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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Panorpida
Cladus: Antliophora
Ordo: Diptera
Subordo: Brachycera
Infraordo: Muscomorpha
Sectio: Aschiza
Superfamilia: Syrphoidea

Familia: Pipunculidae
Subfamiliae: Chalarinae - Nephrocerinae - Pipunculinae
Overview of genera (21 + 2†)

Allomethus – Amazunculus – Basileunculus – CephalopsCephalosphaeraChalarus – Claraeola – Claraeosphaera – Clistoabdominalis – Collinias – Dasydorylas – Dorylomorpha – Elmohardyia – Eudorylas – Jassidophaga – Microcephalops – Nephrocerus – Pipunculus – ProtonephrocerusTomosvaryellaVerrallia – †Metanephrocerus – †Priabona

Pipunculidae Walker, 1834


Walker, F. 1834. Monographia Chalciditum. Entomological magazine 2: 148-179. BHL Reference page.
Kazerani, F. & Kehlmaier, C. 2018. A new species of the genus Clistoabdominalis (Diptera: Pipunculidae) from Iran with a key to the males of the Western Palaearctic species of the Clistoabdominalis ruralis species group. Zootaxa 4425(3): 582–588. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4425.3.11 Paywall Reference page.
Rafael, J.A. & Rodriguez, H.C. 2016. FAMILY PIPUNCULIDAE. In Wolff, M.I., Nihei, S.S. & Carvalho, C.J.B. de (eds.), Catalogue of Diptera of Colombia. Zootaxa 4122(1): 452–456. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4122.1.38. Reference page.


Skevington, Jeff. 2008. Pipunculidae. Big-headed Flies. Version 7 August 2008. http://tolweb.org/Pipunculidae/10524/2008.08.07 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

Vernacular names
日本語: アタマアブ科
中文: 头蝇科

Pipunculidae is a family of flies (Diptera) commonly termed big-headed flies, a reference to the large (holoptic) eyes, which cover nearly the entire head. The family is found worldwide and more than 1300 species have been described.

The larvae of Pipunculidae develop as parasitoids almost exclusively in Auchenorrhyncha, the exception being the genus Nephrocerus, whose hosts are adult Tipulidae (crane flies). The larvae develop rapidly within the crane flies before pupating in the soil.[1] In all pipunculids there are only two larval stages. Some species are used as biological control agents in rice fields.


Taxonomy as shown at the Tree of life,[2] with modification based on Kehlmaier, Dierick and Skevington (2014).[3] The name Pipunculidae is derived from the type genus Pipunculus which is thought to be derived from Latin pepo for pumpkin, thus pipunculus would mean "little pumpkin", referring to the large heads.[4]

Subfamily Chalarinae

Genus Chalarus
Genus Jassidophaga
Genus †Protoverrallia Baltic amber Eocene (Priabonian)
Genus Verrallia

Subfamily Nephrocerinae

Tribe Nephrocerini
Genus Nephrocerus
Tribe incertae sedis
Genus †Priabona Florissant Formation, Eocene (Priabonian)

Subfamily Protonephrocerinae

Genus Protonephrocerus
Genus †Metanephrocerus Klondike Mountain Formation,Washington, Eocene (Ypresian) Baltic amber Eocene (Priabonian)

Subfamily Pipunculinae

Tribe Cephalopsini
Genus Cephalops
Genus Cephalosphaera
Tribe Microcephalopsini
Genus Collinias
Genus Microcephalops
Tribe Eudorylini
Genus Allomethus
Genus Amazunculus
Genus Basileunculus
Genus Claraeola
Genus Clistoabdominalis
Genus Dasydorylas
Genus Elmohardyia
Genus Eudorylas
Tribe Tomosvaryellini
Genus Dorylomorpha
Genus Tomosvaryella
Tribe Pipunculini
Genus Pipunculus


Typical wing venation of Pipunculidae

Metanephrocerus belgardeae, Protonephrocerinae

Nephrocerus scutellatus,

Eudorylas ruralis, Eudorylini, Pipunculinae

See also

List of British Pipunculidae


Koenig, D.P. & C.W. Young. (January 2007). "First observation of parasitic relations between bigheaded flies of the genus Nephrocerus (Diptera: Pipunculidae) and crane flies of the genus Tipula (Diptera: Tupulidae: Tipulinae), with larval and puparial descriptions of Nephrocerus atrapilus Skevington". Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. Washington DC: Allen Press/The Entomological Society of Washington. 109 (1): 52–65. ISSN 0013-8797.
Pipunculidae at the Tree of life
Kehlmaier, C; Dierick, M; Skevington, JH (2014). "Micro-CT studies of amber inclusions reveal internal genitalic features of big-headed flies, enabling a systematic placement of Metanephrocerus Aczel, 1948 (Insecta: Diptera: Pipunculidae)". Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny. 72 (1): 23–36.
Cameron, H. D. (1974). "The Etymology of the Names Pipunculus Latreille and Dorilas Meigen (Diptera, Pipunculidae)". The Great Lakes Entomologist. 7 (1): 31–32.

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