• Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Poster: found
Is Open Access

The evolution of the adult head in Diptera

ScienceOpen Posters


This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at

Diptera, morphology, head

Read this article at

      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


      Diptera is one of the species richest orders of holometabolous insects. They are highly diverse in their ecology. The head is an essential feature of adult insects; bearing a number of important sensory organs as well as containing the brain. I investigate 36 taxa and the taxon sampling includes at least one specimen from almost all families of lower Diptera; but also some brachyceran and outgroup taxa. The head of adult Diptera is characterized by many reductions. Mandibles and their associated musculature are present in the groundplan of the order; but missing in most groups. The presence of mandibles is directly correlated with the feeding habit. They are present in blood-sucking species; like members of Culicidae; Ceratopogonidae or Tabanidae. In most dipteran groups the tentorium is a straight hollow tube; connecting anterior and posterior tentorial pits. In some specimens the tentorium is completely reduced (Nymphomyiidae or Tipulidae). However; in the dipteran groundplan anterior; posterior and dorsal arms are well developed (present in Simuliidae and Tabanidae); but a typical corpotentorium is missing in all groups. The tendency to shift the origin of the antennal muscles from the tentorium to the head capsule is correlated with the far reduction of the tentorium; but without a recognizable phylogenetic pattern. The potentially basal families of Diptera; Deuterophlebiidae and Nymphomyiidae; are extremely specialized in their morphology and life cycle. Thereby the interpretation of the features appears difficult.

      Related collections

      Author and article information


      Entomology, Life sciences

      Diptera, morphology, head


      Comment on this article