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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: Tabanomorpha

Subfamiliae (4): Arthrocerinae - Chrysopilinae - Rhagioninae - Spaniinae
Overview of genera

Alloleptis – Arthroceras – Arthroteles – Atherimorpha – Chrysopilus – Coenura – Desmomyia – Litoleptis – Omphalophora – Pseudoglutops – Ptiolina – Rhagio – Schizella – Sierramyia – Spania – Spaniopsis – Stylospania – Symphoromyia – †Achrysopilus – †Basilorhagio – †Gallia – †Novelaria – †Oiobrachyceron – †Orsobrachyceron – †Pauromyia – †Scelorhagio – †Sinorhagio

Rhagionidae Latreille, 1802

Kerr, P.H. 2010: Phylogeny and classification of Rhagionidae, with implications for Tabanomorpha (Diptera: Brachycera). Zootaxa, 2592: 1–133. Preview [erratum in Zootaxa, 2609: 68. (2010) PDF]
Kraemer, M.M.S.; Nel, A. 2009: First recorded evidence in the fossil record of snipe flies (Diptera: Rhagionidae) in Cretaceous amber, France. Cretaceous research, 30(6): 1367–1375. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2009.08.001 PDF
Nagatomi, A. 1982: The genera of Rhagionidae (Diptera). Journal of natural history, 16(1): 31–70. DOI: 10.1080/00222938200770041 BioStor
Nel, A., Perreau, Z. & Doitteau, G. 2016. The oldest representative of the modern snipe fly genus Symphoromyia (Diptera: Rhagionidae). Zootaxa 4196(1): 144–150. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4196.1.9. Reference page.
Ren, D. 1998: Late Jurassic Brachycera from northeastern China (Insecta: Diptera). Acta zootaxonomica sinica, 23(1): 65–83.
Zhang, K.; Yang, D.; Ren, D. 2008: A new genus and species of Middle Jurassic rhagionids from China (Diptera, Rhagionidae). Biologia, 63(1): 113–116. DOI: 10.2478/s11756-008-0012-4

Additional references

Santos, C.M.D. & Carmo, D.D.D. 2016. FAMILY RHAGIONIDAE. Zootaxa 4122(1): 246–248. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4122.1.22. Reference page.


Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist
Rhagionidae – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).

Vernacular names
English: Snipe Flies
suomi: Sieppokärpäset
magyar: Kószalégyfélék
日本語: シギアブ科
한국어: 노랑등에과
русский: Бекасницы
中文: 鷸虻

Rhagionidae or snipe flies are a small family of flies. They got their name from the similarity of their often prominent proboscis that looks like the beak of a snipe.[2]


Rhagionidae are medium-sized to large flies with slender bodies and stilt-like legs. The mouthparts are adapted for piercing and many species are haematophagous as adults, while others are predatory on other insects. They are typically brown and yellow flies, and lack bristles. The larvae are also predatory and are mostly terrestrial, although some are aquatic.[3]

Snipe flies in the genus Rhagio are sometimes called "down-looker" flies after their habit of perching head-downward on tree trunks.
Rhagio mystaceus
"down-looker fly"
Chrysopilus thoracicus mating - Female(top) and Male(bottom)

The family is contained in Brachycera infraorder Tabanomorpha, and several of its constituent groups have been recently elevated to family rank. Atherix (and related genera) now comprise the Athericidae, Vermileo (and related genera) now comprise the Vermileonidae, and the genera Austroleptis and Bolbomyia are each now the sole members of their own families (Austroleptidae and Bolbomyiidae). The subfamily Spaniinae was sometimes accorded family rank, but this is not accepted in the most recent revisionary classification.[4]
Rhagio scolopaceus
exhibiting its "down-looker" behaviour
List of genera

Alloleptis Nagotomi & Saigusa in Nagatomi, 1982 - Sulawesi
Arthroceras Williston, 1886 - Nearctic, Palearctic
Arthroteles Bezzi, 1926 - Afrotropic
Atherimorpha White, 1914 - Australasia, Neotropic, Afrotropic
Chrysopilus Macquart, 1826 - Nearctic, Palearctic, Afrotropic, Neotropic, Oriental
Desmomyia Brunetti, 1912 - Palearctic, Oriental
Litoleptis Chillcott, 1963 - Nearctic, Oriental, Neotropic
Omphalophora Becker, 1900 - Palearctic, Nearctic
Ptiolina Staeger in Zetterstedt, 1842 - Nearctic, Palearctic
Rhagio Fabricius, 1775 - Nearctic, Palearctic
Schizella Bezzi, 1926 - Philippines
Sierramyia Kerr, 2010 - Nearctic/Neotropic
Spania Meigen, 1830 - Nearctic, Palearctic
Spaniopsis Senior-White, 1914 - Australasia
Stylospania Frey, 1954 - Philippines
Symphoromyia Frauenfeld, 1867 - Nearctic, Palearctic

See also

Use of DNA in forensic entomology

Further reading

Bezzi, M. 1928. Diptera Brachycera and Athericera of the Fiji Islands based on material in the British Museum (Natural History). British Museum (Natural History), London. viii + 220 pp.
Lindner, E 1924–1925. Rhagionidae in Die Fliegen der Paläarktischen Region 4 (20) 1–49. ISBN 3-510-43016-6 Keys to genera and species.
Stuckenberg, B., 1960. Diptera (Brachycera): Rhagionidae. S.Afr. anim. Life 7: 216–308 Keys to genera and species.
Stuckenberg, B., 1965. The Rhagionidae of Madagascar (Diptera). Ann.Natal Mus. 18:89–170. Keys to genera and species.
Leonard, M. D., 1930. A revision of the Dipterous family Rhagionidae (Leptidae) in the United States and Canada, Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 7:1–181.[5]
Malloch, J. R., 1932. Rhagionidae, Therevidae. British Museum (Natural History). Dept. of Entomology [eds] Diptera of Patagonia and South Chile, based mainly on material in the British Museum (Natural History). Part V. Fascicle 3. - Rhagionidae (Leptidae), Therevidae, Scenopinidae, Mydaidae, Asilidae, Lonchopteridae. pp. 199–293.
Nagatomi, A., 1982. The genera of Rhagionidae (Diptera). J. Nat. Hist. 16: 31–70.
Nagatomi, A. & Soroida, K., 1985. The structure of the mouthparts of the orthorrhaphous Brachycera (Diptera) with special reference to blood-sucking. Beitr. Ent. 35 (2): 263–368, 480.
Kerr, P. H., 2010. Phylogeny and classification of Rhagionidae, with implications for Tabanomorpha (Diptera: Brachycera). Zootaxa 2592: 1–133. Abstract.


Snipe Fly (Family Rhagionidae), 1 July 2014
Watson & Dallwitz
Kerr, P.H. 2010: Phylogeny and classification of Rhagionidae, with implications for Tabanomorpha (Diptera: Brachycera). Zootaxa, 2592: 1–133.

Leonard, Mortimer D. (1930). "A revision of the dipterous family Rhagionidae (Leptidae) in the United States and Canada". Memoirs of the American Entomological Society. 7: 1–181, 3 pls. Retrieved 23 June 2022.

L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz (2007-04-09). "Rhagionidae". British Insects: the Families of Diptera.
"Rhagionidae". Fauna Europaea. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
"Nomina — Diptera: P–S". Nearctica. 1998. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17.
"A Check List of Japanese Insects".

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