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Identifying "Fruit Flies"

I've discovered that there are at least three different species of small orange/yellow flies that show up in my yard that all look pretty similar to me, but when I post them here or on Flickr, I am usually informed that they are not of the family I assumed them to be. So I was wondering if someone could tell me how to differentiate, visually, between Lauxaniidae, Drosophilidae, and Tephritidae?

For instance, I thought this one might be a vinegar fly, based on others I've posted that have been identified as such, but was told it was a Lauxaniidae, possibly Homoneura sp:



I'm usually pretty good at distinguishing differences, but not in this case, so any help would be appreciated!

Thanks to you all!
That is helpful. Also helpful were the notes and comments made in response to my same query over on Flickr, where user "servitude" was able to comment directly on my images to point out the differences, as well as posting a block of information in the thread below this first picture of a Lauxaniid fly. He also put notes on this photo of a Drosophila.

I think with all of your replies, I might be properly equipped to take a stab at the next one I photograph. :)

 
Notes
It would be great to have images with notes. The info page could certainly use them.
I hope that Bugguide.2 comes up with something like this. We have mentioned it before.

 
That
would be a very helpful feature! I hope it gets implemented.

 
I did it!
I put links to your Flickr images with the nice notes on them on the Lauxaniidae and Drosophilidae info pages. I hope that some people find them helpful. Now, it would be nice to get one for Tephritidae :)
I learned a few things in the process.

 
Oh good!
That's helpful. My Flickr account has no plans to disappear in the foreseeable future. :) Thanks!

Tephritidae versus Drosophilidae
A quick and dirty way to distinguish most tephritid fruit flies from most drosophilid "fruit flies" is that the great majority of the tephritids you'll commonly see here have a fairly distinct wing pattern, either stripes, splotches or a lot of spots. MOST drosophilids, on the other hand, have a clear wing, or a small number of distinct spots (see Chymomyza for an example.)

Again, there are other distinguishing characters, but this one is a good start, much of the time.

Most of our lauxaniids also have clear, or uniformly yellowish or brownish wings. Some yellow Homoneura have distinct dark wing spots, and a few species in other genera have an even more distinct pattern, but look for the arrangement of bristles on the head above the eye (see my previous comment).

Lauxaniidae versus Drosophilidae
Yellow or brown lauxaniid flies are easily, and commonly, confused with drosophilids. 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 (you can see this in a lot of the pictures on BG). 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.

John Carr also points out a good antennal difference - many drosophilids have long rays on the arista of the antenna, while in most lauxaniids the arista is bare or has very short hairs.

There are other differences, but these are usually the easiest ones to see in the typical poses posted here.

Antennae
Drosophilidae normally have a plumose arista.

Info
I tried to find some information here and there and added it to the guide pages for those families. Don't know if it will help you.

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