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; order Diptera, suborder Brachycera)

Small family of flies in which most adults are elongate, with dense body hair and slender legs. Their common name refers to the long, thin abdomen and broad thorax, known as the ‘blade’ and ‘handle’ respectively. The third antennal segment has an apical style. The empodium is absent, or represented by a weak bristle. Adults are thought to be predacious, but observations to support this appear sparse. Larvae are predacious on other insects in leaf-mould, soil, and decaying matter. About 500 species have been described.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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