Beetle Flies: Facts About This Rare Fly That Will Shock You

Among the most popular fly species in the world, beetle flies, otherwise known as the Celyphidae flies, are very rare, and this is probably why there is restricted information about them.

These flies are quite specialized, and despite being flies, they also have a beetle-like appearance. As you read on, you’ll come to discover what gives them this appearance.

We have compiled in this article known and unknown facts about this fly, and we hope you enjoy your read!


What Do Beetle Flies Look Like?

Beetle Flies
Picture Depicting What Beetle Flies Look Like

The beetle flies, otherwise referred to as the Celyphidae, are easily recognizable due to their small size and descriptive appearance, which makes it easy to identify them.

Besides their medium size, below are key ways to identify the Celyphidae:

  • The large triangular shield-shaped part on their backs, otherwise known as the scutellum, gives them their beetle-like appearance and serves as an enlarged protective shell over their abdomen.
  • Most beetles have metallic, shiny colorations, and beetle flies are not an exception.
  • They also appear to have short, stiff hair (bristles) on their heads.
  • When at rest, their wings are usually folded beneath the scutellum.
  • The arista of their antennae, which is the large bristle attached to the front part of the antennae and performs sensory functions, is flat and has a leaf-like appearance at its base.

If by chance, you encounter an insect with the above description, then lucky you. You have come face to face with a beetle fly.


Read also: Flying Blue Insect: What Are These Flies I Am Seeing?


What is the Classification of Beetle Flies?

A Tabular Classification of the Beetle Flies


Genus Subgenus Year (Genus)

Year (Subgenus)


Acelyphus: A genus of Celyphidae known from the Indomalayan realm.

Discovered By: Malloch


Discovered By: Dalman



Idiocelyphus: A genus of beetle flies known from the Indomalayan realm and mostly found in the Philipines.

Discovered By: Malloch



Discovered By: Bigot




Chamaecelyphus: A genus of Celyphidae.

Discovered By: Frey


Discovered By: Frey



Asia and Africa

Celyphus: A genus of Celyphidae known from the oriental and Afrotropical realms.

It would interest you to know that all species of Celyphidae flies belonged to this genus.

Discovered By: Dalman


Spaniocelyphus: A genus of beetle flies known from the Indomalayan realm.

Discovered By: Hendel


French Guiana

Atopocelyphus: A genus of beetle flies from the Neotropical realm.

Discovered By: Gaimari


Southern China

Oocelyphus: A genus of Celyphidae flies from the oriental realm.

Discovered By: Chen



What are the Relatives of the Celyphidae Flies?

The family Celyphidae is suspected by researchers to be the closest relatives of the family of Acalyptrate flies.

In the past, the Celyphidae flies were considered to be a specialized lineage within the family of Acalyptrate flies, and now this has been backed up by molecular studies that indicate the following within the Lauxanoiodea:

Chamaemyiidae + (Lauxaniidae + Celyphidae)


Where is the Habitat of the Celyphidae Flies?

Celyphidae Flies
You Will Mostly Find These Flies in Wet Grass Areas

Even though these flies and their biology have not been really studied, it is certain that these insects can be found in the following places:

  • Wet Grassy regions
  • Along streams
  • Along rivers

Note that you will mostly find them as adults, as it is quite uncertain where they lay their eggs or live as young flies.


Read also: Spider Beetle NYC: Identifying These Pests In New York



The Celyphidea are commonly referred to as beetle flies and belong to the family of flies, despite the ‘beetle’ in their name.

They are only called beetles because of the similarity in appearance that these two insect species share. If you read this article you must have come across where this was properly explained.

You must have also come across the oriental and Afrotropic regions during the course of reading this article, and it will also interest you to know that there are only about 115 species in about 9 genera that belong to these biographic regions.

Despite the scarcity of information about the beetle flies, we have done our research and provided you with additional information that you probably could not find while surfing the internet.

What do you think of these Celyphidae? Why do you think they are rare? Do relate with us via the comments section below!

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