Ant Fly I
Ant Fly II 
Treehopper Mimicking Fly
Dotted-Wing Lauxaniid Fly
Black Lauxaniid Fly
Long-antenna Lauxaniid Fly
Orange Lauxaniid Fly I
Orange Lauxaniid Fly II
Orange-blue Lauxaniid Fly I 
Orange-blue Lauxaniid Fly II 
Black Stilt-legged Fly
Orange Stilt-legged Fly 
Leaf Miner Fly
Freeloader Fly I
Freeloader Fly II
Freeloader Fly III
Orange-blue Signal Fly
Orange-green Signal Fly
Green Signal Fly
Boatman Fly
Brown-banded Signal Fly I
Brown-banded Signal Fly II
Black-banded Signal Fly
Scarab Fly 
Queensland Fruit Fly
Wild Tobacco Fruit Fly
Ant-mimicking Fly
Water-skating Fly
Vinegar Fly
Unknown Acalyptrata  

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Signal Flies - Family Platystomatidae

This page contains pictures and information about Signal Flies in Family Platystomatidae that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
In Australia, the Platystomatidae (Signal Flies) are a large family in acalypterate group. Most flies in this family feed on mammalian faeces, some attend flowers or decaying fruits. Their larvae habits are varied. Some lives in plant trunk damaged by other insects or fungi. Some feed on rotting vegetable. Not much other details about the larvae is known.
Adult Signal Flies are medium in size, usually they have at least some dots or patterns on wings. Some species are metallic colours. Most species adults can only be seen during summer time in Brisbane.
The Signal Flies are usually found on tree trunks or on leaves where may be a place for courtship. Sometimes a small group of them can be found at one point. While walking on those surface, Signal Flies exhibit a characteristic manner of movement, something like dancing in our human eyes. Those movements include rowing or extend of wings, waving of front pair of legs, move forwards and backwards, extend and raise of proboscis.  
This group of flies contains the spectacular Achias species, the stalk-eyed signal flies. The males have eyes on long stalks extending from either side of their heads. However, they were the tropical species and we never saw them in Brisbane.

Subfamily Platystomatinae 

All Signal Fly species we found are all in this subfamily Platystomatinae. 
Orange-blue Signal Fly
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Lamprogaster bicolor, body length 10mm
We saw a few of this flies dancing on gum tree trunk. Pictures were taken in Karawatha Forest during mid summer. Head and throax of the fly are orange colour with abdomen in dark metallic blue. Wings are patterned with black spots, leading edge and wing base are orange. Legs are pale orange in colour. Please check this page for more information.
Orange-green Signal Fly
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Lamprogaster corusca, body length 8mm
Head and thorax of this fly are orange colour with abdomen in metallic green. Wings are patterned with black spots, leading edge and wing base are orange. Legs are black in colour. Please also check this page for more information.
Green Signal Fly
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Lamprogaster imperialis, body length 8mm
Abdomen and thorax of this fly are metallic green, with red eyes on black head. Wings are patterned with black spots, leading edge and wing base are pale orange. Legs are also pale orange in colour. We have more pictures and information in this page.
Boatman Fly
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Pogonortalis doclea, body length 5mm
This fly, when walking, swings it wings like someone swinging the paddles when rowing a boat. We believed this is why they are called Boatman Fly. This fly is small in size, walk with wing open and has the narrowed waist. We believed this fly mimic ant. Please check this page for more pictures and information.
Brown-banded Signal Fly I
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Euprosopia armipes, body length 10mm
The fly is pale brown in colour with brown banded patterns on wings and abdomen. Eyes and all legs are Brown as well. Picture is taken in Alexandra Hill, mid summer. Please check this page for more infromation.
Brown-banded Signal Fly II
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Euprosopia sp., body length 8mm
The fly is dark brown in colour with dark brown banded patterns on wings. Eyes and all legs are dark brown as well. Please check this page for more information.
Black-banded Signal Fly
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Euprosopia tenuicornis, body length 10mm
The fly is grey in colour with black banded patterns on wings and abdomen. Eyes and all legs are black. Please check this page for more information. 

1. Insects of Australia - CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p770.
2. The Australian Platystomatidae (Diptera, Schizophora) with a revision of five genera - McAlpine, D.K., 1972, The Australian Museum.
3. Review of the Australasian Genera of Signal Flies (Diptera: Platystomatidae) - DAVID K. MCALPINE, Records of the Australian Museum 53(2): 113199, 2001. 
4. Family PLATYSTOMATIDAE - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory. 
5. 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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Up ] Sepsidae ] Lauxaniidae ] Micropezidae ] Agriomyzidae ] Milichiidae & Chloropidae ] [ Platystomatidae ] Pyrgotidae ] Tephritidae ] Ephydridae ] Drosophilidae ] Unknown Acalyptrata Flies ]


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Last updated: January 28, 2013.