Brown, Brian V. Entomology Section, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, California.
Gagne, Raymond J. Systematic Entomology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:May 2021
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An order of the class Insecta comprising the true flies. Members of the order Diptera (class Insecta, phylum Arthropoda) are known as dipterans or flies (Fig. 1). The name Diptera is derived from the Greek di-ptera, for "two wings," because the usual pair of insect hind wings is reduced to a pair of balancers or halteres, which is a trait that distinguishes true flies from all other orders of the Insecta. The term fly also may form a part of the compound names of insects in many other orders, such as butterfly, mayfly, and dragonfly. However, only the true flies are considered as members of the Diptera. See also: Arthropoda; Insecta
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