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

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Commonly known as ironic flies, ironomyiids are stout, slow-moving flies (closely related to Platypezidae), which are sometimes seen on the bark of Acacia and other trees. A pupa is recorded from leaf litter containing lepidopterous larvae (caterpillars).


The unusual antennal structure and wing venation are diagnostic for the family. The presence of sacculi (deep, complex sensory pits) in the postpedicel of the antenna is reminiscent of higher cyclorraphans (Syphidae and Schizophora).


Ironomyia (consisting of three species) is the only extant genus and is widely distributed in and apparently restricted to eastern Australia. A fossil ironomyiid, Cretonomyia , is known from the late Cretaceous of Canada, but early Cretaceous taxa (Sinolestinae) from northern Asia are doubtfully referred to this family.

  • Ironomyidae

  • Ironomyidae