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Dolichopodidae (Longlegged Flies)

Longlegged Flies (Dolichopodidae) are small to minute with bright metallic colors, mostly green or bronze. Their legs are long so they also have other common name Long-legged Flies. Adult Dolichopodid Flies feed on smaller soft body insects such as aphids. Larvae are usually found in moist soil and under tree bark. They are either scavengers or predators of other insects larvae.

Chrysosoma leucopogon

Dan Bickel, of the Australian Museum writes: "I think this is a male Chrysosoma leucopogon, a widespread Oriental-Australasian tramp species which reaches Brisbane. It has the brown ring (callus) near the base of tibia III, and the last several tarsomeres at the apex leg I are distinctly white (evident in this photo), which is diagnostic for this species." (email correspondence)

Longlegged Fly
Photo: Robert Whyte

Austrosciapus connexus?


Subfamily Sciapodinae, body length 6mm. A brightly metallic coloured fly, with a thin body and long legs. Wings are transparent, with black opaque markings towards the tips. The fly has an overall green colouring and a black striped abdomen. Photographed in a suburban garden, in The Gap, Brisbane on Wednesday, 2 January 2008. These flies are like pretty jewels. This one was moving from place to place on a fig, perhaps looking for aphids or other small prey. In the paper linked below, The Sciapodinae (Diptera: Dolichopodidae) of Australia (including Lord Howe, Norfolk, Cocos-Keeling and Christmas Islands) are treated in detail, and 253 species, 208 newly described, are illustrated and keyed. The link is to the abstract and table of contents only. The species ID of Austrosciapus connexus on this is not entirely certain, as the specimen is female and there are four other species, A. triangulifer, A. fraudulosus, A. proximus & A. bifarius with a similar wing pattern, although A. proximus is SE Australia & introduced to NZ, and A. bifarius is from monsoonal northern Australia. As always, males are required for accurate identification. However, Austrosciapus connexus is the commonest of them, and found in backyards, gardens, as well as wilder country. (Thanks to Dan Bickel for his advice on these probably A. connexus photos.)

Longlegged Fly
Photo: Robert Whyte

Austrosciapus connexus


Fly
Photo: Robert Whyte

Austrosciapus connexus


Longlegged Fly
Photo: Robert Whyte

Austrosciapus connexus


Longlegged Fly
Photo: Robert Whyte

Austrosciapus connexus male


Dan Bickel writes that this is recognizably a male: "note the squarish apex of the abdomen (while females generally have a tapering, cigar shaped abdomen) and the distinctive cercel flap of this species, which can be distinguished looking through the wing." (email correspondence).

Longlegged Fly
Photo: Robert Whyte

Krakatauia macalpinei Bickel (male)


A long-legged fly in the subfamily Sciapodinae named and in this instance identified by Dan Bickel, the Dolichopodid expert, at the Australian Museum. Thanks to the Queensland Museum Inquiry Centre for sending on the photo. This species is characteristic of littoral rainforest from N Coast NSW to at least Eurimbula, Qld. The wings are quite dark, and the body is rather hairy. (Dan Bickel, email)

Krakatauia macalpinei Bickel - this species is characteristic of littoral rainforest from N Coast NSW to at least Eurimbula, Qld. The wings are quite dark, and the body is rather hairy.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Amblypsilopus zonatus


Amblypsilopus zonatus (Parent) is found in coastal habitats from South Coast NSW to SE Qld, and Lord Howe I. This one was photographed at Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island, a bit of a stretch from the Enoggera Catchment but too pretty to leave out. Identified by Dan Bickel, the Dolichopodid expert, at the Australian Museum

Amblypsilopus zonatus
Photo: Robert Whyte