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

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A worldwide family of rather small flies (largest Australian species 10 mm long). Only Atherimorpha and Chrysopilus remain as Australian representatives of the family, since genera belonging to Spaniidae and Austroleptidae were removed (Stuckenberg 2001). The family is relatively small, with 41 described Australian species.

Most Australian Rhagionidae may be taken by sweeping among vegetation in sheltered, rather damp places (Paramonov 1962) and are particularly common in spring. Larvae of Chrysopilus are predators in damp soil.


The eyes are bare and the antennal flagellum is composed of two sections, the apical one being long, thin and style-like. The style of Atherimorpha is made up of four segments, however the style of Chrysopilus has a single element. One or two long spurs are present on the mid and hind tibiae. The wings are usually hyaline.


Found in forested areas of southern Australia, including Tasmania and southern Western Australia, and there is a species known from Lord Howe Island.

  • Rhagionidae

  • Rhagionidae