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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Fall Fund Drive


Family Platystomatidae - Signal Flies

Pyrgotid Fly - Senopterina varia - female 8016382 Rivellia - Rivellia Mating Flies - Rivellia occulta - male - female Signal Fly - Rivellia Indiana Rivellia - Rivellia Signal Flies Genus Rivellia - Rivellia Is this a Signal Fly? - Senopterina caerulescens Platystoma seminationis? - Platystoma seminationis
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Superfamily Tephritoidea
Family Platystomatidae (Signal Flies)
Other Common Names
Picture-Winged Flies (not recommended, as that name more commonly refers to Ulidiidae)
Explanation of Names
Platystomatidae Schiner 1862
Signal Flies: wings are in almost constant motion, as though giving signals
41 spp. in 4 genera in our area, of which 34 Rivellia spp.(1); >1,160 spp. in ~130 genera total(2)
body length 3-12 mm
can be separated from the similar Ulidiidae [=Otitidae] and Tephritidae by wing venation(3)
Worldwide, most common in the tropics
Occur mostly in fields, some in woodlands.
Adults found on tree trunks and foliage; attracted to flowers, decaying fruit, excrement, sweat, and decomposing snails. Larvae found on fresh and decaying vegetation, carrion, human corpses, and root nodules.
May-September in NC(4)
phytophagous or saprophagous; some are predators of other insects
Life Cycle
Known larvae found on decaying vegetation(1)
Internet References
outline (Watson & Dallwitz 2003)(5)
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Order Diptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Pape T., Blagoderov V., Mostovski M.B. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 222–229.
3.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
4.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
5.Watson L., Dallwitz M.J. (2003-) British Insects