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Family Rhagionidae - Snipe Flies

Gold-backed Snipe Fly - Chrysopilus ornatus - female Snipe Fly? - Chrysopilus quadratus - female Rhagio Twin - Rhagio mystaceus Chrysopilus fasciatus - male Horsefly? - Chrysopilus thoracicus Fly of Some Sort? - Rhagio mystaceus Snipe Fly?   - Chrysopilus tomentosus Chrysopilus - male
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Infraorder Tabanomorpha
Family Rhagionidae (Snipe Flies)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
=Leptidae
Recently split into 3 families, incl. Bolbomyiidae and the exotic Austroleptidae (Chile, Australia; 8 spp.) with a single genus each(1)
Numbers
Circa 100 spp. in 8 genera in our area; worldwide, ~700 spp. in 17 extant genera arranged in 4 subfamilies, all represented in our area as follows:(1)
Arthrocerinae: a single genus worldwide, Arthroceras, with 4 spp. in our area, 8 spp. total
Chrysopilinae: 3 genera worldwide, one very large and nearly cosmopolitan (Chrysopilus) + 2 small genera restricted to the Philippines
Rhagioninae: 5 genera worldwide, of which Rhagio (Holarctic + some Oriental) is by far the largest, 2 restricted to the southern hemisphere, one to tropical Asia, and one to Mexico (Sierramyia)
Spaniinae: 6 genera (with ~80 spp.) worldwide, of which one genus is endemic to Australia and the remaining five are all Holarctic and represented in our area by 43 spp., incl. Symphoromyia (by far the largest), Litoleptis, Omphalophora, Ptiolina, and Spania
Identification
Head somewhat rounded; abdomen relatively long and tapering, legs rather long. The body may be bare or covered with short hairs. Most snipe flies are brownish or gray, but some are black with spots or stripes of white, yellow or green.
Range
Worldwide; less than half of our spp. are eastern(2)
Habitat
Adults common in woods, esp. near moist places, usually found on foliage or grass, resting head down; larvae in moist meadow soil, moss, decaying wood (incl. galleries of wood-boring insects), under bark, occasionally in water(2)(3)
Food
Both adults and larvae are predaceous on a variety of small insects. Most do not bite, but Symphoromyia females [known as Rocky Mountain Bite Flies(4)] are common biting pests in the western mountains and coastal areas(5)(3)
Remarks
This family contains some of the most primitive living members of the dipteran suborder Brachycera, and is believed to have diversified as early as 170 million years ago. The classification has been unstable for decades.(6) The head-down resting stance characteristic to many common spp. has earned them the nick name 'downlooker flies'.(4)