Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Dolichopodidae - Longlegged Flies

Condylostylid Long-legged fly (Condylostylus sp.) - Condylostylus Dolichopus canaliculatus ? - female Dolichopodidae? - Gymnopternus doli with wing tip marking - Tachytrechus vorax - male Long-legged Fly - Plagioneurus univittatus Fly - Dolichopus - male Stem borer, big bluestem - Thrypticus - female Diptera (?) on a flower - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Superfamily Empidoidea
Family Dolichopodidae (Longlegged Flies)
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)
<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.
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
Life Cycle
Larvae develop in wet to dry soil, also in standing or slow moving water in streams, ponds,
and marshes. They pupate in cocoons made up of soil particles cemented together. Pupae have of 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.
Print References
Stackelberg A.A. (1930) 29. Dolichopodidae. Die Fliegen der Palaearktischen Region 4(5) (UFL) (in German)
Internet References
UMN. Larva, page 14.