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

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Austroleptidae

Overview

This is a small family of flies recently separated from the Rhagionidae by Stuckenberg (2001). The family is endemic to Australia and contains a single genus Austroleptis , with three described species.

The family is generally poorly represented in collections. Paramonov (1962) reported that they prefer humid shady habitats and they have been collected more frequently at higher altitudes, such as Mt Wellington in Tasmania and Brown Mountain near Nimmitabel in New South Wales. The larvae of Austroleptis are unknown, but the larvae of the related Rhagionidae are thought to be at least partially predatory on other insects, and live in damp soils rich in organic matter or rotting wood. David McAlpine has reared one species from rotting wood at Mt Wilson.

Description

Austroleptis are small, compact flies. The antennal flagellum is distinctly segmented with 3-5 segments, and the eyes are always bare rather than hairy; they have two very small hind tibial spurs. The wings have dark brown mottling and spots and the pterostigma is well developed.

Distribution

The family is distributed in the south-eastern states of NSW, Vic, ACT and Tas. David McAlpine reported an undescribed species in Western Australia.

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