Family Anthomyiidae - Root-Maggot Flies
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Calyptratae)
Family Anthomyiidae (Root-Maggot Flies)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
The Manual of Nearctic Diptera includes a key to the genera of Anthomyiidae of the Nearctic region created by Dr. Hugh Huckett. Unfortunately, it was developed before the publication of Griffith's important monograph of the family (Flies of the Nearctic Region), resulting in the key being highly outdated in terms of nomenclature and classification. Unfortunately, Griffiths' was not able to revise a few genera such as Fucellia and Botanophila. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Systema Dipterorum, and perhaps other sites include many of these synonyms and their currently valid names that will be helpful in identifying these. The Manual's key includes the genus-group names Circia (=Alliopsis), Chelisia (=Anthomyia), Chiastocheta (the Nearctic species on the Manual are now in Botanophila), Pseudochirosia (=Alliopsis), Eremomyioides (=Eutrichota), Crinurina (=Lasiomma), Macrophorbia (=Lasiomma), Anthomyiella (=Calythea), Neohylemyia (=Leucophora), Proboscimyia (=Leucophora), Pycnoglossa (=Chirosia), Hylemyza (=Hylemya), Ganperdea (=Leucophora), Pegomya of couplet 35 (=Eutrichota), Nupedia (=Pegoplata), Pseudonupedia (=Paradelia), Paraprosalpia (=Alliopsis), Eremomyia (=Eutrichota), Craspedochoeta (=Anthomyia), Acrostilpna (=Lasiomma), Macateeia (=Botanophila), and Pegohylemyia (=Botanophila).
Explanation of Names
Anthomyiidae Robineau-Desvoidy 1830
~640 spp. in ~40 genera in our area[cite:xxxx], close to 2,000 spp. in 53 genera total(1)
R5 cell parallel-sided, vein A1+CuA2 reaches margin of wing, at least as a fold; hypopleura without bristles.
Most have small hairs under the tip of the scutellum (absent in Muscidae); many have 2 or more posterodorsal setae on the hind tibiae, as well as 3 post-sutural dorsocentral setae. Only a few genera of Muscidae have species with more than 1 posterodorsal seta, and most genera outside of Coenosiini have around 4 post-sutural dorsocentral setae.
Griffiths wrote in his Flies of the Nearctic Region that "In describing the squamae [calypters] I have made a comparison of the relative areas of the upper and lower squamae. This can be readily judged by rotating the specimen in posterior view. Previous descriptions have usually referred to the degree to which the lower squama projects behind the upper. I found this an unsatisfactory basis of comparison, because the relative position of the two squamae varies according to the orientation of the wing base." According to Griffiths, the taxa in the Nearctic with enlarged lower calypters are Emmesomyia, Taeniomyia (as subgenus of Emmesomyia), to some extent the Pegomya winthemi section, Calythea, Hydrophoria, most Zaphne, and to some extent Adia.
adults often on flowers in moist or wooded habitats; also 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).
early instar larva
later instar larva
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 without dissection.
Some are agricultural pests, including the onion fly (Delia 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