; order Diptera, suborder Brachycera)
Family of small to large flies which are usually flattened, with bright yellow, green, white, or metallic markings. The body lacks bristles and has an annulate third antennal segment. Squamae are small and the tibia is rarely spurred. The scutellum is often strongly developed, with spines or projections. Wing veins are crowded near the costa and are more pigmented than the posterior veins. The adults are not usually strong fliers and are often encountered sitting on flowers. The larvae are associated with aquatic environments or with dung and are carnivorous in either habitat. Most larvae have thick, leathery skin impregnated with calcareous deposits. The head is small and obvious, and there are a further 11 body segments. The family is distributed world-wide, and about 1400 species have been described.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.