The Diptera are familiar to everyone as just 'flies' - such as house flies and blue bottles - and this order of insects also includes daddy long legs, hover flies, midges and mosquitoes.

Most flying insects have four wings, and the ancestors of the Diptera had four wings. However, the true flies have evolved so that their hind wings have become modified into balance organs, or halteres, which act rather like a gyroscope, providing a high level of fine control during flight.

A photograph of a hover fly in flight.

Hoverflies are welcome visitors to any garden. The adults help pollinate plants and the larvae eat aphids.

Other names for (or types of) Diptera include:

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