• WordNet 3.6
    • n Diptera a large order of insects having a single pair of wings and sucking or piercing mouths; includes true flies and mosquitoes and gnats and crane flies
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Diptera (Zoöl) An extensive order of insects having only two functional wings and two balancers, as the house fly, mosquito, etc. They have a suctorial proboscis, often including two pairs of sharp organs (mandibles and maxillæ) with which they pierce the skin of animals. They undergo a complete metamorphosis, their larvæ (called maggots) being usually without feet.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • diptera An order of metabolous hexapod insects. They are two-winged insects, or flies, with two membranous wings with radiating nervures, not folded at rest, a posterior pair being only represented by halteres or poisers; no mandibles as such, but a suctorial proboscis instead, formed of modi-fled mandibles, maxillæ;, and the central labium, here called glossarium; usually two maxillary but no labial palpi; antennæ generally short; two large compound eyes, often of thousands of facets, and three ocelli orsimple eyes; and the prothorax and metathorax reduced, the mesotho-rax being correspondingly developed. Metamorphosis is complete; the larvæ are a podal, or with only rudimentary feet; the pupaæ are usually coarctate (see cut under coarctate), sometimes obtected. The common house-fly, blue-bottle, etc., are characteristic examples. The power which many of these insects have of walking on smooth surfaces with back downward is due to the construction of the feet, which act as suckers. They have, besides the ordinary two claws, several little cushions called pulvilli, beset with fine hairs expanded at their tips into a kind of disk; the adhesion is aided in some cases by a viscid secretion of these hairs. The order is a very large one: there are said to be 9,000 European species alone, supposed to be not a twentieth part of the whole number. About 4,000 are described as North American. A few are useful scavengers, but many are injurious insects, and some are great pests. Gnats, mosquitos, gad-flies, blow-flies, bot-flies, tzetzes, etc., belong to this order. It is variously subdivided, one division being into four suborders: the pupipara, which are parasitic, and developed in the body of the parent, as the bee-lice; the Brachycera, or ordinary flies; the Nemocera, or crane-flies, gnats, midges, mosquitos, etc.; and the wingless Aphaniptera, or fleas, which are oftener ranked as a distinct order. Another division is into the suborders Orthorhapha and Cyclorhapha, according to the character of the metamorphosis: the former with two sections, Nematocera and Brachycera; the latter with also two sections, Aschiza and Schizophora.
    • diptera [l. c] Plural of dipteron.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n.pl Diptera dip′ter-a two-winged insects or flies
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. with two wings, di- = di`s- twice + feather, wing: cf. F. diptère,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. dipteros, two-winged, di-, twice, pteron, a wing.


In literature:

They consist of various Diptera, including some Anthrax-flies.
"More Hunting Wasps" by J. Henri Fabre
I fall back upon earlier Diptera: Eristales, or Drone-flies.
"The Wonders of Instinct" by J. H. Fabre
Perhaps the Diptera have their seasons of unusual multiplication and emigration.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 303" by Various
Thus an almost new field remains for the Entomologist in the study of the yet unknown Singhalese Diptera, which must be very numerous.
"Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon" by J. Emerson Tennent
We will recur later to these transformations of the Diptera.
"The Life-Story of Insects" by Geo. H. Carpenter
As they now exist, I deem them to be auditory organs of Diptera (flies, gnats, etc.).
"The Dawn of Reason" by James Weir
The Coleoptera, the Diptera, or the Hymenoptera, on the other hand, present far greater and more essential variations.
"Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection" by Alfred Russel Wallace
Antliata: insects with a sucking mouth; originally applied to Lepidoptera and Diptera, later and more specifically to Diptera.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
After they become flies, they prey principally on the class of insects termed lepidoptera, and diptera of Linneus.
"The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society" by Erasmus Darwin
The order Diptera is divided into sixty or more families, many of which contain species of considerable economic importance.
"Insects and Diseases" by Rennie W. Doane

In news:

Present a diversity of names and documents the importance of Diptera to man and reflects the range of organisms in the order.
Will Halesia diptera grow in this type of soil.

In science:

Morphological abnormalities of sandflies (diptera, psychodidae) in albania.
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
Gynandromorphs and intersexes in mosquitoes (diptera: Culicidae).
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
Peterson. A case of bilateral gynandromorphism in simulioum soubrense vajime and dunbar (diptera: Simuliidae).
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
The drosophila melanogaster cinnabar gene is a cell autonomous genetic marker in aedes aegypti (diptera: Culicidae).
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation