longlegged fly

(Condylostylus sipho)

Conservation Status
longlegged fly (Condylostylus sipho)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Condylostylus sipho is a small metallic green fly. It occurs in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. Adults are found in woodlands and meadows near streams and swamps. They prey on smaller insects. Larvae live in soil or under bark and are seldom seen. They prey on small invertebrates.

Adults are slender and 316 to ¼ (5 to 6 mm) in length. The head, eyes, thorax, and abdomen are shiny and metallic green with a little to a lot of copper coloration.

The head is broader than the thorax. There are two large compound eyes on the sides of the head and and three small simple eyes (ocelli) in a triangle on top of the head. The compound eyes are bare, with no hairs. They do not meet at the top of the head on either sex. The antennae are black and short, shorter than the head. They have just three segments. The third segment is not ringed. There is a stiff, forward-pointing bristle (arista) on the upper side on the third segment. The arista is slender, very long, and bare, not feather-like (plumose). The combined protruding mouthparts (proboscis) is short and is modified for piercing.

The thorax is large and has three segments. Each segment has four principal exoskeletal plates, one above, one below, and one on each side. The upper (dorsal) plates, from front to rear, are the prescutum, scutum, and scutellum. The prescutum and the scutum are not differentiated – there is no groove between them. There are two longitudinal rows of black bristles on each side near the middle. The outer (dorsocentral) row has 4 or 5 strong bristles. There are two pairs of bristles on the scutellum. Both pairs are long.

The abdomen is long and tapered. On the male the genitalia are large, conspicuous, and folded under the abdomen.

The wings have two smoky-brown bands on the outer half, connected along the leading edge (costal margin), forming a U shape. It may be dark and well-defined, or somewhat faded and broken. Sometimes it is reduced to cloudy areas along the veins. Sometimes it is too faint to be detected on photographs. The radial sector (Rs) vein has two branches and is slightly swollen at the fork. The M2 vein is present. The M1 is sharply recurved beyond the M2. The radial-media crossvein (r-m), a short vein between the radius and media veins, is in the basal quarter of the wing.

The legs are long. On both sexes, the third segment (femur) and fourth segment (tibia) of all legs are yellow. On the male the tibia of the middle leg has a row of bristles. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has five segments. On the male, the first segment does not have a row of bristles.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 316 to ¼ (5 to 6 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Woodlands and meadows near streams and swamps

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

 

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults perch on broad leaves. Males wave their front legs in courtship display.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The larva pupates in the soil in a cocoon fashioned from soil.

 
     
 

Larval Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  1/19/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)  
 

Suborder

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

Infraorder

Muscomorpha  
  No Rank Eremoneura  
 

Superfamily

Empidoidea  
 

Family

Dolichopodidae (longlegged flies)  
 

Subfamily

Sciapodinae  
 

Tribe

Sciapodini  
 

Genus

Condylostylus  
       
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Dolichopus sipho

Psilopus gemmifer

Psilopus scaber

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

None of the more than 250 species in the genus Condylostylus has a common name. The common name for the family Dolichopodidae is longlegged flies, and is applied here for convenience.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Proboscis

The protruding mouthpart(s) of a sucking insect.

 

Scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.

 

Scutum

The forward (anterior) portion of the middle segment of the thorax (mesonotum) in insects and some arachnids.

 

Tarsus

On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  longlegged fly (Condylostylus sipho)    
       
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Alfredo Colon
8/21/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

longlegged fly (Condylostylus sipho)


     
     
 
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Created: 1/19/2021

Last Updated:

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