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

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A largely Palaearctic and Nearctic family with only some nine species in four genera in Australia. Most have been accidentally introduced, but two species of Anthomyia are apparently endemic.

The larvae live mainly in decaying vegetation - those of Fucellia in stranded seaweed on beaches - but Delia platura (Meig.) is a cosmopolitan, minor pest, sometimes attacking seedlings of onions, legumes and other plants, while D. urbana is said to attack grasses. The cosmopolitan Anthomyia punctipennis (Wied.) was probably carried around the world in rotting vegetables on ships. Two species of Pegohylemyia were deliberately introduced for biological control of St. John's Wort but did not establish.


Adults have vein M straight and vein Cu1+A1 typically continuing to the margin (although this is not always true in Anthomyia ). The scutellum is diagnostic, with sparse setulae, one or more lateral rows of backswept cilia, and (in all but Fucellia ), a tuft of tiny hairs beneath the apex.


Paregle is almost completely restricted to Tasmania, while Fucellia occurs on beaches around the main ports. Our two endemic species of Anthomyia are largely tropical, but the introduced A. vicarians is found mainly in the drier parts of New South Wales and southern Queensland. Of the two species of Delia , D. platura has a clear preference for cooler climates whereas D. urbana is more tolerant of warmer temperatures.

  • Delia sp.