True flies are insects of the order Diptera (from the Greek di = two, and ptera = wings). Their most obvious distinction from other orders of insects is that a typical fly possesses a pair of flight wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax. (Some species of flies are exceptional in that they are secondarily flightless). The only other order of insects bearing two true, functional wings plus any form of halteres are the Strepsiptera, and in contrast to the flies, the Strepsiptera bear their halteres on the mesothorax and their flight wings on the metathorax. Flies are adapted for aerial movement and typically have short and streamlined bodies. The first tagma of the fly, the head, consists of ocelli, antennae, compound eyes, and themouthparts (the labrum, labium, mandible and maxilla make up the mouthparts). The second tagma, the thorax, bears the wings and contains the flight muscles on the second segment, which is greatly enlarged; the first and third segments have been reduced to collar-like structures. The third segment of the thorax bears the halteres, which help to balance the insect during flight. A further adaptation for flight is the reduction in number of the neuralganglia, and concentration of nerve tissue in the thorax, a feature that is most extreme in the highly derived Muscomorpha infraorder.
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