Click the link at right to use the external morphology glossary. Terminology for external morphology of adult Therevidae is provided through a link to the 'Anatomical Atlas of Fly Families'. This atlas is just a part of the larger 'Interactive Key, Anatomical Atlas and guide to the fly families of Australia' by Hamilton, J., Yeates, D.K., Hastings, A., Bickel, D. et al. (2005), Australian Biological Resources Study Identification Guides, Canberra.


Terminology for genitalia used in this key is presented below. Terminology of male and female genitalic structures follows Irwin & Lyneborg (1981), but is modified and standardised following Winterton et al. (1999a). Definitions were sourced from Kotrba (2000), McAlpine (1981), Sinclair (2000), Sinclair et al. (1993).

Male genitalia

Aedeagus (=phallus, intromittent organ, penis): Male organ bearing the genital opening or openings; arising immediately behind sternite 9.

Basiphallus: Basal region of the phallus.

Cercus (pl. cerci): One-segmented, pad-like lobe, paired. Anus positioned between cerci.

Distiphallus: The distal or apical part of the aedeagus, usually single in Therevidae. Variously shaped, sometimes with apical spines.

Dorsal apodeme (of parameral sheath): Parameral sheath extends anteriorly from enclosing the distphallus to two apodemes, the ventral and dorsal apodemes. The dorsal apodeme is often connected to the subepandrial sclerite by a thin membrane. It is usually either reduced or 'T'-shaped in Agapophytinae and Taenogera genus-group Therevidae. In Therevinae it is usually a large single structure totally covering the rest of the aedeagus in dorsal view.

Ejaculatory apodeme (=aedeagal apodeme): Unpaired apodeme inserted at the basiphallus of the aedeagus. A component of the sperm pump that supports muscles that force the ejaculatory apodeme into the base of the sperm sac, compressing the pump. Often with large lateral flanges in some genera. Muscles M31 and M32 attach to this apodeme.

Epandrium: Modified tergite 9, generally subrectangular in shape in Therevidae. The posterior margin is often emerginate.

Male genitalia, exploded view.

Genitalic capsule: The male genitalia comprising the epandrium, gonocoxites, aedeagus and hypandrium. (See exploded view of genitalic capsule at right)

Gonocoxal apodeme: Pair of conspicuous, anteriorly projecting, internal processes of gonocoxite, best viewed with the epandrium removed. They are long and slender in Therevidae, with the paramere attached at mid-length. The gonocoxal apodeme may be greatly elongated in some genera (e.g. Bonjeania, Parapsilocephala). Referred to as parameral apodeme in some early therevid literature.

Gonocoxite: (pl. gonocoxites) Paired, basal section of gonopod; forming the main ventral portion of the genitalic capsule; gonocoxites often separated ventrally along midline, artculated posteriorly with gonostyli and inner gonocoxal processes.

Gonostylus (pl. gonostyli): Apical portion of gonopod; articulated and located between ventral lobe and inner gonocoxal process. Often bears sensory setae or spines along the inner apical margin, occasionally subdivided into inner and outer lobes.

Hypandrium: Modified sternite 9, generally subtriangular in shape in Therevidae; somtimes absent or completely or partially fused to gonocoxites.

Inner gonocoxal process: Articulated, paired structure located posteriorly on the gonocoxites between the gonostylus and outer gonocoxal process. Sometimes with apical setae. Shape variable, but often elongate and slightly inward curved. Referred to incorrectly as paramere and outer style in some early therevid literature.

Lateral ejaculatory apodeme:

Medial atrium: An atrium or opening formed between the gonocoxites in some genera of Australian Therevidae (e.g. Bonjeania, Ectinorhynchus)

Outer gonocoxal process: Non-articulated, posterior extension of the gonocoxite; often an extension of lateral surface of gonocoxite. Absent in some genera (e.g. Neodialineura) or greatly elongate in others (e.g. Patanothrix).

Parameres (= dorsal plate, paraphyses): Posteriorly directed processes attached laterally to the gonocoxal apodeme, often united medially to form a single sclerotized plate, dorsal to and usually arching over the phallus. Referred to as parameral sheath when enclosing the apex of the phallus as in Therevidae.

Parameral sheath: Conical-shaped sheath enclosing the phallus (formed by fusion of the parameres). see parameres.

Sperm pump: Found at the junction of the endophallus and the ejaculatory duct. Contraction of muscles attached to the ejaculatory apodeme results in compression of the closely associated sperm pump.

Sperm sac: Membranous sac that encloses the base of the aedeagus at the entrance of the ejaculatory ducts (a component of the sperm pump).

Subepandrial membrane and sclerite (= sternite 10): A deeply invaginated pouch separates the epandrium and proctiger from the gonopods and hypandrium. The roof of this space is either membranous (subepandrial membrane) or partly sclerotized (subepandrial sclerite) and extends to the anterodorsal surface of the paramere.

Surstylus (pl. surstyli) (= gonostylus, forcep): specialized apical articulated lobe that originates as a lateral outgrowth of the epandrium (tergite 9). Found in Apsilocephalidae; not present in Therevidae.

Terminalia (= postabdomen, hypopygium): the terminal complex of modified genital and anal segments plus any adjacent segments that show modifications for copulation and oviposition; typically those parts beyond segments 5 or 6.

Velutum patch: Used to describe short acuminate microtrichia that form a metallic, often blue-silver coloured pruinescence. The result is a reflective, velvet-like appearance. Characteristic of most Agapophytinae.

Ventral apodeme (of parameral sheath): Parameral sheath extends anteriorly from enclosing the distphallus into two apodemes, the ventral and dorsal apodemes. The ventral apodeme is either single lobed (e.g. Therevinae) or forked (e.g. most Australiasian nontherevine genera).

Ventral lobe (aedeagal guide): Ventromedial process projecting posteriorly from gonocoxites. Serves as an aedeagal guide.

Proctiger: The anus-bearing region behind segment 9. It consists of the hypoproct and cerci. The hypoproct is a mid-ventral, oval or triangular sclerite between the lateral cerci, and continuous with the subepandrial membrane anteriorly. Cerci occur as a pair of one-segmented, pad-like lobes on either side of the anus.


Female genitalia

Genital opening (=genital aperture, vulva): Located between segments 8 and 9 and leads to a pouch-like or tube-like genital chamber (vagina, atrium).

Vagina: Posterior part of the genital chamber.

Bursa (=bursa copulatrix, bursa inseminalis): General term for the genital chamber that receives the male genitalia during copulation.

Uterus: Anterior opening of the genital chamber, when enlarged for retaining developing eggs.

Spermathecae: Sperm storage organs from which the spermatozoa are released onto the eggs as they are passed from the oviduct; membraneous in Therevidae. They are located at the ends of slender spermathecal ducts that lead to the bursa. There are usually two or three spermathecae in therevids, rarely one (e.g. Bonjeania).

Accessory Glands: Unsclerotized, paired organs usually associated with egg laying. They produce the adhesive for attaching eggs to a substrate. The ducts of the accessory glands open into the anterodorsal part of the genital chamber, usually close behind the spermathecal duct openings.

Spermathecal sac: A large sac-like structure associated with the spermathecal ducts in Therevidae. There is enormous variety in spermathecal sac size and shape, with greatest development in the Australasian Therevidae (see Winterton et al. 1999c).

Spermathecal sac duct: Duct connecting the spermathecal sac to the bursa. Commonly with spermathecal ducts joining to it in therevids.

Spermathecal duct: Duct connecting the spermatheca to the bursa or spermathecal sac duct; usually muscular basall and lng and narrow distally.

Acanthophorites: Paired spine-bearing tergites (tergite 10).

Acanthophorite A1 setae: Large dorsolaterally directed spines located in series on posterior margin of acanthophorite; used during egg laying to dig into the substrate.

Acanthophorite A2 setae: Elongate ventrally directed spines on lateral margin of acanthophorite; used during egg laying to prevent sand entering the genital chamber.

Cerci: One-segmented, paired terminal appendages at either side of the anus.