Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Genera treated in the Opetiinae in(1)
now belong to 2 diff. subfamilies, Melanderomyiinae and Microsaniinae; the Palaearctic genus Opetia
is now considered to be a sole member of Opetiidae, thus there is no subfamily Opetiinae in Platypezidae
Explanation of Names
Platypezidae Latreille 1829
4 subfamilies, with ~70 spp. in 17 genera in our area(2)
and ~280 spp. in ~30 genera total(3)
Mostly 2-5 mm (but Calotarsa 6-10 mm)
Usually black or brown, enlarged hind tarsi
Mostly n. hemisphere, incl. much of NA
Late summer-fall. Brimley (4)
lists collection dates of October for Platypeza
in North Carolina. Insects of Cedar Creek
(Minnesota) lists dates of August-September for Platypeza
and July for Bertamyia
Adults may feed on fungi. Some groups are reported to take honeydew from leaves (Chandler, The Flat-footed Flies of Europe
Males sometimes swarm, and females are attracted to these swarms. Some are attracted to smoke. (Do they mistake a column of smoke for a swarm? This seems possible.) Larvae live on fungi.
Some genera associated with stinkhorn mushrooms, Phallaceae
Anna Botsford Comstock, in Handbook of Nature Study (1913), makes an interesting observation about spore dispersal in stinkhorn mushrooms:
The spores are borne in the chambers of the cap, and when ripe the substance of these chambers dissolves into a thick liquid in which the spores float. The flies are attracted by the fetid odor and come to feast upon these fungi and to lay their eggs within them, and incidentally they carry the spores away on their brushy feet, and thus help to spread the species.
The elongated tarsi have been suggested to be an adaptation for spreading the spores of host mushrooms.
Kessel, E. L. & Maggioncalda, E. A. 1968. A revision of the genera of Platypezidae, with the descriptions of five new genera, and considerations of phylogeny, circumversion, and hypopygia (Diptera). Wasmann J. Biol. 26: 33-106. (Full Text
Wikipedia Platypezidae page
has good info and an excellent video of Agathomyia
Wing venation reference diagram
for Platypezidae, with abbreviations and names for veins.