Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Family Pyrgotidae

Pyrgota Fly - Sphecomyiella valida Pyrgotid Fly - Boreothrinax maculipennis - male Mystery Fly - Sphecomyiella valida Waved light fly to black light - Pyrgota undata Sphecomyiella valida Diptera sp. - Boreothrinax maculipennis Pyrgotidae  - Boreothrinax maculipennis Female, Sphecomyiella nelsoni? - Sphecomyiella nelsoni - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Superfamily Tephritoidea
Family Pyrgotidae
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
reviewed in (1)
Explanation of Names
Pyrgotidae Loew 1868
9 spp. in 5 genera in our area(2), ~350 spp. in ~60 genera total(3)
NA species have brown patterning on the wings and lack ocelli
Head pattern of Sphecomyiella and Boreothrinax
In general, the head pattern of Sphecomyiella will be darker in the top-down view, stretching to the top of the head, while in Boreothrinax it is lighter and only reaches the middle of the frons (lighter streaks common in B. maculipennis)
Life Cycle
Larvae are internal parasites of adult Scarab beetles. Only a single larva develops in each beetle--killing the beetle within two weeks. The female fly is reported to insert eggs into the abdomen of the beetle while both are in flight, generally at night.(4)
Usually found at lights, rarely seen during the day
Works Cited
1.Synopsis of the North American Pyrgotidae (Diptera)
Steyskal G.C. 1978. Proc. ent. Soc. Wash. 80: 149-155.
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
3.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.
4.Manual of Nearctic Diptera Volume 2
Varies for each chapter; edited by J.F. McAlpine, B.V. Petersen, G.E. Shewell, H.J. Teskey, J.R. Vockeroth, D.M. Wood. 1987. Research Branch Agriculture Canada.