The Scathophagidae are a small family of Muscoidea which are often known as dung flies, although this name is not appropriate except for a few species of the genus Scathophaga which do indeed pass their larval stages in animal dung. The name probably derives from the yellow dung fly, S. stercoraria, which is one of the most abundant and ubiquitous flies in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere.


1 Description 2 Biology 3 Genera 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

Description[edit] For terms see Morphology of Diptera. The Scathophagidae are medium-sized or quite small flies with a body length of 3.0 to 12.0 mm. The body is slender, especially in males, usually with an elongated, cylindrical abdomen. Many scathophagids appear more robust, however, due to a dense pubescence. Body colour body ranges from yellow to black; some species are glossy, but never with a metallic gloss. Some species are bicolored. The eyes are wide-set on the frons in males and females. The bristles on the head, thorax, and legs are well developed. The occiput usually has pale, long hairs. The arista is bare to plumose. Interfrontal bristles are absent. The wing is usually clear, but in some species has distinct marks or darkening at the tip or along the crossveins. The anal vein is long and usually reaches the wing margin. The meron is without bristles along the hind margin, near the posterior spiracle.

Play media

Hunting Cordilura on leaves of blackberry (video, 57s)

Biology[edit] The larval biology of this family is actually quite diverse, including plant feeders (leaf miners, stem borers, or feeding in seed capsules), aquatic predators, and predators on other insect larvae in wet situations - such as piles of rotting vegetable matter, seaweed, or dung. The adults are predators on other small insects, and while they are commonly seen on flowers, they are hunting prey there, rather than acting as pollinators. They are, in fact, one of the better predators of blow flies, thus are beneficial agents of biological control. Some species are attracted to dung in great numbers. One of the best-known species of this family is Scathophaga stercoraria (Linnaeus). The reddish-brown, densely pilose males of this species gather on cattle dung and may, in parts of its range, be observed at all times of the year. Worldwide, about 500 described species are placed in 66 genera. The great majority are found in the Palearctic and Nearctic regions and the family is almost confined to the Northern Hemisphere with only five species so far known from the Southern Hemisphere (and two of those are common northern species of Scathophaga which have probably been imported with livestock into South Africa and Brazil). The most diverse fauna is found in the Russian Far East, and many new species have been described from this area over the last few decades. Because of the northerly distribution of many species, even within the Holarctic, Vockeroth (1987) has described this as the most northerly distributed of all fly families. He reports that, of the 150 species recorded from Canada, 25 are confined to the arctic tundra. Fifty-four species are currently recorded from the British Isles and nearly all of these have a Holarctic distribution. Genera[edit] These 65 genera belong to the family Scathophagidae:

Acanthocnema Becker, 1894 i c g Acerocnema Becker, 1894 i c g Allomyella Malloch, 1923 i c g Amaurosoma c g Americina Malloch, 1923 i c g b Anthomyia i c g b Anthomyza i c g b Bostrichopyga c g Brooksiella Vockeroth, 1987 i Bucephalina Malloch, 1919 i c g Ceratinostoma Meade, 1885 i c g b Chaetosa Coquillett, 1898 i c g Cleigastra c g Cochliarium c g Conisternum Strobl, 1894 g Cordilura Fallen, 1810 i c g b Cordylurella Malloch, 1919 i c g b Cosmetopus Becker, 1894 i c g Delina Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 i c g Dromogaster Vockeroth, 1995 i Ernoneura Becker, 1894 i c g Eupteromyia c g Gimnomera Rondani, 1866 i c g Gonarcticus Becker, 1894 i c g Gonatherus Rondani, 1856 i c g Gymnomera c g Hexamitocera Becker, 1894 i c g Huckettia Vockeroth, 1995 i Hydromyza Fallen, 1813 i c g b Jezekia c g Langechristia c g Leptopa c g Megaphthalma Becker, 1894 i c g Megaphthalmoides Ringdahl, 1936 i c g Microprosopa Becker, 1894 i c g Micropselapha c g Miroslava c g Mixocordylura c g Musca i c g b Nanna Becker, 1894 i c g Neochirosia Malloch, 1917 i c g b Neorthacheta Vockeroth, 1987 i c g Norellia c g Norellisoma Hendel, 1910 i c g Okeniella Hendel, 1907 i c g Opsiomyia Coquillett, 1898 g Orchidophaga c g Orthacheta Becker, 1894 i c g Paracosmetopus c g Parallelomma Becker, 1894 i c g b Peratomyia Vockeroth, 1987 i Phrosia c g Plethochaeta i c g Pleurochaetella Vockeroth, 1965 i c g Pogonota Zetterstedt, 1860 i c g Sargella c g Scathophaga Meigen, 1803 i c g b Scatogera c g Scatophaga Meigen, 1803 g Spathephilus c g Spaziphora Rondani, 1856 i c g b Staegeria Rondani, 1856 i c g Suwaia c g Synchysa Vockeroth, 1987 i b Trichopalpus Rondani, 1856 i c g

Data sources: i = ITIS,[1] c = Catalogue of Life,[2] g = GBIF,[3] b =[4] References[edit]

^ "Scathophagidae Report". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2018-04-12.  ^ "Browse Scathophagidae". Catalogue of Life. Retrieved 2018-04-12.  ^ "Scathophagidae". GBIF. Retrieved 2018-04-12.  ^ "Scathophagidae Family Information". Retrieved 2018-04-12. 

Vockeroth, V.R. (1987). "Scathophagidae". Agriculture Canada Monographs. 28: 1085–1097. 

Further reading[edit] Identification

K.B. Gorodkov Family Scatophagidae (Cordyluridae, Scatomyzidae, Scopeumatidae) in Bei-Bienko, G. Ya, 1988 Keys to the insects of the European Part of the USSR Volume 5 (Diptera) Part 2 English edition.Keys to Palaearctic species but now needs revision . Hackman, W., 1956. The Scatophagidae (Dipt.) of Eastern Fennoscandia. Societas Fauna Flora Fennica, Fauna Fennica 2: 1-67, Fig. 1-165, Helsinki. Sack, 1937. Coryluridae. In: Lindner, E. (Ed.). Die Fliegen der palaearktischen Region , 7, 62a, 1-103. Séguy, E., 1934 Diptères: Brachycères. II. Muscidae acalypterae, Scatophagidae. Paris: Éditions Faune de France 28. virtuelle numérique

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Scathophagidae.

Wikispecies has information related to Scathophagidae

Image Gallery from Image Gallery from BuG Guide Family Scathophagidae at EOL Image Gallery

Species lists

Palaearctic Nearctic Japan Australasian/Oceanian World list

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Extant Diptera families

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Subclass: Pterygota Infraclass: Neoptera Superorder: Endopterygota

Suborder Nematocera





Dixidae (meniscus midges) Corethrellidae (frog-biting midges) Chaoboridae (phantom midges) Culicidae (mosquitoes)


Thaumaleidae (solitary midges) Simuliidae (black flies) Ceratopogonidae (biting midges) Chironomidae (non-biting midges)


Blephariceridae (net-winged midges) Deuterophlebiidae (mountain midges) Nymphomyiidae



Bibionidae (march flies, lovebugs)


Anisopodidae (wood gnats)

Sciaroidea (fungus gnats)

Bolitophilidae Diadocidiidae Ditomyiidae Keroplatidae Mycetophilidae Sciaridae (dark-winged fungus gnats) Cecidomyiidae (gall midges)



Canthyloscelidae Perissommatidae Scatopsidae (minute black scavenger flies, or dung midges)


Psychodidae (moth flies)


Ptychopteridae (phantom crane flies) Tanyderidae (primitive crane flies)



Trichoceridae (winter crane flies)


Pediciidae (hairy-eyed craneflies) Tipulidae (crane flies)

Suborder Brachycera



Apioceridae (flower-loving flies) Apsilocephalidae Apystomyiidae Asilidae (robber flies) Bombyliidae (bee flies) Evocoidae Hilarimorphidae (hilarimorphid flies) Mydidae (mydas flies) Mythicomyiidae Scenopinidae (window flies) Therevidae (stiletto flies)


Atelestidae Hybotidae (dance flies) Dolichopodidae (long-legged flies) Empididae (dagger flies, balloon flies)


Acroceridae (small-headed flies) Nemestrinidae (tangle-veined flies)




Phoridae (scuttle flies, coffin flies, humpbacked flies) Opetiidae (flat-footed flies) Ironomyiidae (ironic flies) Lonchopteridae (spear-winged flies) Platypezidae (flat-footed flies)


Syrphidae (hoverflies) Pipunculidae (big-headed flies)




Conopidae (thick-headed flies)


Pallopteridae (flutter flies) Piophilidae (cheese flies) Platystomatidae (signal flies) Pyrgotidae Richardiidae Tephritidae (peacock flies) Ulidiidae (picture-winged flies)


Cypselosomatidae Micropezidae (stilt-legged flies) Neriidae (cactus flies, banana stalk flies)


Diopsidae (stalk-eyed flies) Gobryidae Megamerinidae Nothybidae Psilidae (rust flies) Somatiidae Strongylophthalmyiidae Syringogastridae Tanypezidae


Coelopidae (kelp flies) Dryomyzidae Helosciomyzidae Ropalomeridae Huttoninidae Heterocheilidae Phaeomyiidae Sepsidae (black scavenger flies) Sciomyzidae (marsh flies)


Chyromyidae Heleomyzidae Sphaeroceridae (small dung flies) Nannodastiidae


Celyphidae (beetle-backed flies) Chamaemyiidae (aphid flies) Lauxaniidae


Agromyzidae (leaf miner flies) Anthomyzidae Asteiidae Aulacigastridae (sap flies) Clusiidae (lekking, or druid flies) Fergusoninidae Marginidae Neminidae Neurochaetidae (upside-down flies) Odiniidae Opomyzidae Periscelididae Teratomyzidae Xenasteiidae


Camillidae Curtonotidae (quasimodo flies) Diastatidae (bog flies) Ephydridae (shore flies) Drosophilidae (vinegar and fruit flies)


Acartophthalmidae Australimyzidae Braulidae (bee lice) Canacidae (beach flies) Carnidae Chloropidae (frit flies) Cryptochaetidae Inbiomyiidae Milichiidae (freeloader flies)


Cryptochetidae Lonchaeidae (lance flies)



Anthomyiidae (cabbage flies) Fanniidae (little house flies) Muscidae (house flies, stable flies) Scathophagidae (dung flies)


Calliphoridae (blow-flies: bluebottles, greenbottles) Mystacinobiidae (New Zealand batfly) Oestridae (botflies) Rhinophoridae Sarcophagidae (flesh flies) Tachinidae (tachina flies)


Glossinidae (tsetse flies) Hippoboscidae (louse flies) Mormotomyiidae (frightful hairy fly) Nycteribiidae (bat flies) Streblidae (bat flies)



Pantophthalmidae (timber flies) Stratiomyidae (soldier flies) Xylomyidae (wood soldier flies)



Austroleptidae Bolbomyiidae Rhagionidae (snipe flies)


Athericidae (water snipe flies) Oreoleptidae Pelecorhynchidae Tabanidae (horse and deer flies)






Xylophagidae (awl flies)

List of families of Diptera

Taxon identifiers

Wikidata: Q1265791 Wikispecies: Scathophagidae BugGuide: 87 EoL: 9004 EPPO: 1SCTPF Fauna Europaea: 10953 Fossilworks: 139444 GBIF: 1555553 IRMNG: 105319 ITIS: 678096 NBN: NBNSYS0000160941 NCBI: 43756 W