Explanation of Names
Anthomyiidae Robineau-Desvoidy 1830
~640 spp. in ~40 genera in our area (per Nearctica), close to 2,000 spp. in 53 genera total(1)
Small to medium-sized flies, usually yellow, brown, gray or blackish; well-developed calypter at base of each wing; resemble muscid flies but more slender; wings sometimes clouded with gray or brown; legs yellowish to black. (Virtual Exhibit on Canada's Biodiversity
R5 cell parallel-sided, 2A reaches margin of wing, at least as a fold; hypopleura without bristles, often only one sternopleural bristle.
Most Anthomyiidae have small hairs under the tip of the scutellum, absent in Muscidae. [comment by John F. Carr]
throughout North America and the world
adults often on flowers in moist or wooded habitats; also common in fields
Most adults feed on nectar. A few (Egle) feed on pollen, and may be important pollinators. Some (Alliopsis, Zaphne) are predators. Larvae may feed on roots (Delia), leaves (Pegomya), or seeds (Delia, Egle); others live in bird nests (Anthomyia), dung (Calythea, Eutrichota, Hylemya), mushrooms (Anthomyia, Pegomya) or as endoparasitoids of grasshoppers (Acridomyia) or as kleptoparasites of Hymenoptera (Eustalomyia, Leucophora).
1. eggs, 2. Larva (early instar), 3. Larva (later instar), 4. Puparia, 5. Adult
Except for a few species with distinctive color patterns, identification to genus normally requires a dorsal and close lateral shot clearly showing bristle pattern (legs and thorax), calypters, and antenna. Even then, some genera can not be identified except by dissection.
Some are agricultural pests, especially some in the genus Delia
, including the onion fly (D. antiqua
), the wheat bulb fly (D. coarctata
), the turnip root fly (D. floralis
), the bean seed fly (D. platura
) and the cabbage root fly (D. radicum