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Jeff Skevington
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Containing group: Pipunculinae


There are 69 valid, extant species of Pipunculus. This genus has a predominantly Holarctic distribution. Only two species have distributions exclusively in the Neotropical Region while an additional three species have ranges that extend into the Neotropics. Recent regional revisions and/or keys can be found in Skevington & Marshall (1998 – Nearctic), Dunk (1997 – Central Europe), Kozanek (1981 – ‘Czechoslovakia’), and Coe (1966 – Great Britain). Despite the presence of several recent European keys, the taxonomy of Pipunculus in this region is poorly understood. Kehlmaier's recent work on Finnish Pipunculidae addresses some serious problems with taxonomy of Pipunculus but a revision of this genus in the Palaearctic is still badly needed. The work of Skevington in the Nearctic also needs revisiting. This is a difficult group and variation in genitalia within species may indicate the presence of species complexes. Molecular data should be included in future revisions of this genus as an independent test of species concepts.


Pipunculus specimens are distinctive, hairy flies. They have a propleural fan of hairs as in related genera, but unlike Cephalops, Cephalosphaera, Collinas and Microcephalops they have at least the front half of the thorax completely covered with hairs. In fact, most species of Pipunculus have the entire dorsum of the thorax and the entire abdomen densely covered with hairs. Only a few species have the hairs restricted only to the front half of the thorax.


Cameron, H. D. 1974. The etymology of the names Pipunculus Latreille and Dorilas Meigen (Diptera, Pipunculidae). Great Lakes Ent. 7: 31-32.

Coe, R. L. 1966. Diptera Pipunculidae. Royal Entomological Society, London.

Dunk, K. v. d. 1997. Key to Central European species of Pipunculidae (Diptera). Studia Dipterologica 4: 289-335.

Kehlmaier, C. 2008. Finnish Pipunculidae (Diptera) studies Part I: Taxonomic notes on Cephalops Fallén, 1810, Pipunculus Latreille, 1802 and Tomosvaryella Aczél, 1939. Zootaxa 1672: 1-42.

Kozánek, M. 1981. Genus Pipunculus Latreille (Diptera, Pipunculidae) in Czechoslovakia. Annotationes Zoologicae et Botanicae 142: 1-16.

Kuznetzov, S. Y. 1991. New Palaearctic species of the genus Pipunculus (Diptera, Pipunculidae). Dipterological Research 2: 1-51.

Morakote, R. and Y. Hirashima. 1990. A systematic study of the Japanese Pipunculidae (Diptera) Part IV. The genus Pipunculus Latreille. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University 34: 215-239.

Rafael, J. A. 1986. Parapipunculus, a new genus of Pipunculidae (Diptera) from the Nearctic Region and Mexico. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 30: 421-424.

Rafael, J. A. 1991. As espécies Neotropicais do gęnero Pipunculus (S. Str.) Latreille (Diptera, Pipunculidae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 35: 179-186.

Rafael, J. A. and M. D. d. S. Menezes. 1999. Taxonomic review of Costa Rican Pipunculidae (Insecta: Diptera). Revista de biologia tropical 47: 513-534.

Skevington, J. and S. A. Marshall. 1998. Systematics of New World Pipunculus (Diptera: Pipunculidae). Entomological Society of America, Lanham, Maryland.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Pipunculus viduus
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Identified By Jeff Skevington
Sex Male
Life Cycle Stage adult
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Jeff Skevington at

Page: Tree of Life Pipunculus. Authored by Jeff Skevington. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Skevington, Jeff. 2008. Pipunculus. Version 07 August 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Pipunculus/54641/2008.08.07 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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