Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps

Family MYCETOPHILIDAE Newman, 1834

Compiler and date details

2011 - Updated by Judy King and Christine Lambkin, Queensland Museum

1999 - E.-M.E. Bugledich, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


The family Mycetophilidae traditionally encompassed all the 'fungus gnats', although the concept was restricted subsequently to exclude the Sciaridae. Recently it has become clear that recognition of the Sciaridae rendered the remaining Mycetophilidae paraphyletic (the Sciaridae is the sister group to only a part of the broader concept). Faced with restoring the monophyly by re-incorporating the Sciaridae into an expanded Mycetophilidae, or elevating the rank of several more subfamilies to give each group monophyly, the latter course generally has been accepted. Thus the Sciaroidea now comprises the families Ditomyiidae, Diadociidae, Keroplatidae, Bolitophilidae, Mycetophilidae (sensu stricto), Lygistorrhinidae and Sciaridae (e.g. Matile 1980).

Even as restricted, the cosmopolitan family Mycetophilidae remains the most speciose of the Sciaroidea, comprising over 3400 species in some 150 genera. Mycetophilidae are recognisable in the adult stage by the wing veins M and CuA1 being unconnected (i.e. lacking crossvein bm-cu) and with all veins complete from the base to the wing margin.

Adult Mycetophilidae are quite ubiquitous, particularly in damp, shaded woodlands where there are fungi that provide the dominant larval habitat. The larvae are typically mycetophiloid but appear to lack any defining synapomorphies. Many larvae develop within or beneath fungal fruiting bodies (sporophores), particularly soft Basidiomycetes, whereas others spin webs under bark and a few are predatory.

The subfamily arrangement followed here follows Väisänen (1984) as implemented by Matile (1989).


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)
16-Nov-2011 16-Nov-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)