Nycteribiidae

Species in this family vary in body length from 1.5 to 5.0 mm. They are an older group than the Streblidae and have become structurally much more modified. The adults are wingless but still possess halteres. Antennae are moderately large in relation to the size of the head and, as in the Hippoboscidae, the antennae of nycteribiids are usually located in antenna! pits. The eyes may be absent or are reduced to one, two, or, rarely, four facets.

The dorsal plates of the thorax are reduced, and the head and legs of nycteribiids are displaced dorsally. This articular displacement of die legs, together with the complete loss of wings, give the nycteribiids their spider-like appearance (Fig. 17.4). The head is narrower than those of the hippoboscids and streblids and, in the resting position, is folded back so that its dorsal surface is in contact with the dorsum of the thorax. The head is rotated forward and downward, through about 180°, in order to feed.

FIGURE 17.4 Nycteribia pedicularia, spider-like bat fly (Nycteribiidae), ectoparasitic on bats, female, lateral view. (Prom Hutson, 1984.)
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