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Dolichopodid Flies, Long-legged Flies - Family Dolichopodidae

Order Diptera 

This page contains pictures and information about Dolichopodid Flies that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia. They are also known as Long-legged Flies.
 
Body length 6mm 
Dolichopodid Flies are minute to small in size with bright metallic colors, mostly green or bronze. They usually have slender body and large eyes. They have taped long antenna. Their legs are long so they have other common name Long-legged Flies. They are very good fliers but usually found resting on large green leaves. They are also found rest on tree trunks, muddy ground and river rocks. 
 
They are predator. Adult Dolichopodid Flies' mouthparts are modified for predation, but not elongated. They feed on smaller soft body insects such as aphids. We usually found those Dolichopodid Flies resting on large leaves. They can also be found on tree trunks, mud flats and river rocks. 
 
Larvae are maggot-like. They are usually found in moist soil and under tree bark. They are either scavengers or predators of other insects larvae.
 
Most Long-legged Flies we found were in subfamily Sciapodinae. They are generally recognized by the branched vein M1+2 and excavated vertex, is the largest subfamily in Australia. 
 

 
Sympycninae - Dull-coloured Long-legged Flies
Those Long-legged Flies in subfamily Sympycninae are relatively small in size and dull-coloured. Not much is known about their life cycle.  
 
Sciapodinae - Green Long-legged Flies
Long-legged Flies in subfamily Sciapodinae can be recognized by the wing veins, the excavated vertex on head and the special metallic green body colour. Male Long-legged Fly has the 360 twisting of the postabdomen.
 

Reference:
1. Insects of Australia - CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p760.
2. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p365.
3. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.
4. Dolichopodidae (Longlegged Flies) - Save Our Waterways Now.
5. Dolichopodidae - Graeme's Insects of Townsville, Australia.
6. Family DOLICHOPODIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory. 
7. The Australian Sciapodinae (Diptera: Dolichopodidae), with a review of the Oriental and Australasian faunas, and a world conspectus of the subfamily - Bickel, Daniel J. 1994, records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 21: 1-394 [174]. 
8. On the Fly, The Interactive Atlas and Key to Australian Fly Families CD Rom - Hamilton, J. et al. 2006. Brisbane : CBIT & ABRS. 

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Last updated: February 17, 2013.