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

Logo: What Bug Is That? Logo: Taxonomy Research & Information Network



A rather small family with a worldwide distribution containing about 800 described species. There are just over 50 described Australian species, found in all States and Lord Howe Island.

Adults fly slowly, and are usually seen on blossom, often accompanying the wasps which they mimic; Stylogaster often hovers near the ground. Larvae of Australian species presumably resemble those of other countries, which are recorded as endoparasites of adult Hymenoptera, Diptera and orthopteroids (Smith and van Someren 1986).


The family is unusual in that most of its members are wasp mimics. Many superficially resemble syrphids of the genus Ceriana , even in venation, but all have a well developed ptilinum. Stylogaster has an aberrant venation, but is recognisable by the long, thin proboscis (present in many conopids) and the elongate ovipositor. Most conopids have both male and female terminalia enlarged and conspicuous, those of the female often opposed or covered by a large lobe developed from S5.


The 16 Australian genera include the widely distributed Conops , Myopa , Physocephala , Stylogaster and Thecophora ; the remainder are mostly endemic, such as Australoconops.

  • Conopidae

  • Conopidae

  • Conopidae

  • Conopidae, wasp fly