Bee-flies (Diptera: Bombyliidae) of Northwest Europe

The morphology of flies is explained at the CSIRO site. Select the lower Brachycera as the fly group.

Key to the genera

1.a Proboscis longer than the head in side view; hind border of eyes in side view straight -> 2

1.b Proboscis shorter than the head in side view; hind border of eyes in side view with a notch -> 5

Proboscis longer than head and hind border of eyes straight, above/left and proboscis shorter than head and hind border of eyes with a notch, below/right.

2.a Body length smaller than 5mm., relatively sparse haired; tibia 3 without bristles -> Phthiria

2.b Body length longer than 5mm., relatively dense haired; tibia 3 with bristles -> 3

3.a First antennal segment inflated, longer and wider than the 3rd segment -> Conophorus

3.b First antennal segment cylindrical, shorter and smaller than the 3rd segment -> 4

First antennal segment inflated, above/left; first antennal segment cylindrical below/right.

4.a Cross vein rm ends near the basis of the discal cell, at about 1/6th to 1/5th of the length of the discal cell, therefore the 1st basal cell (cell br) and 2nd basal cell (cell bm) equal in length -> Systoechus

4.b. Cross vein rm ends near the first third of the discal cell, therefore the 1st basal cell (br) much longer than the 2nd basal cell (bm) -> Bombylius

Cross vein rm near bsis of discal cell, above/left; cross vein rm near middle of discal cell, below, right.

5.a Body length smaller than 3mm.; Wing with discal cell fused with the 2nd basal cell (cell bm), forming one large cell -> Glabellula

5.b Body length longer than 5 mm.; Wing: discal cell separate from the 2nd cell basal -> 6

6.a Vein rs begins with a perpendicular angle on the vein beneath it, followed by a sharp bend -> 7

6.b Vein rs begins with a sharp angle on the vein beneath, lacing a sharp bend in the beginning -> Lomatia

Vein rs starts perpendicular, above,left; ven rs starts with sharp angle, below, right.

7.a Wing hyaline, at most the front border diffusely brownish -> Villa

7.b Wing with dark patches, acutely bordered from the hyaline parts, the dark patches may cover most of the wing -> 8

8.a Cross vein rr present, adding an extra closed cell to the wing tip -> Exoprosopa

8.b Cross vein rr absent, no extra closed cell present in the wing tip -> 9

Cross vein rr present, above/left; cross vain rr absent, below/right.

9.a Wing: discal cell completely darkened, without hyaline parts; Antenna: last segment on the tip haired -> Anthrax (part)

9.b Wing: discal cell partly or completely hyaline; Antenna: last segment on the tip haired or not -> 10

Anthrax, head and antennae: see hairs on tip of antennae.

10.a Discal cell hyaline or darkened only at the basis and tip along the veins -> 11

10.b Discal cell darkened for bout half its surface or more -> 12

11.a Antenna: last segment on the tip haired; wing darkened parts extend from front border into the wing -> Anthrax (part)

11.b Antenna: last segment bare on tip; wing: only front border darkened, with straight border with the remaining part of the wing -> Exhyalanthrax

12.a Wing: dark part of wing with hyaline spots -> Thyridanthrax

12.b Wing: dark part of with without hyaline spots, sometimes coloured whitish at cross veins -> Hemipenthes

Wing: dark part with hyaline patches, above, left; dark parts without hyaline patches, below/right.

Last updated 22.1.2008