root maggot fly

(Hydrophoria lancifer)

Conservation Status
root maggot fly (Hydrophoria lancifer)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Hydrophoria lancifer is a small to medium-sized fly, a medium-sized to large root maggot fly. It is native to northern Europe. In the 1920s it was introduced into North America, where there are now two widely separated populations. The eastern population extends from Newfoundland and Ontario south to Pennsylvania and Iowa. The western population is mostly restricted to British Columbia, Alberta, and Washington.

Hydrophoria lancifer is hairy and grayish-brown or yellowish-brown. It resembles a house fly in appearance. It can be to 716 (4 to 11 mm) in length but is usually no more than 516 (8 mm) long.

There are two large compound eyes at the side of the head and three small simple eyes (ocelli) in a triangle at the top of the head. The compound eyes are brown and hairless. They do not meet at the top of the head in either sex. They are narrowly separated on the male, widely separated on the female. The antennae have three segments. The second segment has a longitudinal groove (suture) on top. The third segment has a short, forward-pointing bristle (arista) on the upper side. The arista is covered with long hairs (plumose).

On the upper side of the thorax there are two longitudinal rows of bristles (acrostichal bristles). The rows are close together. On each side of the thorax there are several hardened body plates (sclerites). The sclerite just above the base of the middle leg (sternopleuron) has a single bristle. The sclerite just above the base of the hind leg (hypopleuron) has no bristles. The plate between the thorax and the abdomen (scutellum) is covered with short hairs.

As with all flies, there is only one pair of wings, the hind wings being reduced to small, knob-like structures (halteres) that are used for balance in flight. The wings are mostly clear, with no dark spots, but are yellowish at the base. At the base of each wing there are two small, rounded lobes (calypters) that cover the halteres. The calypters are well-developed. The lower calypter extends distinctly beyond the upper one. The first posterior cell (R5) is has parallel sides – it is not narrowed toward the end. The second anal vein (2A) reaches the inner margin.

The legs are long, slender, and mostly dark. The fourth segment (tibia) of each leg may be yellowish or dark. There are two long bristles on the upper side of the hind tibia. The lower bristle is longer than the upper bristle.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to 716 (4 to 11 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Mid-April to late September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larval Food

 
 

Animal dung

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  11/16/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon in Minnesota

 
         
 
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  
  Section Schizophora (muscoid flies)  
  Subsection Calyptratae (calyptrates)  
 

Superfamily

Muscoidea  
 

Family

Anthomyiidae (root-maggot flies)  
 

Subfamily

Anthomyiinae  
 

Tribe

Hydrophoriini  
 

Genus

Hydrophoria  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Anthomyia conica

Musca lancifer

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

This species has no common name. The common name for the family Anthomyiidae is root maggot flies, and is applied here for convenience.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Arista

A large bristle on the upper side of the third segment of the antenna of a fly.

 

Calypter

On flies: one of two small membranous lobes at the base of the forewing that covers the haltere. On mosses: A thin cap that covers and protects the capsule and operculum and drops off at maturity.

 

Halteres

In flies: a pair of knob-like structures on the thorax representing hind wings that are used for balance.

 

Ocellus

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

 

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.

 

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
       
  root maggot fly (Hydrophoria lancifer)   root maggot fly (Hydrophoria lancifer)
       
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Alfredo Colon
8/13/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

root maggot fly (Hydrophoria lancifer)


Alfredo Colon
8/10/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

root maggot fly (Hydrophoria lancifer)


     
     
 
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Created: 11/16/2020

Last Updated:

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