Flies – Order Diptera

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2015-01-01
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Marshall, Stephen
Courtney, Greg
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Courtney, Gregory
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Entomology

The Department of Entomology seeks to teach the study of insects, their life-cycles, and the practicalities in dealing with them, for use in the fields of business, industry, education, and public health. The study of entomology can be applied towards evolution and ecological sciences, and insects’ relationships with other organisms & humans, or towards an agricultural or horticultural focus, focusing more on pest-control and management.

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The Department of Entomology was founded in 1975 as a result of the division of the Department of Zoology and Entomology.

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Diptera, the true flies, are among the most diverse and ecologically important insects. Adults are easily recognised by their single pair of wings (the forewings) and club-shaped halteres (derived from the hindwings). Two major subgroups occur: the lower Diptera and the more robust higher Diptera. The lower Diptera (below), traditionally treated as the suborder Nematocera, form an assemblage of primitive groups of generally delicate (‘mosquito-like’) flies with multisegmented, often long, adult antennae. Larval lower Diptera have a complete head capsule and horizontally working mandibles. Higher Diptera, suborder Brachycera (meaning ‘short-horned’) (p.220), are generally more robust flies with relatively short antennae, and their larvae have reduced head capsules and mouthparts that usually work vertically (like a snake’s fangs), rather than horizontally. All measurements given are body lengths.

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This chapter is published as Marshall, S.A. & G.W. Courtney. 2015. Flies – Order Diptera. pp. 210-227 in C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker (editors). Freshwater Life: A field guide to the plants and animals of southern Africa. Penguin Random House / Struik (Field Guide Series), Cape Town, South Africa. Posted with permission.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2015
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