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; order Diptera, suborder Brachycera)

Large family of flies which are generally small, bristly, and metallic green or blue-green. Their antennae have a dorsal or terminal arista, and they have a short, fleshy proboscis. The tarsus has two pulvilli, and a straight or poorly lobiform empodium. Males have secondary sexual features that may affect almost any part of the body. As adults, the flies are thought to be predacious on tiny, soft-bodied insects, which are chewed before being sucked dry. The flies are also found on flowers, feeding on nectar and other plant juices. Most larvae are carnivorous within their particular habitat, which may be aquatic, or terrestrial in soil or leaf-mould. There are more than 2000 described species.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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