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 Paraplatypeza atra
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Flat-footed fly - Platypezidae
Flat-footed fly - Platypezidae

Flat-footed flies
The flat-footed flies (Platypezidae) are a family in the order Diptera, suborder Brachycera, infraorder Muscomorpha ( unranked taxon: Cyclorrhapha), section Aschiza and superfamily Platypezoidea. This family is commonly encountered throughout the world and comprises approximately 20 genera and about 250 species. The genera include:

Agathomyia, Bertamyia, Bolopus, Callomya, Calotarsa, Grossoseta, Grossovena, Kesselimyia, Melanderomyia, Linderomyia, Microsania, Paraplatypeza, Penesymmetrica, Platypeza, Platypezina, Plesioclythia, Polyporivora, Protoclythia, Seri and Symmetricella. In Germany 23 species of flat-footed flies are known.
The yellow flat-footed fly (Agathomyia wankowiczii) is the most well known species. Other common species are from the genus Platypeza. These species include: Bertamyia notata, Paraplatypeza atra and Polyporivora polypori. The oldest fossil remains of flat-footed flies are from the Cretaceous period. The flies of this family reproduce twice a year and are non endangered.
Flat-footed flies are small and reach body lengths of 2-3 mm. Their often compact and bumpy bodies are black or yellow in colour. Males are often darker than females.
Their heads are black, yellow or sometimes grey in colour with very large complex eyes, which almost touch in the middle of the head on the males and cover the sides of their heads like bowls. The eyes vary in colour from brown to bright red depending on species. The genitalia of the males are very large and are below the abdomen. The last pair of legs often have very broad feet hence the name "flat-footed flies".
Flat-footed flies prefer moist and shady deciduous or mixed forests, and also like their periphery, especially areas with moist and sandy soil. Some species have an affinity for wood smoke or wood ash.
Before mating, flat-footed flies often appear in large swarms, in which they mark their territory by leaving scent marks on trees and shrubs. As they fly up and down, their legs hang down. On leaves and wet sandy soils, they can be recognized by their zigzag movements.
Flat-footed flies feed on organic deposits on the leaves of trees and herbage. The females commonly lay their eggs on tree fungi. Oviposition also occurs on dead or decaying wood. The hatching larvae then feed on these materials. The larvae reach body lengths of 4-5 mm. Their yellowish to brown bodies resemble woodlice in shape and have appendages in different sizes depending on the species. The larvae of flat-footed flies pupate at the end of the last larval stage, in or on soil. The second brood they have in the year overwinters in the larval stage.

Further chapters of "Flat-footed flies"
- Paraplatypeza atra
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1. Flat-footed fly - Platypezidae
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