Halteres are modified wings. In the Diptera (true flies) it is the hind wings that have become halteres. In the Strepsiptera it is the fore wings that are now halteres.
Halteres are shaped like 'drum sticks' with a slender shaft connected to the thorax at one end and ending in a thicker structure at the other. Halteres are highly sophisticated balance organs and they oscillate during flight.
The halteres of this tipulid fly (daddy long legs) are clearly visible as the small 'drum stick' shaped structures behind the wings. Halteres are modified hind wings and are used for balance when in flight.
Photograph by Eugene Zelenko, used under GFDL
Related groups of terms
Related pages on this web site
Back to Glossary