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

Family Sphaeroceridae - Lesser Dung Flies

5002398 - Rachispoda Small Fly Tiny Fly - Lesser Dung Fly? - Leptocera Fly Thoracochaeta sp. - Thoracochaeta Leptocera sp.? Leptocera? Limosininae - Leptocera?
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Family Sphaeroceridae (Lesser Dung Flies)
Other Common Names
Small Dung Flies
Explanation of Names
Sphaeroceridae Macquart 1835
Numbers
ca. 280 species in 30 genera known north of Mexico as of 2000(1), the actual numbers may be much higher; worldwide, ~1,600 spp. in ~140 genera(2)
Size
1.5-5 mm
Identification
Black wings with interrupted costa.
short, thick first metatarsomere is distinctive among acalyptrate flies(3)
Range
worldwide
Habitat
Associated with all kind of sufficiently moist decaying organic matter(4)
Food
Larvae feed on manure, decaying matter, seaweed or fungi
Remarks
"Few, if any, other insects are as common --or as rarely noticed... Pan traps... often take as many as 50 sphaerocerid species in a single site."(4)
Print References
world catalog in(3)
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.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.
3.World Catalogue of Sphaeroceridae (Diptera)
Rohacek J., Marshall S.A., Norrbom A.L., Buck M., Quiros D.I., Smith I. 2001. Slezske Zemske Museum, Opava. 414 pp.
4.Insects: Their Natural History And Diversity: With a Photographic Guide to Insects of Eastern North America
Stephen A. Marshall. 2006. Firefly Books Ltd.