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Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Nycteribiidae
Samouelle, 1819

Three; see text

Nycteribiidae is a family of the true fly superfamily Hippoboscoidea are known as "bat flies", together with their close relatives the Streblidae. As the latter do not seem to be a monophyletic group, it is conceivable that bat flies cannot be united into a single family.[1]

They are flattened, spiderlike flies without eyes or wings, and as such bear very little resemblance to other Dipterans. These flies are seldom encountered by general collectors, as they almost never leave the bodies of their hosts. Both males and females take blood meals, thus they qualify as real parasites. Most species are highly host-specific. The family is primarily found in the Old World tropics; a few of the 274[2] known species occur in the Neotropics and in Europe.



One of the key morphological features of Nycteribiidae is their highly reduced compound eyes. Many species of Nycteribiidae contain no visible eyes or contain only rudimentary eye spots. None of the species contain wings. They have backward folded legs that resemble those of spiders and a dorsally inserted head.[3]


  1. ^ Frederik Torp Petersen; Rudolf Meier; Sujatha Narayanan Kutty; Brian M. Wiegmann (2007). "The phylogeny and evolution of host choice in the Hippoboscoidea (Diptera) as reconstructed using four molecular markers". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 45 (1): 111–122. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.04.023. PMID 17583536.
  2. ^ a b Gustavo Graciolli & Carl W. Dick (October 22, 2008). "Checklist of World Nycteribiidae (Diptera: Hippoboscoidea)" (PDF). Field Museum of Natural History. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 13, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2008. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Kirk-Spriggs, Ashley H., Marion Kotrba, and Robert S. Copeland. "Further details of the morphology of the enigmatic African fly Mormotomyia hirsuta Austen (Diptera: Mormotomyiidae)." African Invertebrates 52.1 (2011): 145-165.

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