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

Family Heleomyzidae

Oecothea - male ID Request - Suillia Reddish Fly - Suillia Dung Fly - Scathophaga furcata? Tephritid - Trixoscelis ornata Unknown acalyptrate - Suillia barberi Heleomyzidae - Trixoscelis Small Fly - Trixoscelis
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Family Heleomyzidae
Other Common Names
Sun Flies, Heleomyzid Flies
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Helomyzidae, Heteromyzidae, Trixoscelidae(1)
Explanation of Names
Heleomyzidae Westwood 1840
113 spp. in 34 genera in our area(2), ~740 spp. in 76 genera total(3)
2-7.5 mm(2)
Small or medium-sized flies with prominent hairs
antennae aristate (bristle projecting upward), with three segments, the third segment short and rounded
vibrissae present
orbital plates short, do not reach antennae(4)
costa usually with prominent spines
middle tibia with preapical dorsal bristle
most diverse in the Holarctic Region
Usually in shaded areas, typically near rotting matter (compost, dung, carrion etc.) or fungi; some associated with caves(5) or bird/mammal nests(2)
Tend to be common in early spring and late fall; some species may appear in winter, even in northern areas(5)
See Also
Scathophagidae and Sciomyzidae may look superficially similar
Print References
Gill, G.D. (1962). The Heleomyzid flies of America north of Mexico(Diptera: Heleomyzidae). Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum, 113(3465): 495-603. (Full Text)
Works Cited
1.A Dictionary of Entomology
George Gordh, David H. Headrick. 2003. CABI Publishing.
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.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
5.Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
Stephen A. Marshall. 2006. Firefly Books Ltd.