These little insects live as parasites on other insects. They are no more than 4mm long in most cases. They are obligate parasites - which means that that is the only way they can live. And this means that they must have evolved to do this alongside their hosts, over many millions of years.

Like the flies (Order Diptera) one pair of wings has been reduced to form balance organs known as halteres. Unlike the flies it is the fore wings that are halteres rather than the hind wings.

An illustration of a male strepsipteran

An illustration of a male strepsipteran showing the halteres.
Illustration by Halvard.

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