Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps

Family PLATYSTOMATIDAE Schiner, 1862

Compiler and date details

30 December 2005 - Michael G. Elliott, Australian Museum, Sydney


The Platystomatidae (Signal Flies) are a family of acalypterate Schizophora with an almost cosmopolitan distribution. In Australia the family is represented by 26 genera and 184 species, though a great number of species await description in collections (McAlpine 2001). The genera Mesoctenia, Plagiostenopterina, Lamprogaster, Duomyia, Euprosopia (McAlpine 1973a), Lenophila (McAlpine & Kim 1977), Achias (McAlpine 1994) and Rhytidortalis (McAlpine 1999) have been revised in detail, but many of the remaining genera require examination. This catalogue records one new combination, Rivellia aenea (Macquart 1847), attributable to David McAlpine, and includes two genera, Guamomyia and Atopognathus, that include no described Australian species, but have literature records indicating an Australian distribution.

Adult platystomatids display a wide variety of feeding habits. McAlpine (1973a) summarised literature records and added personal observations to record food sources as varied as flowers, mammalian faeces, vinegar, sweat and decaying fruit. Platystomatid larvae have been recorded predominantly from vegetable material. Ferrar (1988) gave a comprehensive summary of the literature on the larval biology.

Agonistic behaviour of male Achias australis was studied by McAlpine (1979) and the sexual behaviour of Euprosopia subula, Euprosopia tenuicornis, Euprosopia anostigma and Pogonortalis doclea was studied by McAlpine (1973b).

I would like to thank David McAlpine for his kind assistance in providing access to his notes on the localities and condition of type specimens and for checking the draft of this catalogue. I would also like to thank Dan Bickel and Paul Flemons for encouragement to proceed with this catalogue.{MCALPINED1973B:b}


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)
12-Feb-2010 (import)