Phoridae - Scuttleflies

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Classification

BRACHYCERA, Muscomocpha Aschiza, Platypezoidea

Number of British species: 326

Size: T-S

Difficulty: 2-4

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Characters

Minute to medium sized (0.5-6 mm) flies, often somewhat arched and more or less stout, with a characteristic wing venation. Head, palps and legs usually with strong, dentate or feathered setae. The body colour varies from black through brown, orange and yellow to pale grey or pale white. Eyes dichoptic; antenna with a large, rounded or elongate third segment bearing a long apical or somewhat dorsal arista directed sideways. Wing clear or tinged, rarely with markings; venation reduced, the strong R-veins ending in the costa about halfway up the wing; the other veins are weaker and usually follow a diagonal course, often parallel to each other. Legs typically with stout femora; hind femora often somewhat laterally compressed.

Biology

Rather variable, showing the greatest diversity of all Dipterous families. Larvae are found in several terrestrial habitats, in the nests of social insects and in some aquatic habitats, feeding on organic detritus such as dung, carrion, insect frass, dead snails, etc.; some feed on bracket fungi and mushrooms, on mycelium or on living plants (among others as miners), they may be predators or parasites of a wide array of organisms such as earthworms, snails, spiders and their eggs, centipedes, millipedes insect larvae and pupae. Most adults feed on nectar, honeydew and juice exuding from fresh carrion and dung; some feed on body juices of living beetle larvae and pupae, others prey on small insects. The adults are conspicuous on account of their fast and somewhat abrupt manner of locomotion. In some species, the males fly in swarms.

Identification

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