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Mastoptera guimaraesi.jpg
Mastoptera guimaraesi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Section: Schizophora
Superfamily: Hippoboscoidea
Family: Streblidae (but see text)
Kolenati, 1863

but see text

The Streblidae are flies in the superfamily Hippoboscoidea, and together with their relatives the Nycteribiidae, are known as bat flies. They are winged or wingless ectoparasites of bats, and often have long legs. They appear to be host-specific, with different species of bat flies occurring only on particular species of bat hosts, sometimes with multiple species of flies sharing a host bat.


The 237 or so species are divided among roughly 33 genera and five subfamilies. The monophyly of this family has not been supported. The streblid subfamily Trichobiinae may be more closely related to the Nycteriboscinae and other lineages in the Nycteribiidae. Several authors favor splitting the family into an Old World lineage consisting of the Ascodipterinae and Nycteriboscinae and a New World lineage containing all other subfamilies. The former would be named Ascodipterinae and the latter would retain the name Streblidae. Alternatively, the Streblidae and Nycteribiidae might be united as a monophyletic family containing all bat flies.[1]

Subfamilies are here listed in presumed order of most ancient to most recently evolved. Selected genera are also given, sorted alphabetically, as too little is known about their interrelationships.


One of the characteristic feature of streblid bat flies is their variable degree of eye reduction. The compound eyes are highly, but variably reduced, with some species containing only rudimentary eye spots. Ocelli are absent in all species. Wing morphology also significantly varies within the family with some species containing fully functional wings, while others contain either reduced (non functional or functional) wings or no wings at all.


Streblid bat flies, which are parasites, are themselves infested by fungi of the order Laboulbeniales; these fungi are thus hyperparasites.[3] [4]


  1. ^ Petersen, Frederik Torp; Meier, Rudolf; Kutty, Sujatha Narayanan & Wiegmann, Brian M. (2007). "The phylogeny and evolution of host choice in the Hippoboscoidea (Diptera) as reconstructed using four molecular markers". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. The Netherlands: Elsevier. 45 (1): 111–122. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.04.023. ISSN 1055-7903. PMID 17583536. 
  2. ^ Gustavo Graciolli; Carl W. Dick (22 October 2008). "Checklist of World Streblidae (DIPTERA: HIPPOBOSCOIDEA)" (pdf). The Field Museum: 7. Retrieved 18 September 2008. 
  3. ^ Haelewaters, Danny; Pfliegler, Walter P.; Szentiványi, Tamara; Földvári, Mihály; Sándor, Attila D.; Barti, Levente; Camacho, Jasmin J.; Gort, Gerrit; Estók, Péter; Hiller, Thomas; Dick, Carl W.; Pfister, Donald H. (2017). "Parasites of parasites of bats: Laboulbeniales (Fungi: Ascomycota) on bat flies (Diptera: Nycteribiidae) in central Europe". Parasites & Vectors. 10 (1). doi:10.1186/s13071-017-2022-y. ISSN 1756-3305.  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ Walker, Melissa J.; Dorrestein, Annabel; Camacho, Jasmin J.; Meckler, Lauren A.; Silas, Kirk A.; Hiller, Thomas; Haelewaters, Danny (2018). "A tripartite survey of hyperparasitic fungi associated with ectoparasitic flies on bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in a neotropical cloud forest in Panama". Parasite. 25: 19. doi:10.1051/parasite/2018017. ISSN 1776-1042.  open access publication – free to read

Further reading[edit]

  • Dick, C.W. & Gettinger, D. (2005): A faunal survey of streblid flies (Diptera: Streblidae) associated with bats in Paraguay. Journal of Parasitology 91(5): 1015-1024. doi:10.1645/GE-536R.1 PDF fulltext
  • Fritz, G.N. (1983): Biology and ecology of bat flies (Diptera: Streblidae) on bats in the genus Carollia. Journal of Medical Entomology 20(1): 1-10. PMID 6827567
  • Gannon, M.R. & Willig, M.R. (1995): Ecology of ectoparasites from tropical bats. Environmental Entomology 24(6): 1495−1503. PDF fulltext
  • Komeno, C.A. & Linhares, A.X. (1999): Batflies parasitic on some phyllostomid bats in southeastern Brazil: parasitism rates and host-parasite relationships. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 94(2): 151-156. doi:10.1590/S0074-02761999000200004 PDF fulltext
  • Patterson, B.D.; Ballard, J.W. & Wenzel, R.L. (1998): Distributional evidence for cospeciation between Neotropical bats and their bat fly ectoparasites. Studies of Neotropical Fauna and Environment 33(2): 76−84. doi:10.1076/snfe. PDF fulltext
  • Wenzel, R.L. (1976): The Streblid batflies of Venezuela (Diptera:Streblidae). Brigham Young University Science Bulletin (Biological Series) 20(4): 1−177.
  • Wenzel, R.L. & Tipton, V.J. (eds.) (1966): Ectoparasites of Panama. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois, USA.