Adults usually with 3-segmented antennae, the third segment enlarged and bearing a simple or plumose bristle (arista) dorsally (Fig. 94); palps 1-segmented. Larvae are typical maggots, with a vestigial head and the body distinctly tapered anteriorly. The head and mouthparts are retracted into the thorax and form a usually pigmented cephalopharyngeal skeleton (Fig. 95); this structure includes a pair of black, shiny articulating mouth-hooks and is often of charac teristic appearance for the family, subfamily or species. Features of the paired anterior and posterior spiracles of larvae are often helpful for distinguishing between species; also, the posterior spiracles of first-, second- and third-instar larvae usually (but not in the family Agromyzidae) each have one, two or three slitlike pores, respectively. Pupae are exarate and housed within a barrel-like puparium, formed from the cast-off skin of the final-instar larva (see Fig. 13). Adults emerge from the puparium by cutting off a more or less circular cap (the operculum).
This suborder comprises two distinct groups: the ASCHIZA and the SCHIZOPHORA. In the latter, a small balloon-like structure (the ptilinum) is projected temporarily from the front of the head of the young adult fly to aid emergence from the puparium.
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