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

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Milichiids are small, inconspicuous, black flies that occur on all continents. They are probably closely related to Chloropidae. Worldwide there are about 240 described species in 19 genera. In Australia there are only about 12 described species and a number of undescribed species.

Larvae are saprophagous, coprophagous, kleptoparasitic, or inquilines in ant nests. In Australia the larva of Milichia piscivora has been found in dead fish and that of Milichiella sp. in soil on rotting wood. Adults of Desmometopa have been observed feeding on the dead prey of araneid spiders and assassin bugs after the latter have fed.


The postvertical bristles are convergent or parallel and the lower fronto-orbital bristles incurved. Vibrissae are present and the costa has humeral and subcostal breaks. Cell dm is closed. Males of some species have bright silver markings on the abdomen.

  • Milichiidae