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

Family Keroplatidae - Predatory Fungus Gnats

Predatory Fungus Gnat - Orfelia Fly IMG_0487 - Macrocera - male Mycetophilidae - Macrocera - female gnat - Macrocera - male Keroplatus? - Keroplatus Midge??? - Proceroplatus Macrocera - male Diptera (unid.)
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Nematocera" (Non-Brachycera))
Infraorder Bibionomorpha (Gnats, Gall Midges, and March Flies)
Superfamily Sciaroidea (Fungus Gnats and Gall Midges)
Family Keroplatidae (Predatory Fungus Gnats)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
sometimes treated as a subfamily of Mycetophilidae(1)(2)
Explanation of Names
Keroplatidae Rondani 1856
Numbers
ca. 80 spp. in 10 genera in our area(2), ~1000 spp. in 90 genera total(3)
Range
Usually forests; larvae inhabit damp, dark places, sometimes caves, most often under bracket fungi. Adults are also mostly found in dark, damp places, sometimes in caves, where they may gather by the thousands.(4)
Food
Larvae are predaceous or mycophagous; they spin hygroscopic webs to collect spores or small invertebrate prey. Predaceous species kill their prey with an acid fluid (mostly oxalic acid) secreted by labial glands and deposited in the droplets of their web; mycophagous larvae also have acid webs and occasionally feed on pupae of their own species or on dead insects. Larva of a Tasmanian species lives endoparasitically in land planarians.(4)
Remarks
Adults are mostly crepuscular/nocturnal; their flight is slow. They can be swept in low vegetation, under overhanging rocks and trunks, and along banks of streams. Excellent collections may also be made with Malaise traps. Some brightly colored members of the tribe Orfeliini are wasps mimics.(4) Orfelia larvae are bioluminescent.
Print References
Fisher E.G. (1941) Distributional notes and keys to American Ditomyiinae, Diadocidiinae and Ceroplatinae with descriptions of new species (Diptera: Mycetophilidae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 67(4): 275-301