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

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A small family of mostly rather large flies, somewhat resembling Asilidae and Therevidae. The Australian members of the family were revised by Paramonov (1953), and the Australian fauna now consists of the single genus Apiocera with 67 described and many undescribed species (Yeates & Irwin 1996).

Adult Apiocera are strong, noisy fliers, and occupy a wide range of habitats, from sea beaches and desert to forests at high altitudes; at least half of our known species are associated with relatively arid conditions. Although essentially flower-feeders, they are usually found resting on the ground. Adult male Apiocera have been collected hilltopping. The immature stages are known only for Apiocera maritima , which breeds in beach sand (English 1947). Its larva is possibly carnivorous, somewhat resembling an asilid, but with a long penultimate abdominal segment.


Apiocerids are relatively large flies with distinctive wing venation, with R4, R5 and M1 all turned up distally to end before the wing apex. The abdomen is usually broad at the base, tapering distally, and often has grey markings.


Yeates and Irwin (1996) discussed the phylogeny and biogeography of the group and removed Neorhaphiomydas to the Mydidae. The world fauna has a curiously disjunct distribution, suggesting very ancient continental connections. Apiocera is known from western North America, Chile, South Africa and the Australian mainland (Yeates & Irwin 1996). None are known from the Palaearctic, Oriental Region or New Zealand.

  • Apioceridae