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

Upcoming Events

National Moth Week photos of insects and people. Here's how to add your images.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Moth Fly - Maruina lanceolata

Moth Fly - Maruina lanceolata
Tilden Botanic Garden, Berkeley, Alameda County, California, USA
September 27, 2009
Found near a damp, shady creek on the underside of a leaf. This was very difficult to photograph...holding the camera unsupported, facing up with my back bent backwards, in very low light. And it was tiny. I'm amazed it came out at all!

I presume it's in Psychodidae. I can barely make out two eyes buried in the fuzz. I really like the wing patterning and hair-fringe.


Psychodidae, Maruina lanceolata (Kincaid)
This is a very common species in California and throughout the wester US. I collected dozens of them for my research while I was in CA this past summer. Your description very aptly characterizes the typical habitat of this fly. The immature stages are found in moderate to fast-flowing streams, and the adults of many Maruina species like to rest on leaves near the larval habitat. A few other species of this genus also occur in the US, but they are colored differently.
Few species of Psychodidae are closely associated with human establishments. These are the species that people most often encounter and recognize, but they are in the minority in terms of moth fly diversity. There are actually thousands of psychodid species that can be found outside domestic habitats. This beautiful Maruina lanceolata is a great example, and one of my favorite flies to study due to the type of habitat where they are found.

Wow...thanks, Gregory!
Great to get this interesting creature identified to species! Now, when so inclined, we can search out other interesting info about the genus & species, e.g. ecological, life history, etc. (though that may still be hard to find :-) At any rate, I'm glad to have the summary info you provided.

Also glad to read your statements clarifying the apparently inaccurate tendency to associate this interesting group principally with human domestic habitats. Though, in all honestly, if I understand things correctly, the service that some of them provide for human wastewater treatment should be regarded as a blessing, not a stigma!

Nice shot, great angle!
Don't believe I've ever seen one on a leaf, or even outside for that matter.

Thanks Ron
Yeah...I think they're most often seen indoors around dank places like showers, open drains, etc. :-)

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.