Alice Springs DipteraGreen Blowfly Australiphthiria sp (Bee Fly) Mydas Fly, Miltinus sp Robber Fly, Bathypogon sp Golden Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus) Stiletto Fly (Agapophytus yeatesi) Soldier Flies (Odontomyia) Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Yellow-shouldered Hover Fly, Ischiodon scutellaris

— also see Syrphidae | Alice Springs Bees | Beetles | Insects

Alice Springs and Central Australia is home to large number of described and undescribed species of true flies in the order Diptera.

Click on the following images to see more information.

Australian Desert Rose (Gossypium australe) with Australiphthiria sp, Alice Springs Desert Park NT
Australiphthiria sp (Bee Fly) (subfamily Phthiriinae)
Australian Sheep Blowfly (Lucilia cuprina) also known as Green Blowfly
Green Blowfly (Lucilia cuprina) / Australian Sheep Blowfly
Male Golden Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus), Alice Springs NT
Golden Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus)
Mydas Fly (genus Miltinus), Alice Springs NT
Mydas Fly (genus Miltinus, family Mydidae)
Robber Fly (genus Bathypogon, family Asilidae), Alice Springs NT
Robber Fly (genus Bathypogon, family Asilidae)
Genus Odontomyia (member of Soldier Flies Family Stratiomyidae), Alice Springs NT
Soldier Flies (genus Odontomyia)
Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens), Alice Springs NT
Hermetia illucens (Black Soldier Fly)
Agapophytus yeatesi (Stiletto Fly), Alice Springs NT
Stiletto Fly (Agapophytus yeatesi)
Yellow-shouldered Hover Fly (Ischiodon scutellaris), Alice Springs NT
Yellow-shouldered Hover Fly (Ischiodon scutellaris)

Sarcophaga aurifrons (Grey-striped Fly), Alice Springs, NT
Sarcophaga aurifrons (Grey-striped Fly), Alice Springs, NT

The order Diptera (true flies) is derived from the Greek di – “two”, and pteron “wing”, with insects of this order using only a single pair of wings to fly. The hindwings having evolved into advanced mechanosensory organs known as halteres, which act as high-speed sensors of rotational movement and allow dipterans to perform advanced aerobatics.1

Yellow-shouldered Hover Fly (Ischiodon scutellaris), Alice Springs NT
Yellow-shouldered Hover Fly (Ischiodon scutellaris), Alice Springs NT

Diptera is a large order that is estimated to contain an estimated 1,000,000 species, although only about 125,000 species have currently been described.

Included in this group are many insects commonly known as mosquitoes, midges, sand flies, blowflies, crane flies, hoverflies and the house fly.

Balaana Beefly (Balaana abscondita), Alice Springs, NT
Balaana Beefly (Balaana abscondita), Alice Springs, NT

Some of the common characteristics of the order Diptera include2:

  • One pair of wings (forewings)
  • Hindwings reduced to club-like halteres
  • A large and moveable head
  • Compound eyes that are often very large
  • Sucking, piercing and sucking or sponge-like mouthparts (all adapted for a liquid diet)
  • The mesothorax (middle segment of the thorax or mid-body) is enlarged, with the prothorax and metathorax small
  • Complete metamorphosis, with larvae (maggots) that are always legless, with chewing mouthparts or mouth-hooks, and that often pupate within a hardened case (puparium)
Steelblue Bluebottle (Chrysomya saffranea)
Steelblue Bluebottle (Chrysomya saffranea), Alice Springs, NT
Australian Desert Rose (Gossypium australe) with Australiphthiria sp, Alice Springs Desert Park NT
Australian Desert Rose (Gossypium australe) with Australiphthiria sp, Alice Springs Desert Park NT

Check out some of our listed information under Insects on flies:

Agapophytus yeatesi (Stiletto Fly), Alice Springs NT
Agapophytus yeatesi (Stiletto Fly), Alice Springs NT
Golden Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus) rescued from a swimming pool in Alice Springs NT
Golden Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus) rescued from a swimming pool in Alice Springs NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Superorder: Panorpida
  • (unranked): Antliophora
  • Order: Diptera
Mydas Fly (genus Miltinus), Alice Springs NT
Mydas Fly (genus Miltinus), Alice Springs NT

Footnote & References

  1. Fly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly (last visited Feb. 12, 2022)
  2. Diptera, Linnaeus, 1758, Flies, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn%3Alsid%3Abiodiversity.org.au%3Aafd.taxon%3A6bb27cbe-1bc6-4a7b-b348-e3b5677f239f
  3. Flies Order Diptera, iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/47822-Diptera
  4. Flies and mosquitoes: Order Diptera, Australian Museum, https://australian.museum/learn/animals/insects/flies-and-mosquitoes-order-diptera/
  5. Flies, CSIRO, https://www.csiro.au/en/research/animals/insects/flies-research
  6. Diptera (Flies), Field Guide to the Insects of Tasmania, https://tasmanianinsectfieldguide.com/hexapoda/insectsoftasmaniadiptera/

Alice Springs DipteraGreen Blowfly Australiphthiria sp (Bee Fly) Mydas Fly, Miltinus sp Robber Fly, Bathypogon sp Golden Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus) Stiletto Fly (Agapophytus yeatesi) Soldier Flies (Odontomyia) Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Yellow-shouldered Hover Fly, Ischiodon scutellaris

Alice Springs InsectsAntlion (Heoclisis fundata) Ants (Formicidae) Bees Beetles Blattodea Butterflies & Moths (Lepidopterans) Diptera Dragonflies Orthoptera – Orthopteroids True Bugs (Heteroptera) Wasps

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