Explanation of Names
Lauxaniidae Macquart 1835
136 spp. in 30 genera in our area(1)
, ~1900 spp. in ~170 genera total(2)(3)
Small flies of woodlands, yellowish-brown or black. Wings often clear, but some groups, such as Homoneura, have patterned wings. Most(?) species have iridescent reddish/purplish or greenish eyes.
Can be distinguished from other muscoids by the complete subcosta, no oral vibrissae and the postverticals converging(1)
Lauxaniidae versus Drosophilidae: The easiest character to look for is the strong bristles on the frons (top of the head right above the eye). In most of our lauxaniids, there will be two strong bristles above each eye, both facing backwards. Drosophilids usually have one strong bristle facing backward, often a weaker one facing backward just in front of the strong one, but usually a fairly strong one facing forward as well. (Comment by Terry Wheeler)
Many drosophilids have long rays on the arista of the antenna, while in most lauxaniids the arista is bare or has very short hairs.
Some helpful notes. Go to Flickr and hover the mouse over the image:
Woodlands, forests. Moist shady places. Larvae occur in decaying vegetation.
Larvae reported to feed on decaying vegetation in moist areas.
Gaimari, S. D., and V. C. Silva. 2020. A conspectus of Neotropical Lauxaniidae (Diptera: Lauxanioidea). Zootaxa 4862(1): 1-217.