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Scenopinidae - Windowflies



BRACHYCERA, Asilomorpha, Asiloidea Number of British species: 2

Size: S

Difficulty: 1

Scheme: Covered by the Larger-Brachycera recording scheme


Small to medium sized (2-7 mm) flies, usually dark coloured, stout and somewhat dorsoventrally flattened. Head and thorax pubescent devoid of bristles. Eyes nearly always holoptic in the male and consisting of two differently faceted parts; antenna usually oriented downward, with 3 segments; the third segment is the largest and in some cases split at the end and/or bearing a minute style. Wing clear or tinged; vein M1 curving well forward, ending in the costa before the wing tip, or in vein R5; cell m3 open; cell cup closed. Legs relatively short and powerful, empodium bristle-like or absent.


The larvae live in a variety of dry substrates such as soil, dust, nests of birds and other animals, tunnels mined by beetles and other organisms, holes in wood, under bark, etc., where they prey on small invertebrates, in particular on mites and beetles. Two species with a world-wide distribution, including Scenopinus fenestralis (Linnaeus), are well-known predators of carpet beetles. The adults feed on nectar and visit flowers. Adults are not often encountered in the wild but more regularly found indoors on windows or in rooms with lots of dust and dry organic matter (disused rooms attics, church towers).


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