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NC State Extension

Dolichopodid Fly

  • Common Name: Dolichopodid Flies
  • General Category: Beneficial Predator
  • Taxonomic Classification: Diptera: Dolichopodidae
  • Scientific Name: Many species

Description

These very attractive long-legged flies are often seen on foliage in crops and gardens either resting in sunlight, or running and flying quickly between leaves. Adults are predaceous on small insects such as aphids. Larvae are assumed to be predacious, but little is known about most species.

Dolichopodid Fly green Dolichopodid Fly brown

Identification

Review the images for tips on how to identify these predators.

Adults

Small (3-4 mm), slender flies with very long, thin legs and thin tapering abdomens. Color a metallic blue, red or green. Wings held at 45 degree angle from body.

Larvae

Very little is known of the life history of dolichopodid larvae, but they appear to be soil-inhabiting in areas other than crops fields, such as wet drainage areas and ditch banks.

Value in Pest Management

Adults can be very abundant in some crops, especially from mid-season to harvest. Although little is known and they are not known to be important predators of specific crop pests, they are included here because of their abundance in the field. They are not sold commercially.

Origin and Distribution

Native, throughout eastern North America.

Discover Life – Dolichopodidae

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