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Piophilidae - Skippers



BRACHYCERA, Muscomorpha Schizophora Acalyptratae, Tephritoidea

Number of British species: 14

Size: S

Difficulty: 2-3


Minute to medium sized (1.5-7 mm), yellow or brown to black, in some cases lustrous flies, some species with a striking pale coloration of the face or with more or less extensive yellow or reddish coloured parts. Arista bare to pubescent; ocelli present; Ocellar bristles present; Postvertical bristles diverging, rarely parallel; 0-4 pairs of frontal bristles, if present curving outward or backward, in Actenoptera the lower 2 pairs curving inward; scattered interfrontal setulae present; vibrissae present. Wing usually unmarked, in some genera with spots along the crossveins and/or at the ends of the longitudinal veins; Costa with a subcostal break; vein Sc complete; crossvein BM-Cu virtually always present; cell cup closed. Tibiae without dorsal preapical bristle.


The larvae of most species live in rotting wood, bracket fungi, or mushrooms, some species live in nests of birds where they feed on the blood of the nestlings (Neottiophilum), or in carrion, mainly that of larger vertebrates (Thyreophora and its allies), or in substrates rich in protein. A well-known representative of the latter group is the larva of Piophila casei (Linnaeus), a pest in a large variety of animal products such as cheese, dried fish, meat, etc. The adults are not very active fliers and are mainly found near the larval habitats for oviposition or on tree trunks and logs, possibly for mating.


families/brachycera/acalyptrates/piophilidae.txt · Last modified: 2008/05/24 17:01 (external edit)     Back to top
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