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A nemestrinid fly (Insecta: Diptera: Nemestrinidae: cf. Hirmoneura) from the Eocene Messel pit (Germany)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2015

Sonja Wedmann*
Institute for Palaeontology, Nussallee 8, D-53115 Bonn, Germany, 〈〉


The Nemestrinidae or tangle-veined flies are a small group of brachycerous flies with about 300 extant and fossil species (Evenhuis, 1994). Many of them are large to medium-sized flies with a densely pilose body. They have a unique wing venation with a compound diagonal vein which is an apomorphic character for Nemestrinidae (Yeates, 1994). The diagonal vein comprises elements of veins R, M, and Cu and it crosses the wing obliquely. Adult nemestrinids often occur in open areas and many feed on the nectar of flowers (Richter, 1997). Nemestrinid larvae appear to be internal parasitoids of Orthoptera (grasshoppers) and can even control the population numbers of Acridoidea (Orthoptera: Caelifera); however, the species of Hirmoneura Meigen, 1820 develop in larvae of scarabaeid beetles (Richter, 1997). As far as is known, the female places the eggs in the host's habitat and the first-instar larvae actively search out their host. Larval development takes about 40 days, but there may be a long diapause (inactive period) before 20 to 30 days of pupation take place. Adults live for about 25 to 45 days (Richter, 1997).

Paleontological Notes
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A nemestrinid fly (Insecta: Diptera: Nemestrinidae: cf. Hirmoneura) from the Eocene Messel pit (Germany)
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A nemestrinid fly (Insecta: Diptera: Nemestrinidae: cf. Hirmoneura) from the Eocene Messel pit (Germany)
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