Harvard University's Caribbean Insects: Thysanura

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The Diptera are divided into two suborders, the Nematocera and Brachycera, both of which are holometabolous, meaning that they undergo a complete metamorphosis. The Nematocera are more slender flies, with slender antennae and a longer maxillary palp, and include such common species as the mosquitoes. The Brachycera are heavier built with shorter, stouter antennae and palps, such as the familiar houseflies. Larvae of some species, such as mosquitoes, are aquatic, although all dipteran larvae lack legs and are maggot-like. They have a variety of feeding habits, ranging from consuming plant, to dead animals or to parasitizing live animals. Adults may feed by sucking through modified mouthparts, such as those used to penetrate flesh or those that resemble sponges for lapping up food. Such mouthparts allow for disease transmission, making dipterans leading vectors of diseases of humans and livestock.


Please browse and download our Field Guides to insect families and see our Caribbean Taxonomic Literature lists for available PDFs.


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