Guiding BeeInsects in the Big Picture


This order counts over 85,000 identified species. The Diptera, to our eternal chagrin, interact with humans more than any other order. The flies, mosquitoes, and gnats are the most aggressive attackers of such large animals as humans, excepting perhaps the occasional army ant rampage as in the classic short story Leiningen versus the Ants. This is one of the most recently evolved orders, exhibiting some very advanced technology and versatile flight. The name Diptera refers to the single pair of wings which these insects possess ('di-ptera' = 'two-wings').

Insects in the Big Picture...2.3, March 1996