T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Fly (Long legged) Family: Dolichopodidae

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Brachycera
Infraorder: Asilomorpha
Superfamily: Empidoidea
Family: Dolichopodidae
Common name: Long-legged flies

Dolichopodidae, the long-legged flies, are a large, cosmopolitan family of true flies with more than 7,000 described species in about 230 genera. The genus Dolichopus is the most speciose, with some 600 species.
Dolichopodidae generally are small flies with large, prominent eyes and a metallic cast to their appearance, though there is considerable variation among the species. Most have long legs, though some do not. In many species the males have unusually large genitalia which are taxonomically useful in identifying species. Most adults are predatory on other small animals, though some may scavenge or act as kleptoparasites of spiders or other predators. Kleptoparasitism or cleptoparasitism means literally, parasitism by theft. It is a form of feeding in which one animal takes prey or other food from another that has caught or collected.