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Ephydridae - Shoreflies

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BRACHYCERA, Muscomorpha Schizophora Acalyptratae, Ephydroidea

Number of British species: 148

Size: S

Difficulty: 3-4


Minute to medium sized (1-11 mm), usually dull, dark coloured flies. Face often swollen and convex; arista sometimes bare to pubescent but usually with long rays dorsally only; ocelli present; Ocellar bristles present, Postvertical bristles absent, pseudopostocellar-bristles, if present, parallel to diverging; frontal bristles pairs variable, curving forward, outward, or backward, in some cases absent; scattered interfrontal setulae present or absent; vibrissae present. Wing usually unmarked, in some cases darkened, marked or spotted; costa with humeral and subcostal breaks; vein Sc incomplete; crossvein BM-Cu absent; cell cup open or absent. Only tibia of mid leg in some cases with dorsal preapical bristle; in some cases fore legs raptorial.


The Ephydridae usually inhabit aquatic, semi-aquatic and coastal or non-coastal saline habitats where they may be found in large numbers. The larvae feed on microorganisms such as bacteria algae and yeasts; some species prey on insects and other small aquatic life forms while others prefer rotting animal tissue, excrement, eggs of spiders or frogs; species feeding on plant juices or mining in plants are known as well. Adults are usually found, sometimes in very large numbers, on or near the soil in humid or wet habitats where they mate, oviposit, or feed on a wide variety of organic matter like algae, honeydew, carrion, etc.; otherwise, adults may be found at some distance from humidity, e.g. on tree trunks and in vegetation. Some species have been recorded as pests in crops and greenhouses.


families/brachycera/acalyptrates/ephydridae.txt · Last modified: 2008/05/24 17:00 (external edit)     Back to top
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