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

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Adults of most species can be found on old mammal carcasses, particularly road-kills ( the family is also called Bone flies). Those of   Piophila australis (Harrison) visit flowers for feeding. The larvae of most species live in dead animal matter. Larvae of the introduced Piophila casei (Linne) ('cheese skippers') can live in cheese, preserved meats and old carrion, but appear to have little or no economic importance in Australia. Exceptional larval habits in some overseas taxa include feeding in fructifications of fungi (several taxa) and parasitism on nestling birds ( Neottiophilum praeustum (Meigen)).


The main diagnostic features of the family include:

Postocellar bristles divergent; vibrissa present (sometimes duplicated); face with narrow, desclerotised median panel; arista bare or almost bare; wing vein Sc distally joined to R1 by sclerotisation of intervening region; wing vein A1+CuA2 well sclerotised; anepisternal bristle absent (in Australian taxa); preapical dorsal tibial bristle absent.


The Piophilidae are a small family, with greatest development in the Holarctic Region and possibly no endemic species in the Oriental Region. The four, apparently endemic, Australian species have temperate distributions. Three non-endemic species also live in Australia.

  • Prochyliza sp.