Explanation of Names
Dolichopodidae Latreille 1809
~1300 spp. in almost 60 genera in our area(1)(2)
, close to 7,400 spp. in ~270 genera total(3)
14 subfamilies recognized in our area(1)
<1 mm up to 9 mm, usually under 5 mm
Species vary in appearance and biology. Adults are medium to small slender flies normally with green, blue or copper metallic colored bodies and long legs. Their wings are clear or marked with darker areas towards the wing tips. Wing venation is characteristic.
Eyes usually haired, clypeus variable, sometimes projecting, usually bare, or sometimes with setae near lower margin, antennae variable, scape with or without setae dorsally, pedicel variable, arista usually dorsal, sometimes apical, rarely below apex, 2-segmented, palpus variable, usually flat
Scutum usually strongly bristled, one postpronotal, 2 presutural supra alar, and 2 notopleural setae usually present, 1 postsutural intra alar, 2 postsutural supra alar, and 1 postalar bristle usually present, usually 6 pairs of dorsocentral bristles present, 2 anterior and 4 posterior, but sometimes 1-3 anterior pairs reduced, acrostichal setae small, uniserial, biserial, or lacking, scutellum haired or bare above, with 2-6 larger marginal setae, proepisternum with hairs or bristles, bristles absent on pleura
Legs usually with large bristles on tibiae, all parts of legs in male subject to variation, legs of female rarely modified, tarsi usually with bristle-like empodia and broad pulvilli; male of several genera with one or more tarsal claws absent or modified in form, mid coxal prong absent, hind tarsi not expanded, empodia usually setiform or absent; or pulvilliform and narrow
Wing about as long as the body, sometimes reduced or absent, membrane hyaline or with spots, veins on posterior half of wing bare, C usually extending to M, or just past R4+5, Sc usually abruptly curved posteriorly and ending in R1 except in Hydrophorinae, Rs arising at or very near level of crossvein h, R4+5 unbranched, M often straight beyond crossvein dm-cu, sometimes forked or flexed near middle of last part, cells dm and bm united, crossvein r-m short, near wing base, vein A1 and cell cup sometimes rudimentary or absent, vein A1 not reaching wing margin
Sternite 1 vestigial or absent
Worldwide and throughout NA(1)(2)
Lightly shaded areas near swamps and streams, in meadows and woodlands.
Mouthparts are for piercing (with a short proboscis). Adults and larvae prey on small insects. Larvae of some species feed on plants; they mine stems of grasses and other plants or live under bark
Larvae develop in wet to dry soil, also in standing or slow moving water. They pupate in cocoons made up of soil particles cemented together. Pupae have a pair of long dorsal prothoracic respiratory horns and a pair of frontofacial sutures. Adults mate after elaborate and unique behavior, involving the males displaying their legs or wings to the female.