Diptera Section

About Us:

The Diptera Section founded in 1962 with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change offers exciting opportunities for research in a variety of areas in Dipterology.  Over the past 60 years and more, we have imparted a tradition of rigorous enquiry in diverse areas from taxonomy to genetic screening, bionomics to future range predictive modelling of dipteran flies. With a database of more than 1,500,000 described species, and still a more number of undescribed species, dipteran fauna has predominantly become one of the largest members of the entire entomofaunal family. This major insect group generally shares its ancestral lineage with mecopteran scorpion fly, probably from the Permotipulidae or the Permochoristidae ancestors. The whole origin history of dipteran evolution is further classified into paraphyletic lower diptera (220 MYA), paraphyletic lower Brachycera (180 MYA) and monophyletic Schizophoran (65 MYA) groups. Literally thousands of dipteran species have earned much more benevolent response than instant smashing. In spite of several harmful aspects by which they can suppress the economic development of any country, dipteran flies are beneficial too. From nutrient cycling, soil turnover, forensic investigation, decomposition of biological by-products to blossoming of chocolate plants, this group of true flies have contributed towards significant economic and aesthetic benefits as well as cultural values to human society. Covering a wide category ranging from agro economic perspective to biological pest control or eco system maintenance, this two winged insect order is prevalently distributed along the entire global landscape stretches, covering different classified habitats. With this higher percentile of economic importance pooled, Dipteran flies have always played a crucial role in ecosystem wellbeing. Because of their almost omnivorous nature, these tiny soft bodied insects are found in almost every habitat even though they are rarely found in oceanic and extreme arctic and Antarctic regions too. Such distributional diversification of dipteran flies is present in our county also. From peak to marine, this group of flies are prevalent in almost every ecosystem. Islands are also not an exception in this trend. The Diptera Section of Zoological Survey of India is currently housing more than 1 lakh specimens of dipteran flies. In the coming decades, we expect that Diptera Section will continue to evolve, expand and diversify its activities in research, outreach and conservation, whilst upholding its values of academic excellence.



Research Activities:

The Diptera Section of ZSI (Zoological Survey of India) offers exciting opportunities for research in a variety of areas in fly biology. This includes morphology & molecular taxonomy, ecology, bionomics, Scanning Electron Microscopic study, GIS based climate modelling and gut micro bacteria study of dipteran fly. Research is being carried out on a number of families, ranging from pollinator and predator to vectors, including forensic flies. This section conducts periodic field surveys in various states, Union Territories and biogeographic zones across the country. Excellent laboratory and computational facilities further support the research work which are periodically published in journals of national and international repute.

The section focuses taxonomic research on the following families: Ceratopogonidae, Simulidae, Culicidae, Tabanidae, Asilidae, Syrphidae, Tephritidae, Muscidae, Sarcophagidae and Calliphoridae, resulting in the publication of new species, new records in India, reviews of genera and checklists. The scientists of this section are recognized as doctoral supervisors at different institutes and universities across the country. Research scholars are currently working on their PhD theses on different novel aspects of fly taxonomy. The section also provides advisory services in identifying Diptera specimens for various institutions. In the past five years the scientists, scientific staffs and research scholars of the section have described several species as new to Science, as new country records along with 2 patents in controlling mosquitoes in larval stage along with their automated surveillance system, 1 patent in the processing of protease enzyme from dipteran gut bacteria. Regarding publications, 3 books which include 45 book chapters, and more than 75 research articles have been published in the last 5 years. Diptera Section encourages approaches that integrate various research concepts as well as techniques from theory to laboratory and field-based study.


Officer-in Charge

Dr. Atanu Naskar


Diptera Section, 5th Floor,

Zoological Survey of India, M Block

New Alipore, Kolkata-700053

West Bengal, India



Specialization: Taxonomy, ecology, biogeography,

bionomics and molecular biology of Flies (Insecta:



Sectional Staff

  • Dr. Jayita Sengupta, Senior Zoological Assistant
  • Mr. Sudip Mondal, Senior Zoological Assistant
  • Ms. Moubanti Das,Junior Zoological Assistant
  • Mrs. Mousumi Choudhury, Junior Zoological Assistant
  • Mr. Shivraj Ghosh, Field attendant


Research Scholar

  • Mrs. Rashmi Bhattacharya, CSIR-SRF
  • Mr. Souvik De, UGC-SRF
  • Mr. Arka Mukherjee, ZSI-SRF
  • Mr. Oishik Kar, ZSI-SRF
  • Mr. Koustav Mukherjee, ZSI-JRF
  • Mr. Debdeep Pramanik, ZSI-JRF
  • Ms. Bristi Roy, UGC-JRF
  • Ms. Debjani Ghosh, UGC-JRF