Journal or Book Title
Freshwater Life: A field guide to the plants and animals of southern Africa
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.
The Authors and Penguin Random House South Africa
Marshall, Stephen A. and Courtney, Greg W., "Flies – Order Diptera" (2015). Entomology Publications. 571.