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Family Ephydridae - Shore Flies

fly - Gastrops nebulosus - female Ephydridae - Discocerina Ephidridae: Scatella? Parydra aquila Shore Fly - Athyroglossa glaphyropus Fly S. laxa - Scatella laxa Ochthera sp - Ochthera
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Superfamily Ephydroidea
Family Ephydridae (Shore Flies)
Other Common Names
Brine Flies (at least the ones living in salt water)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
now divided into 5 subfamilies, vs. 4 in(1)
Explanation of Names
Ephydridae Zetterstedt 1837
Greek epi 'on/upon' + hydor 'water' = 'living on the water'
~430 species in 70 genera in our area(2), ~2,000 spp. in ~130 genera worldwide(3)
2.5-9 mm(2)
The face sometimes bulges anteriorly
worldwide, incl. most of NA(1)
Aquatic/semiaquatic habitats are typical for the family; maritime marshes, tidal salt pools, salt & alkaline lakes of arid regions are the habitats where Ephydridae are of particular importance(1); one California species lives in crude petroleum pools, and a few species of Hydrellia live in stems, or mine leaves of aquatic plants.
larvae of most spp. filter microorganisms (bacteria, unicellular algae, yeasts) from the surrounding semiliquid medium, although some prefer dead and decaying animal tissue; a few exist in excrement; some are leaf miners (Hydrellia can damage watercress and rice crops); Ochthera larvae are predators (primarily on immature Chironomidae)(1)
Along the shores of Great Salt Lake they may rise in clouds from the ground. Indians used to gather the puparia for food.
Print References
Foote B.A. (1995) Biology of shore flies. Annu. Rev. Entom. 40: 417-442
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Manual of Nearctic Diptera Volume 2
Varies for each chapter; edited by J.F. McAlpine, B.V. Petersen, G.E. Shewell, H.J. Teskey, J.R. Vockeroth, D.M. Wood. 1987. Research Branch Agriculture Canada.
2.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
3.Order Diptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Pape T., Blagoderov V., Mostovski M.B. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 222–229.
4.Bright E. (2002-2011) Aquatic Insects of Michigan