lesser dung fly

(Family Sphaeroceridae)

Overview
lesser dung fly (Family Sphaeroceridae)
Photo by Bill Reynolds
 
 

Sphaeroceridae, called lesser dung flies, is a family very common, very small, “acalyptrate” flies. There are more than 1,300 species in 125 genera worldwide, about 280 species in 30 genera in North America north of Mexico, and at least 10 species in 10 genera in Minnesota. They occur in all parts of the world without permanent ice cover. They are very common but rarely noticed.

Adults are found near manure and other refuse. The larvae graze on microbes and are found in all kinds of decaying organic material.

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Adults are blackish or brownish and range in size from 132 to 3 16 (1.5 to 5.0 mm) in length. There is a frontal suture on the face immediately behind the bases of the antennae. The antennae have three segments. The second segment does not have a longitudinal suture. There is a large bristle on the upper (dorsal) side of the third segment. There is no lobe (calypter) at the base of the forewing. The wings are clear, rarely spotted. The vein behind the leading edge (costa) of the forewing (subcostal vein) is incomplete, fading out before connecting with the costa. The first segment of the hind foot (tarsus) is thick and is shorter than the second segment.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  1/31/2021      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)  
 

Suborder

Brachycera (circular-seamed flies, mouches muscoïdes, muscoid flies, short-horned flies)  
 

Infraorder

Muscomorpha  
  No Rank Eremoneura  
  No Rank Cyclorrhapha (circular-seamed flies)  
  Section Schizophora (muscoid flies)  
  Subsection Acalyptratae (acalyptrates)  
 

Superfamily

Sphaeroceroidea  
 

Family

   
 

Subfamily

   
 

Tribe

   
  Subtribe    
 

Genus

   
 

Subgenus

   
       
 

 

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Genus Aptilotus

Genus Bitheca

Genus Bromeloecia

Genus Coproica

Genus Copromyza

Genus Crumomyia

Genus Ischiolepta

Genus Leptocera

Genus Lotophila

Genus Mesosphaerocera

Genus Minilimosina

Genus Nearcticorpus

Genus Norrbomia

Genus Opacifrons

Genus Opalimosina

Genus Parasphaerocera

Genus Poecilosomella

Genus Pterogramma

Genus Pullimosina

Genus Rachispoda (?)

Genus Robustagramma

Genus Spelobia

Genus Sphaerocera

Genus Telomerina

Genus Thoracochaeta

Genus Trachyopella

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

lesser dung flies

small dung flies

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Costa

In plants: The central axis of a pinna, to which pinnules are attached. In insects: The leading edge of the forewing.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Bill Reynolds
       
  lesser dung fly (Family Sphaeroceridae)    
       
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Bill Reynolds
8/26/2014

Location: Pennington Co MN

 

lesser dung fly (Family Sphaeroceridae)


     
     
 
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