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NEMATOCERA, Bibionomorpha, Sciaroidea

Number of British species: 52

Size: S-M

Difficulty: 3

Scheme: Covered by the Fungus gnat recording scheme


Medium to large (4-15 mm), slender and delicate to stout, in some cases conspicuously coloured Nematocera with characteristic venation (e.g. crossvein R-M absent). Head small; mouthparts sometimes elongated; ocelli present; eyes dichoptic; antenna with 16-17 segments; antenna ranging from relatively short, consisting of laterally compressed segments to very slender and longer than the body. Thorax vaulted. Wing relatively wide, clear or with markings or crossbands, in Macrocera with a striking anal angle. Coxae elongate; tibiae with apical bristles or spurs.


The larvae are usually found in moist and dark spots in woodland. Keroplatinae larvae often occur underneath bracket fungi where they construct a web to collect spores (mycophagous species) or catch small invertebrates (predatory species). The latter group includes species provisioning the strands of their web with acid fluids in order to kill their prey. Macrocera larvae are found in rotting wood, underneath tree bark and below tree trunks. They are covered in a thin layer of mucus and feed on animal detritus or prey upon small invertebrates. The adults are found near the larval habitats; some species visit flowers where they feed on nectar; species of Macrocera are often found on the upper side of leaves, standing high on their legs and holding their wings slightly spread out.


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