deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Asiloid Flies
deciphering their diversity and evolutionary history

Sample of Asiloid Flies

Publications resulting from NSF REVSYS support

List of publications resulting directly from the research support provided by the NSF REVSYS grant. For detailed references and additional information see the bibliography.

  • Dikow, T. and Grimaldi, D.K. 2014. Robber flies in Cretaceous ambers (Insecta: Diptera: Asilidae). American Museum Novitates 3799: 1–19. Summary: The first Asilidae fossil in Burmese amber (100 myo) from Myanmar (formerly Burma) has been discovered and is described based on a male and a female specimen and named Burmapogon bruckschi. The previously described, but unnamed single specimen of Asilidae from Raritan amber (90–94 myo) from New Jersey, USA (Grimaldi & Cummings 1999) has now been named Cretagaster raritanensis. Both species have been placed phylogenetically using the hypothesis of Asilidae relationships by Dikow (2009). Access through DOI to BioOne web-site or URL to AMNH DSpace Digital Repository. The photographs can be viewed on MorphBank (image collection 832153) and the figure of the phylogenetic placement of these fossils can be viewed on figshare (DOI 10.6084/m9.figshare.1004890). The ZooBank records can be accessed here: Burmapogon bruckschiCretagaster raritanensis.
  • Dikow, T. & Leon, S. 2014. Review of the genus Namadytes Hesse, 1969 (Insecta: Diptera: Mydidae: Syllegomydinae). Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1071. Summary: The species of Namadytes are reviewed and three species are recognized (two new synonymies are established). This richly-illustrated article provides a key to the currently known species ocurring primarily in Namibia and north-westernmost Suth Africa. This study was conducted by Stephanie Leon as part of her NSF-funded internship at the Field Museum of Natural History under the supervision of Torsten Dikow. Access through DOI to BDJ site.
  • Yeates, D.K. & Oberprieler, S.K. 2013. Review of the Australian Apiocera minor Norris species-group (Diptera: Apioceridae) with a revised key to species. Zootaxa 3680(1): 195–209. Summary: The Australian Apiocera minor species-group is reviewed and six new species are described. This richly-illustrated article does also provide a new, updated key to the species-groups of Australian Apiocera, which with 67 species are very diverse. This study was conducted by Stefanie Oberprieler as part of her NSF-funded internship at ANIC. Access through DOI to Zootaxa site.
  • Dikow, T. 2012 Review of Namibimydas Hesse, 1972 and Nothomydas Hesse, 1969 (Diptera: Mydidae: Syllegomydinae: Halterorchini) with the description of new species. African Invertebrates 53(1): 79–111. Summary: The southern African genera Namibimydas and Nothomydas are revised and four new species are described from Namibia. Each genus was previously known from two species and an additional two species are described in each Namibimydas and Nothomydas. The recent field work in Namibia (see here) resulted in the collection of fresh material, which is now the type series, of the newly described species of Namibimydas psamminos. A novel structure of the male terminalia in Mydidae, termed the supra-hypandrial sclerite, is described and illustrated. This structure is so far unique to species of Namibimydas and Nothomydas, but might occur in Halterorchis (males unknown) and Mimadelphus (only known from one male specimen, which has not been dissected as of yet), which are the other two genera in Halterorchini. Download a free PDF on the African Invertebrates web-site. To access high-resolution versions of the images published in this revision visit the Morphbank submissions site here.
  • Lyons, K.M. & Dikow, T. 2010 Taxonomic revision of Ectyphus Gerstaecker, 1868 and Parectyphus Hesse, 1972 with a key to world Ectyphinae (Insecta: Diptera: Mydidae). ZooKeys 73: 25–59. Summary: The Afrotropical genera Ectyphus and Parectyphus are revised and one new species, Ectyphus amboseli sp. nov., is described from Kenya. Six species are recognised within Ectyphus and one species within Parectyphus. Parectyphus namibiensis, the only species of this genus and which was only known from the single male holotype, is re-described in both sexes in detail and it's distribution is extended from central Namibia to north-western South Africa. This publication extends the distribution of Ectyphinae, previously only known from western North America and southern Africa, to also include a species in Kenya in eastern Africa. Download a free PDF on the ZooKeys web-site. To access high-resolution versions of the images published in this revision visit the Morphbank submissions site here.
  • Dikow, T. 2010. New species and new records of Mydidae from the Afrotropical and Oriental regions (Insecta, Diptera, Asiloidea). ZooKeys 64: 33–75. Summary: New species of Leptomydas (from India, Nepal, and Thailand), Mydaselpis (from Kenya and Tanzania), Syllegomydas (from Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe), and Vespiodes (from Kenya) are described. Several of the new species represent the first record of Mydidae from the respective country. Syllegomydas proximus Séguy, 1928 is for the first time recorded from Mauritania, which also represents the first record of Mydidae from this country. The placement of several species listed as incertae sedis by previous authors is addressed, i.e., Syllegomydas (Notobates) dispar (Loew, 1852) is re-described and illustrated from Mozambique; Cephalocera annulata Brunetti, 1912 and Syllegomydas bucciferus S&´guy, 1928, described from north-eastern India, are newly combined with Leptomydas Gerstaecker, 1868 and together with Leptomydas indianus Brunetti, 1912, also from north-eastern India, placed in Leptomydinae. A key to the Mydidae genera occurring in the Oriental Region and in eastern Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda) is provided. Distribution, occurrence in biodiversity hotspots and high-biodiversity wilderness areas, and seasonal incidence are discussed for all species. Download a free PDF on the ZooKeys web-site. To access high-resolution versions of the images published in this revision visit the Morphbank submissions site here.
  • Dikow, T. 2010. Order Diptera, family Mydidae. Arthropod Fauna of the United Arab Emirates 3: 608–615. Summary: Eremomidas arabicus Bequaert, 1961 (Leptomydinae), Perissocerus arabicus Bequaert, 1961 (Rhopaliinae), as well as Rhopalia gyps Bowden, 1987 and Rhopalia olivieri Macquart, 1838 (Rhopaliinae) are recorded from the UAE. In addition, Eremomidas arabicus has been recorded for the first time from Oman and represents the first Mydidae species recorded from this country.
  • Londt, J.G.H. 2010. A review of Daspletis Loew, 1858 with the addition of a remarkable South African species (Diptera: Asilidae: Stenopogoninae). African Invertebrates 51(1): 183–199. Summary: During the joined field trip to north-western South Africa conducted by T. Dikow and J. Londt in September–October 2009, a remarkable species of the Asilidae genus Daspletis was collected on red Kalahari sand dunes, which is here reported in addition to other new records of Daspletis species. Access through DOI to BioOne web-site.


  • Dikow, T. Apioceridae. Manual of Afrotropical Diptera.

In preparation:

  • Dikow, T. Phylogeny of Apioceridae and Mydidae based on morphology of imagines (Diptera: Asiloidea).
  • Dikow, T. Phylogeny of Apioceridae and Mydidae based on molecular data (Diptera: Asiloidea).
  • Dikow, T. A new species of Anasillomos Londt, 1983 (Diptera: Asilidae: Stenopogoninae).
  • Dikow, T., Freidberg, A., and Kondratieff, B. Mydidae of Israel and adjacent regions.
  • Dikow, T. and van Dam, M. 1st Apiocera species from Argentina.
  • Dikow, T. Review of Cacatuopyginae (Mydidae).