The Keroplatidae are a family of small flies known as fungus gnats. About 950 species are described, but the true number of species is undoubtedly much higher. They are generally forest dwellers found in the damp habitats favoured by their host fungi.[1]

They notably include the genus Arachnocampa; the larvae of which are known as "glowworms" in Australia and New Zealand.

Asindulum sp.
Platyura marginata
Scientific classification
  • Keroplatinae
  • Macrocerinae
  • Macroceridae


  1. ^ Evenhuis, N. L. (2006). "Catalog of the Keroplatidae of the World (Insecta: Diptera)" (PDF). Bishop Museum Bulletins in Entomology. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 13: 1–178. Retrieved 21 October 2014.

External links


Arachnocampa is a genus of nine fungus gnat species which have a bioluminescent larval stage, akin to the larval stage of glowworm beetles. The species of Arachnocampa are endemic to Australia and New Zealand, dwelling in caves and grottos, or sheltered places in forests.

A previous synonym was "Bolitiphila," meaning "mushroom lover," in the past. The name was changed in 1924 to Arachnocampa, meaning "spider-worm," for the way the larvae hang sticky silk threads to ensnare prey. The genus Arachnocampa belongs in the family Keroplatidae.

Arachnocampa luminosa

Arachnocampa luminosa (Skuse, 1891), commonly known as New Zealand glowworm or simply glowworm, is a species of fungus gnat endemic to New Zealand. The larval stage and the imago produce a blue-green bioluminescence. The species is known to dwell in caves and on sheltered banks in native bush where humidity is high. Its Māori name is titiwai, meaning "projected over water".

The first written record of the species dates from 1871 when it was collected from a gold mine in New Zealand's Thames region. At first it was thought to be related to the European glowworm beetle (Lampyris noctiluca) but, in 1886, a Christchurch teacher showed it was a larva of a gnat, not a beetle. The species was first formally described in 1891 with the species name Bolitiphila luminosa and was assigned to the family Mycetophilidae. In 1924, it was placed within a new genus of its own, Arachnocampa, because the wing venation of the adults and the behaviour of the larvae differed significantly from other Bolitophila fly species. It was given the genus name (meaning "spider-worm") on the basis of its building a silk nest and using silk threads to capture prey.


The Bibionomorpha are an infraorder of the suborder Nematocera. One of its constituent families, the Anisopodidae, is the presumed sister taxon to the entire suborder Brachycera. Several of the remaining families in the infraorder (those shown without common names) are former subfamilies of the Mycetophilidae, which has been recently subdivided. The family Axymyiidae has recently been removed from the Bibionomorpha to its own infraorder Axymyiomorpha.

Most representatives of the Bibionomorpha are saprophages or fungivores as larvae with the Cecidomyiidae being predominantly gall-formers. Some Sciarids are common indoor pests, developing large populations in potting soil that has become moldy from overwatering. The larvae of the Bibionidae sometimes migrate in large, snake-like masses to minimize dehydration while seeking a new feeding site.


The Diadocidiidae are a family of flies (Diptera).

Two genera with over 20 species are described. Diadocidiidae are found worldwide, except in Africa and Antarctica. They are usually considered close to the Keroplatidae, Bolitophilidae, and Ditomyiidae, and used to be included in the Mycetophilidae. They are woodland flies. The larvae spin silken tubes under bark or in dead logs.

Fungus gnat

Fungus gnats are small, dark, short-lived gnats, of the families Sciaridae, Diadocidiidae, Ditomyiidae, Keroplatidae, Bolitophilidae, and Mycetophilidae (order Diptera); they comprise six of the seven families placed in the superfamily Sciaroidea.


Glowworm or glow-worm is the common name for various groups of insect larvae and adult larviform females that glow through bioluminescence. They include members of the families Elateridae, Lampyridae, Phengodidae, and Rhagophthalmidae among beetles; as well as members of the genera Arachnocampa, Keroplatus, and Orfelia among keroplatid fungus gnats.


Heteropterna is a genus of predatory fungus gnats in the family Keroplatidae. There are at least 20 described species in Heteropterna.


Keroplatus is a genus of predatory fungus gnats in the family Keroplatidae. Several species are bioluminescent.

Keroplatus clausus

Keroplatus clausus is a species of predatory fungus gnats in the family Keroplatidae.

Keroplatus militaris

Keroplatus militaris is a species of predatory fungus gnats in the family Keroplatidae.


Macrocera is a genus of predatory fungus gnats in the family Keroplatidae. There are at least 190 described species in Macrocera.

Macrocera formosa

Macrocera formosa is a species of predatory fungus gnats, insects in the family Keroplatidae.

Macrocera parva

Macrocera parva is a Palearctic species of 'fungus gnat' in the family Keroplatidae.Larvae of species in this genus have been reared from a range of situations including clumps of turf, rotting wood and cave walls and are thought to be predaceous.


The Mycetophilidae are a family of small flies, forming the bulk of those species known as fungus gnats. About 3000 described species are placed in 150 genera, but the true number of species is undoubtedly much higher. They are generally found in the damp habitats favoured by their host fungi and sometimes form dense swarms.Adults of this family can usually be separated from other small flies by the strongly humped thorax, well-developed coxae, and often spinose legs, but identification within the family between genera and species generally requires close study of microscopic features such as subtle differences in wing venation and variation in chaetotaxy and genitalia. The terrestrial larvae usually feed on fungi, especially the fruiting bodies, but also spores and hyphae, but some species have been recorded on mosses and liverworts. The larvae of some species, while still being associated with fungi, are at least partly predatory. Some species are attracted to the fungus smell of Jack-in-the-Pulpit, fall into their inflorescences and accomplish their pollination.

Orfelia nemoralis

Orfelia nemoralis is a Palearctic species of 'fungus gnats' in the family Keroplatidae.

The larvae of Orfelia are mycetophagous and live in decaying wood or other organic debris overgrown by fungal plant substrates.


Paleoplatyura is a genus of predatory fungus gnats in the family Keroplatidae. There are at least three described species in Paleoplatyura.

Paleoplatyura johnsoni

Paleoplatyura johnsoni is a species of predatory fungus gnat in the family Keroplatidae.


Sciaroidea is a superfamily in the infraorder Bibionomorpha. There are about 16 families and more than 15,000 described species in Sciaroidea. Most of its constituent families are various gnats.


The Tephritoidea are a superfamily of flies. The following families are included:

Pallopteridae — flutter flies

Piophilidae — skippers

Platystomatidae — signal flies



Tephritidae — fruit flies

Ulidiidae (Otitidae) — picture-winged fliesThe Tachiniscinae, formerly ranked as the family Tachiniscidae, are now included in the Tephritidae.

Extant Diptera families


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