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Spear-winged fly - Genus Lonchoptera
Spear-winged fly - Genus Lonchoptera

Spear-winged flies
Spear-winged flies (Lonchopteridae) are a family in the order Diptera, suborder Brachycera, infraorder Muscomorpha, the unranked taxon Cyclorrhapha, the section Aschiza and the superfamily Lonchopteroidea. Their scientific family name is synonymous with the Musidoridae. This small family is monogeneric, it only contains the genus Lonchoptera, with 45 species known worldwide.
Scientific synonyms for the genus Lonchoptera are: Musidora, Lonchopterix and Dipsa. 9 species of spear-winged flies occur in Germany. Some examples of the Lonchoptera species are: Lonchoptera bifurcata, Lonchoptera furcata, Lonchoptera lutea, Lonchoptera meijerei, Lonchoptera nigrociliata, Lonchoptera nitidifrons, Lonchoptera scutellata and Lonchoptera tristis. Lonchoptera furcata are found throughout the world possibly due to overseas shipments of vegetables. Male spear-winged flies are rarely encountered, especially in North America.
Spear-winged flies are usually small, with body lengths of 2-5 mm. Their slender bodies are yellow, brownh or brownish-black in colour and are covered in bristly hairs. Their wings are spear shaped hence their name. Spear-winged flies have long legs with which they move forward, quickly and jerkily.
They prefer moist, shady, grassy habitats, and are mainly found in wet forest soils and water edges. They are found on thicker leaf litter, on wet rocks and very often on the underside of leaves. Most species of spear-winged flies reproduce by parthenogenesis. This means that their larvae hatch from unfertilised eggs.
There are 6 different kinds of spear-winged fly larvae and they are shaped like wood lice. They have flat backs and 2 pairs of bristles on their heads. They live on the ground, amongst dead leaves, or in dung or rotting vegetation. They can even be found among the leaves of Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea) or white beets, especially in wet weather. The larvae feed on fungal threads (hyphae), algal cells, pollen, soil particles and substrates, which they find in excrement. They also prey on the larvae of bark beetles. They pupate in the soil.

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Photography with Cameras
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1. Spear-winged fly - Genus Lonchoptera
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