Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Family SPHAEROCERIDAE Macquart, 1835

Lesser Dung Flies, Small Dung Flies

Compiler and date details

February 2012 - Scott Ginn, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia


Family Sphaeroceridae is a large family of flies with a worldwide distribution. They are found in diverse habitats and are often encountered in large numbers, typically associated with decaying organic matter such as plants, fungi or faeces, where their larvae feed on micobial material. A few species are known to be necrophages, particularly associated with carrion.

More than 1300 species of Sphaeroceridae are known worldwide. The family is well represented in Australia, but it is thought that the number of recorded taxa constitutes only a fraction of the entire fauna, with many species still to be described. Sphaeroceridae are currently represented in Australia by 69 species in 29 genera. A remarkable number of species have widespread distributions globally, many nearly cosmopolitan.

In his 2007 publication, McAlpine included the family Sphaeroceridae as subfamily Sphaerocerinae within Heteromyzidae. As Sphaeroceridae is still recognised as a family by most specialists of this group, it has been conservatively retained as a family in this publication. However, McAlpine's positioning of the Sphaerocerinae is duly noted for future reference.

The most important published works dealing with the Australian sphaerocerid fauna are Richards (1973; review of the Australian fauna) and Roháček et al. (2001; World Catalogue of Sphaeroceridae).


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)
29-Feb-2012 29-Feb-2012 MODIFIED
03-Feb-2012 MODIFIED