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Family EPHYDRIDAE Zetterstedt, 1837

Brine Flies, Shore Flies

Compiler and date details

November 2011 - Scott Ginn, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia


Ephydridae is a large and diverse family of flies, with at least 1800 species already described worldwide, and many more as yet undescribed. Numerous recognised new species in existing institutional collections await description. In Australia, the diversity of this family is reflected in the high species to genus/subgenus ratio with 96 species currently described in 37 genera with 10 subgenera. Three species Dryxo lispoidea, Hecamede (Hecamede) albicans and Leptopsilopa mutabilis are added tentatively in this work, based on specimen records in the Australian Museum reference collection.

Early work on this family of flies in Australia was done predominantly by non-Australian entomologists — Malloch (in the 1920s), Cresson (pre-1950), and then later Mathis (numerous publications from 1974 onwards) either by himself or in collaboration with other workers. The World Catalogue of Shore Flies by Mathis and Zatwarnicki (1995) is the most comprehensive publication on this family. Bock is the only Australian to have worked extensively on this family publishing several major revisionary works (1987, 1988, 1990). The currently accepted classification structure of five subfamilies was proposed by Zatwarnicki (1992).

Knowledge of the biology of Ephydridae is poor. The immatures of many species feed as browsers, filter feeders or leaf miners. Some species are aquatic or semi-aquatic. Others are parasitoids of spider and frog eggs, or are saprophages feeding on dead snails, carrion or faeces. Ephydrids are even known from some bizarre toxic habitats such as hot sulphur springs, highly alkaline or saline springs and even exposed pools of crude petroleum. Species of Hydrellia are of economic importance as their leaf-mining habits are known to damage crops such as rice and barley. Hydrellia tritici is often found in vast numbers along seeps and wet pastures.


General References

Bock, I.R. 1987. The Australian species of Ephydrella and Setacera (Diptera : Ephydridae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 1: 155-166

Bock, I.R. 1988. The Australian species of Paralimna and Notiphila (Diptera : Ephydridae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 2(7): 885-902

Bock, I.R. 1990. The Australian species of Hydrellia Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera: Ephydridae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 3(7): 965-993

Evenhuis, N. (Originally by Mathis, W.N.) 28 May 2007. Family Ephydridae. In Evenhuis, N.L. (ed.) Catalog of the Diptera of the Australasian and Oceanian Regions.

Mathis, W.N. 1992. The first shore fly of the genus Glenanthe Haliday from the Australasian Region (Diptera: Ephydridae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 94: 78-82 [Date published 24 January]

Mathis, W.N. 1994. A revision of the shore-fly genus Clasiopella Hendel (Diptera: Ephydridae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 96(3): 454-465 [Date published July]

Mathis, W.N. & Wirth, W.W. 1981. Studies of Ephydrinae (Diptera: Ephydridae), IV: Revision of the Australian species of subgenus Neoscatella Malloch. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 325: 1-27 [Date published 21 January]

Mathis, W.N. & Zatwarnicki, T. 1993. A revision of the shore-fly genus Chlorichaeta Becker (Diptera: Ephydridae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 136(1): 55-76

Mathis, W.N. & Zatwarnicki, T. 2004. A revision of the shore-fly genus Trimerogastra Hendel (Diptera: Ephydridae). Bishop Museum Bulletin in Entomology 12: 89-108

Mathis, W.N & Zatwarnicki, T. 1995. World catalog of shore flies (Diptera: Ephydridae). Memoirs on Entomology, International 4: 1-423

Zatwarnicki T. 1992. A new classification of Ephydridae based on phylogenetic reconstruction (Diptera: Cylorrhapha). Genus (Wroclaw) 3(2): 65-119


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
01-Feb-2019 DIPTERA Linnaeus, 1758 19-Dec-2018 MODIFIED
07-Dec-2011 07-Dec-2011 MODIFIED
22-Feb-2010 MODIFIED