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Family Lonchaeidae - Lance Flies

Small Metallic Blue Fly Larvae and Unknown Fly Lonchaeidae -? Fly Lance Fly - Lonchaeidae Fly Diptera; Lonchaeidae; Lamprolonchaea smaragdi - Lamprolonchaea smaragdi
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Superfamily Tephritoidea
Family Lonchaeidae (Lance Flies)
Explanation of Names
Lonchaeidae Rondani 1856
~120 spp. in 6 genera in our area (72 spp. of Lonchaea and 36 of Dasiops)(1); ~580 spp. in 9 genera total(2)
Most larvae live behind bark of dead trees; some live on decaying fruits or vegetables.
Some feed on bark beetle larvae
Life Cycle
Click on an image to view the life cycle:
Mostly saprophagous - the larvae feed on dead or damaged plants, although some also feed on live, healthy plants. Several species of lonchaeids form swarms near or above trees, hovering and milling around in the air. This behavior is common in several families of flies (midges, black flies, dance flies, etc.), but lonchaeids are one of the few groups of "higher" flies (calyptrates and acalyptrates) that do it. (Comment by Terry Wheeler)
Some can be considered beneficial
Print References
MacGowan, I. 2023. World Catalogue of the family Lonchaeidae (Diptera, Cyclorrhapha, Acalyptratae). Zootaxa 5307: 1-96.