Lonchaeidae

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Classification

BRACHYCERA, Muscomorpha Schizophora Acalyptratae, Tephritoidea

Number of British species: 44

Size: S

Difficulty: 3-4

Characters

Usually stout, metallic green or bluish black, small to medium sized (3-6 mm) flies. Head large, hemispherical, showing considerable sexual dimorphism with frons narrower in the male; lunula large; arista bare or with shorter to longer pubescence; ocelli present; Ocellar bristles present; Postvertical bristles weak, diverging; 1 pair of frontal bristles, situated at the level of the ocellar triangle and curving backward; scattered interfrontal setulae present; vibrissae absent but in some genera with a series of vibrissa-like bristles near the vibrissal angle. Wing unmarked cell c wide vein Sc complete; costa with a subcostal break; crossvein BM-Cu present; cell cup closed. Haltere dark brown to black. Tibiae without dorsal preapical bristle or present only on tibia of mid legs. Abdomen short, wide, dorsoventrally flattened; the female with a lanceolate, incompletely retractable ovipositor.

Biology

The larvae of most species are found in mouldering wood and underneath the bark of dying or dead trees, with several species associated with certain tree species. In other species the larval development takes place in rotting vegetable matter such as onions, conifer seeds, fruits, vegetables, galls on grasses or other substances. The larvae of most species feed on vegetable matter, although some are carrion eaters or prey on the larvae of other insects, e.g. those of beetles. Males congregate in swarms in openings in forests. Lonchaeidae are usually less frequently encountered and in many cases have been obtained by rearing; however, they are by no means rare as is clear from the larger series obtained by beer/wine traps and Malaise traps.

Identification

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