Series: RES Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects Volume: 10/07
40 pages, 44 b/w line drawings
The Hippoboscidae, Nycteribiidae and Streblidae are families of Diptera that have been combined under the name Pupipara. They are permanent, obligate, blood-feeding ectoparasites of birds or mammals and, in common with tsetse-flies (Glossinidae), the females do not lay eggs but nurture larvae internally, singly. When fully developed each larva is released and pupates immediately. The Nycteribiidae and Streblidae are exclusively parasitic on bats, while the Hippoboscidae parasitise birds and Artiodactyl mammals (with a few species on other mammals). The Hippoboscidae and Nycteribiidae occur throughout the world with the richest fauna in the Old World tropics. The Streblidae are mainly tropical with a few species occurring in the lower temperate latitudes, but not as far as Britain. In the Neotropical Region, Streblidae are particularly diverse, both in number of species and their range of form.
Many of the volumes in the RES Handbooks series have included only scant accounts of biology. The opportunity is taken here to give a much more detailed account of the biology because of the interest shown in these flies by the many workers studying their hosts. The small number of species involved enables direct comparisons of their behaviour and to show where knowledge is uncertain or lacking, in the hope of encouraging further research. Such research contributes not only towards understanding the relationships between the parasites and their hosts, but can help resolve problems of systematic relationships within and between the families. This account is restricted largely to work done in Britain, but the references will allow access to other literature. The author's unpublished observations have been included, but some are limited and require further data for confirmation.
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