Here, the Huttoninidae, Phaeomyiidae and Tetanoceridae are provisionally included in the Sciomyzidae. Particularly the latter seem to be an unequivocal part of this group and are ranked as tribe of subfamily Sciomyzinae by most modern authors, while the former two are very small lineages that may or may not stand outside the family and are provisionally ranked as subfamilies here. Whether the Salticellinae and the group around Sepedon warrant recognition as additional subfamilies or are better included in the Sciomyzinae proper is likewise not yet entirely clear. Altogether, the main point of contention is the relationship between the "Huttoninidae", "Phaeomyiidae", Sciomyzidae sensu stricto, and the Helosciomyzidae which were also once included in the Sciomyzidae.
Sciomyzidae are found in all the Ecozones but are poorly represented in the Australasian and Oceanian Regions.
|Imago of unidentified species, Brseč (Croatia)|
For terms see Morphology of Diptera. Sciomyzidae are small or medium-sized (2–14 mm), usually slender flies with predominantly dull grey, brown, reddish or yellow body, rarely black-lustrous. Wings hyaline, often with dark spots or dark reticulate pattern. The head is semispherical or round. The antennae are usually elongate and the arista is pubescent or has shorter or longer hairs. Ocelli and ocellar bristles are present (absent in Sepedon). The postvertical bristles are divergent or parallel. There are one or two pairs of frontal bristles which curve backward (the lower pair sometimes curving inward) Interfrontal bristles are absent but interfrontal setulae are sometimes present. Vibrissae are absent. The wing is clear or with conspicuous markings. The costa is continuous and the subcosta is complete. Crossvein BM-Cu is present and the anal cell (cell cup) is closed. Tibiae almost always have a dorsal preapical bristle.
Marsh flies are common along the edges of ponds and rivers, and in marshy areas. The adults drink dew and nectar. The larvae prey on or become parasites of gastropods (slugs and snails). The occasional sciomyzid attacks snail eggs or fingernail clams. Very little is known about the complete life cycle of these flies but most of the known larvae are semi-aquatic and some are aquatic. Other species have terrestrial larvae. Larvae mainly prey on non-operculate snails. Some species which prey on bivalves have larvae adapted to breathing under water. In some terrestrial species the penultimate larval instar emerges from the snail or slug it developed in. The last instar is then predatory on several snails.
The adults rest on vegetation head down. According to the larval habitat, they are found near water, in marshy vegetation,in woodland or occasionally dry open habitats.
The Acalyptratae or Acalyptrata are a subsection of the Schizophora, which are a section of the order Diptera, the "true flies". In various contexts the Acalyptratae also are referred to informally as the acalyptrate muscoids, or acalyptrates, as opposed to the Calyptratae. All forms of the name refer to the lack of calypters in the members of this subsection of flies. An alternative name, Acalypterae is current, though in minority usage. It was first used by Justin Pierre Marie Macquart in 1835 for a section of his tribe Muscides; he used it to refer to all acalyptrates plus scathophagids and phorids, but excluding Conopidae.
The confusing forms of the names stem from their first usage; Acalyptratae and Acalyptrata actually are adjectival forms in New Latin. They were coined in the mid 19th century in contexts such as "Muscae Calyptratae and Acalyptratae" and "Diptera Acalyptrata", and the forms stuck.The Acalyptratae are a large assemblage, exhibiting very diverse habits, with one notable and perhaps surprising exception: no known acalyptrates are obligate blood-feeders (hematophagous), though blood feeding at various stages of the life history is common throughout other Dipteran sections.Apteromicra
Apteromicra parva is a wingless species of fly in the family Sciomyzidae from Nepal. It is the only described species in the genus Apteromicra.Ditaeniella
Ditaeniella is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.Limnia (fly)
Limnia is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.Neodictya jakovlevi
Neodictya jakovlevi is a species of fly in the family Sciomyzidae. It is found in the Palearctic.Neolimnia
Neolimnia is a New Zealand genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.Pherbellia
Pherbellia is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies. They occur throughout the world, except for the Subantarctic region.Like many Sciomyzidae, species of this genus have larvae that are predators or parasitoids of snails. The larva of P. albovaria, for example, eats land snails such as Anguispira alternata and A. fergusoni, and then pupates in the empty shell. The P. albocostata larva eats up to five snails and then pupates in the ground litter next to the last empty shell. The larva of P. inflexa attacks the glass snail Zonitoides arboreus.P. punctata is a parasitoid on the amber snail Succinea putris. P. anubis larvae feed on several types of freshwater snails along the edges of ponds and marshes. Several Pherbellia are predators of the pond snail Stagnicola palustris. While most snail-killing flies target land and freshwater pulmonate snails, P. prefixa preys on the mossy valvata (Valvata sincera), which is an operculate snail in the valve snail family.As of 2012 there were about 95 species in the genus.Psacadina
Psacadina is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.Sciomyza
Sciomyza is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.Sciomyzinae
Sciomyzinae is a subfamily of flies in the family Sciomyzidae.Sciomyzini
Sciomyzini is a tribe of flies in the family Sciomyzidae.Sciomyzoidea
Sciomyzoidea is a superfamily of Acalyptratae flies.
The families placed here are:
Coelopidae – seaweed flies
Sepsidae – scavenger flies
Sciomyzidae – marsh flies, snail-killing flies (including Huttoninidae, Phaeomyiidae, Tetanoceridae)Sepedon
Sepedon is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.Shannonia
Shannonia is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.Sphaeriidae
Sphaeriidae is a family of small to minute freshwater bivalve molluscs in the order Sphaeriida. In the US, they are commonly known as pea clams or fingernail clams.Tetanocera
Tetanocera is a genus of marsh flies, insects in the family Sciomyzidae. There are at least 50 described species in Tetanocera.Tetanocerini
Tetanocerini is a tribe of flies in the family Sciomyzidae. There are at least 120 described species in the tribe.Tetanura
Tetanura is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.Verbekaria
Verbekaria is an african genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies.
Extant Diptera families