima (Family Muscidae), has short, three-segmented antennae.

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