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A sciarid ovipositing into a leaf of Urtica

The Sciaridae
Sciaridae
are a family of flies, commonly known as dark-winged fungus gnats. Commonly found in moist environments, they are known to be a pest of mushroom farms and are commonly found in household plant pots. This is one of the least studied of the large Diptera families, probably due to the small size of these insects and the difficulty in specific identification. Currently, around 1700 species are described, but an estimated 20,000 species are awaiting discovery, mainly in the tropics. More than 600 species are known from Europe.

Contents

1 Description 2 Family description (formal) 3 Distribution 4 Species lists 5 Life cycle 6 Mating and genetics 7 Evolution 8 Pest status 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Description[edit] These gnats are small, from one to at the very most seven millimetres long. They have slender, darkly coloured bodies and dark wings. However, the females of several species are wingless. Their long legs and antennae with eight to 16 segments are typical of many gnats. Family description (formal)[edit] See [1] and images at Diptera.info The slender whitish larvae feature a sclerotized head capsule. Distribution[edit] The Sciaridae
Sciaridae
occur worldwide, even in extreme habitats such as subantarctic islands and mountainous regions above 4,000 m. Others (such as Parapnyxia) are found in deserts, where they dig into the sand at extreme temperatures. Several species live exclusively in caves. However, most species live in forests, swamps, and moist meadows, where they live in the foliage. They are also often found in flowerpots. In moist and shadowy areas, up to 70% of all dipteran species can be Sciaridae. They are distributed through wind and drifting, for example on dead wood, and are often introduced by humans, by means of transported humus or similar. Species lists[edit]

Palaearctic Nearctic Australasian/Oceanian Japan

Life cycle[edit]

Sciarid larva

The life cycle of only a few species has been studied in any detail, mainly those which are pests of commercially grown mushrooms. Sciarid larvae are mainly found in soil and plant litter, where they seem to feed mainly on fungi and animal faeces. Also, some species mine in plant parts above and below the earth. The larvae play an important role in turning forest leaf litter into soil. Adult females lay about 200 transparent eggs (each about 1 mm long) into moist soil. After about one week, the larvae hatch. About 90% of the larvae are female. Up to 2,500 per m² can be found. Several species, especially Sciara militaris, can be found to migrate in processions of up to 10 m, containing thousands of individuals. These processions occur from May to June in central Europe. The larvae there pupate from July to August. The adults with their characteristic dancing flight do not bite. They only ingest liquids and live only long enough to mate and produce eggs. They die after about five days. The use of cedar wood chips[1] is one way to keep Sciaridae
Sciaridae
away from plants. Mating and genetics[edit] The Sciaridae
Sciaridae
practice paternal genome elimination, whereby the male passes on only the genetic material of his mother to his offspring. The functional result of this is similar to haplodiploidy, but via a very different mechanism. Evolution[edit] Sciarids are fairly common in amber deposits, with the earliest known fossils dating from the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
period.

Sciarid fly in amber

Pest status[edit] Sciarid flies are common pests of mushroom houses and of plants grown in protected culture, for example herbs, where the warm and moist conditions favour their rapid development. In commercial mushroom houses, sciarid fly larvae tunnel into the stalks of the mushrooms, and feeding damage can sever developing mycelium, causing mushrooms to become brown and leathery. Their faeces may also prevent the mycelium from colonising the casing layer, severely reducing yields. As a pest of plants, sciarid larvae feed on the root system. In both industries, adult sciarid flies are a nuisance pest that can result in crop rejection if high numbers are present in the growing area. The damaging larval stage can be controlled using the beneficial nematode Steinernema feltiae, which enters the larva and releases a bacterium that kills the insect. The nematode then reproduces within the larva and its young are released into the growing medium, where they actively search out new host larvae. See also[edit]

Lasthenia conjugens

References[edit]

^ "Windowsill Cactus: Growing Cactus Plants from Seeds". windowsillcactus.com. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 

Expert website (Frank Menzel) Taxonomy and phylogeny of Sciaridae Family description Fossil
Fossil
Diptera catalog This page incorporates information from the German.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sciaridae.

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to Sciaridae

Fungus
Fungus
Gnats Online Bradysia spp., darkwinged fungus gnats on the UF / IFAS Featured Creatures Web site Diptera.info Gallery Images

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Extant Diptera families

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

Suborder Nematocera

Axymyiomorpha

Axymyiidae

Culicomorpha

Culicoidea

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

Chironomoidea

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

Blephariceromorpha

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

Bibionomorpha

Bibionoidea

Bibionidae
Bibionidae
(march flies, lovebugs)

Anisopodoidea

Anisopodidae
Anisopodidae
(wood gnats)

Sciaroidea (fungus gnats)

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

Psychodomorpha

Scatopsoidea

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

Psychodoidea

Psychodidae (moth flies)

Ptychopteromorpha

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

Tipulomorpha

Trichoceroidea

Trichoceridae
Trichoceridae
(winter crane flies)

Tipuloidea

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

Suborder Brachycera

Asilomorpha

Asiloidea

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

Empidoidea

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

Nemestrinoidea

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

Muscomorpha

Aschiza

Platypezoidea

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

Syrphoidea

Syrphidae (hoverflies) Pipunculidae
Pipunculidae
(big-headed flies)

Schizophora

Acalyptratae

Conopoidea

Conopidae
Conopidae
(thick-headed flies)

Tephritoidea

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

Nerioidea

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

Diopsoidea

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

Sciomyzoidea

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

Sphaeroceroidea

Chyromyidae Heleomyzidae Sphaeroceridae
Sphaeroceridae
(small dung flies) Nannodastiidae

Lauxanioidea

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

Opomyzoidea

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

Ephydroidea

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

Carnoidea

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

Lonchaeoidea

Cryptochetidae Lonchaeidae
Lonchaeidae
(lance flies)

Calyptratae

Muscoidea

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

Oestroidea

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

Hippoboscoidea

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

Stratiomyomorpha

Stratiomyoidea

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

Tabanomorpha

Rhagionoidea

Austroleptidae Bolbomyiidae Rhagionidae
Rhagionidae
(snipe flies)

Tabanoidea

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

Vermileonomorpha

Vermileonoidea

Vermileonidae

Xylophagomorpha

Xylophagoidea

Xylophagidae
Xylophagidae
(awl flies)

List of families of Diptera

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q582991 ADW: Sciaridae BugGuide: 7014 EoL: 9007 EPPO: 1SCIAF Fauna Europaea: 11672 Fossilworks: 76778 GBIF: 3525 ITIS: 122702 NCBI:

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