What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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The Keroplatidae are a moderately species-rich family erected from amongst the Mycetophilidae for some 700 species in 90 genera.

Larval Keroplatinae include some well-known 'glow worms' (genus Arachnocampa ) that suspend themselves on silken threads from cave roofs, and lure other small nematocerans to their light. Other keroplatid larvae spin silken webs in damp places, including beneath polypore (bracket) fungi, where they are predatory or mycophagous.


Adult Keroplatidae are recognised by their wing venation, in which veins M and CuA1 are connected by a distinct crossvein (bm-cu) situated either far distant to crossvein r-m (Arachnocampinae) or with crossvein r-m absent (the remaining subfamilies).


The family is worldwide in distribution including the subarctic and subantarctic regions, but with strong representation in Gondwanan areas and in Indo-Malaya. Biogeographical relationships and fossil evidence indicate a minimum of Cretaceous age for the grouping, with probable Upper Jurassic representation even of extant genera.

  • Keroplatidae; Macrocera sp. female