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

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Platystomatids live in most kinds of natural and many human-modified habitats. Adults of numerous taxa feed on fresh mammalian faeces.

Larval habitats are varied, with some larvae living in plant trunks damaged by other insects or fungi, or in coleopterous (beetle) tunnels in fallen logs. At least some Rivellia larvae live in bacterial root nodules on leguminous plants, probably including Acacia . Larvae of Elassogaster linearis (Walker) have been found consuming the eggs of Locusta migratoria (Linne), but also live in decaying vegetables. Larvae of Lenophila species have been found in damaged trunks of Xanthorrhoea (Xanthorrhoeaceae) and Macrozamia (Zamiaceae), and adults are commonly found on foliage of the former.


The main diagnostic features include:

Wing vein R1 setulose above; vein C without subcostal break; wing cell cup not acutely produced; incurved lower orbital bristles absent; ocelli well developed; pro-episternal bristle replaced by a group of minute hairs; abdominal sternites 1 and 2 separated by intersegmental membrane; in female, tergite 6 usually much reduced and largely concealed in dried specimens; in some genera, the lower calypter (squama) is remarkably large, resembling that of many calyptrate Muscoidea. In the tropical genus Achias , males of several species have the eyes on stalks or lateral extensions of the head capsule.


The family, though nearly worldwide in distribution, has its greatest representation in the tropics and subtropics of the Old World and is particularly diverse in New Guinea. Platystomatids live almost throughout Australia, including Central Australia and Tasmania. Our most species-rich platystomatid genus is Duomyia , which is endemic to Australia and includes over 100 or our 280 species.

  • Platystomatidae

  • Platystomatidae

  • Lamprogaster stenoparia

  • Platystomatidae

  • Platystomatidae

  • Platystomatidae

  • Platystomatidae

  • Pogonortalis doclea