Aquatic Insects of Michigan

by Ethan Bright, Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan

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SCIOMYZIDAE - Marsh Flies

Marsh flies (Sciomyzidae Macquart, 1846: 331) occur in lake margins, ponds, swamps, marshes, vernal pools and wet pastures or mesic habitats where larvae are oligate parasitoids or predators of freshwater snails (Fisher & Orth 1983; Marinoni & Mathis 2000). Because snails are often the intermediate hosts for a number of human disease-causing organisms, and snails or slugs may be pests of certain agricultural produce, the use of marsh flies as a possible biological control organism has, since the 1950s, led to an excellent understanding of their the biology and ecology (see Knutson & Vala 2011, Murphy et al. 2012; link to interesting film).

Based on literature records and museum specimens, there are 64 species in 17 genera of aquatic and semi-aquatic marsh flies documented in Michigan, and another 13 species likely to be encountered based on their known regional distribution, although this number is certainly on the low side of an actual inventory. William Murphy (Fishers, Indiana) kindly provided additional information on updates to nomenclature and species distributions. Genera are denoted in green; species denoted in bold blue have been recorded in Michigan; species denoted in black bold are likely to occur in Michigan based on their known distribution with nearby state/provincial localities from which certified records have been published. Synonomous species (indented) are listed below the current valid species (denoted in bold) with its taxonomic status indicated. You can use the Find function in your web browser desired a taxon.

    Antichaeta Agassiz, 1842: 27
      Anticheta (Anticheta) canadensis (Curran, 1923: 277 as Pteromicra)
      Anticheta (Anticheta) melanosoma Melander, 1920: 318 - Knutson & Abercrombie 1977
        (syn.) Pteromicra melanothrix Melander, 1920: 313

    Atrichomelina Cresson, 1920: 40 (Tribe Sciomyzini)
      Atrichomelina pubera (Loew, 1862: 106 as Sciomyza)

    Colobaea Zetterstedt, 1837: 53 (Tribe Sciomyzini)
      Colobaea americana Steyskal, 1954: 61 - ON, MB-NY (Knutson et al. 1990: 490)

    Dictya Meigen, 1803: 277 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Dictya atlantica Steyskal, 1954: 524 - Steyskal 1965
      Dictya borealis Curran, 1932: 6 - USNM, det. by Valley 1971 (W. Murphy, pers.comm. 2012)
      Dictya expansa Steyskal, 1938: 9 - UMMZ
      Dictya gaigei Steyskal, 1938: 9 - Steyskal 1938; UMMZ
      Dictya hudsonica Steyskal, 1954: 530 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Dictya laurentiana Steyskal, 1954: 532 - Steyskal 1965
      Dictya lobifera Curran, 1932: 6 - Steyskal 1965
      Dictya pictipes (Loew, 1859: 292 as Tetanocera) - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Dictya sabroskyi Steyskal, 1938: 8 - Steyskal 1965
      Dictya steyskali Valley, in Valley & Berg, 1977: 4 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Dictya stricta Steyskal, 1938: 10 - UMMZ [note: make sure it's a southern Michigan record; north of Saginaw it is D. hudsonica]
      Dictya umbroides Curran, 1932: 4 - Steyskal 1965

    Dictyacium Steyskal, 1956: 78 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Dictyacium ambiguum (Loew, 1864: 97 as Tetanocera) - widespread
      Dictyacium firmum Steyskal, 1956: 79 - Steyskal 1965

    Ditaeniella Sack, 1939: 37 (Tribe Sciomyzini)
      Ditaeniella grisescens (Meigen, 1830: 20 as Sciomyza) - widespread
        (comb.) Pherbellia grisescens (Meigen, 1830: 20)
        (syn.) Sciomyza brevipes Loew, 1856: 54
        (syn.) Sciomyza nasuta Zetterstedt, 1846: 2114
      Ditaeniella parallela (Walker, 1853:401 as Sciomyza) - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
        (comb.) Pherbellia parallela (Walker, 1853)
        (syn.) Sciomyza humilis Loew, 1876: 330
        (syn.) Sciomyza serena Wulp, 1897: 356

    Elgiva Meigen, 1838: 365 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Elgiva solicita (Harris, 1780: 116 as Musca) - Orth and Knutson 1987
        (syn.) Musca rufa Panzer, 1798: 17 (preoccupied by M. rufa Scopoli, 1763)

    Euthycera Latreille, 1829: 529 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Euthycera arcuata (Loew, 1859: 292 as Tetanocera) - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
        (syn.) Tetanocera flavescens Loew, 1847: 123 (preoccupied by Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830)
        (syn.) Tetanocera borealis Cresson, 1920: 74
        (syn.) Euthycera flavascens var. uniformis Cresson, 1920:74
        (nom.nud.) Tetanocera cribraria Harris, 1835: 600
        (mis.id.) Tetanocera flavipes Gibson, 1917: 157

    Hedria Steyskal 1954: 62 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Hedria mixta Steyskal, 1954: 63 - Steyskal 1965

    Limnia Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830: 685 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Limnia boscii (Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830: 690 as Pherbina) - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
        (syn.) Tetanocera combinata Loew, 1859: 295
      Limnia conica Steyskal in Steyskal et al. 1978: 9 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Limnia fitchi Steyskal in Steyskal et al. 1978: 12 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Limnia ottawensis Melander, 1920: 324 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Limnia sparsa (Loew, 1862: 117 as Tetanocera) - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012

    Oidematops Cresson, 1920: 36 (Tribe Sciomyzini)
      Oidematops ferrugineus Cresson, 1920: 36- Steyskal, 1965

    Pherbellia Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830: 695 (Bratt et al. 1969) (Tribe Sciomyzini)
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) albocostata (Fallén, 1820: 12 as Sciomyza) - AK-ME
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) albovaria (Coquillett, 1901: 616 as Sciomyza) - Steyskal 1965
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) argyra Verbeke, 1967: 4 - widespread
      Pherbellia (Oxytaenia) beatricis Steyskal, 1949: 178 - Steyskal 1965
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) griseola Fallén, 1820: 14 - Steyskal 1965
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) nana nana (Fallén, 1820: 15 as Sciomyza) - ON, AK-QB, s to Mex.
        (syn.) Pherbellia villiersi Séguy, 1941: 31
      Pherbellia (Oxytaenia) propages Steyskal, 1967: 37 - Orth 1982
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) quadrata Steyskal, 1961: 412 - Steyskal 1965
      Pherbellia (Pherbellia) schoenherri maculata (Cresson, 1920: 48 as Melina) - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) seticoxa Steyskal, 1961: 414 - Steyskal 1965
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) similis (Cresson, 1920: 44 as Melina) - WI, east
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) vitalis (Cresson, 1920: 43 as Melina) - widespread
        (syn.) Melina palustris Melander, 1920: 316

    Poecilographa Melander, 1913: 205 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Poecilographa decora (Loew, 1864: 97 as Sapromyza) - Barnes 1988 - semiaquatic, bogs

    Pteromicra Lioy, 1864: 1012 (Tribe Sciomyzini)
      Pteromicra anopla Steyskal, 1954: 260 - Steyskal 1954: 262
      Pteromicra inermis Steyskal, 1956: 76 - SD-NY
      Pteromicra pleuralis Cresson, 1920: 39 as Dichrochira) - Knutson 1970
      Pteromicra pectorosa (Hendel, 1902: 61 as Dichrochira) - Steyskal 1965
      Pteromicra similis Steyskal, 1954: 266 - Steyskal 1954: 268
      Pteromicra sphenura Steyskal, 1954: 268 - Steyskal 1954: 269
      Pteromicra steyskali Foote, 1959:14 - IA-NY

    Renocera Hendel, 1900: 333 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Renocera amanda Cresson, 1920: 53 - Steyskal 1965
      Renocera johnsoni Cresson, 1920: 53- AK-ME
      Renocera striata (Meigen, 1830: 20 as Sciomyza) - Steyskal 1965
        (syn.) Renocera cyathiformis Melander, 1920: 319

    Sepedon Latreille, 1804: 196 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Sepedon (Parasepedon) americana Steyskal, 1951: 277 - Steyskal 1965, Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Sepedon (Sepedon) armipes Loew, 1859: 298 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Sepedon (Sepedon) borealis Steyskal, 1951: 283 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Sepedon (Mesosepedon) fuscipennis Loew, 1859: 299 - Orth, 1986: 72, fig. 20)
        (syn.) Sepedon fuscipennis nobilis Orth, 1986: 59 (Murphy, pers.comm. 2012)
      Sepedon (Mesosepedon) gracilicornis Orth, 1986: 73 - Orth, 1986: 73; Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Sepedon (Mesosepedon) lignator Steyskal, 1951: 286 - Steyskal 1951: 286
      Sepedon neili Steyskal, 1951: 286 - Steyskal 1951: 286
      Sepedon pusilla Loew, 1859: 299 - widespread
      Sepedon tenuicornis Cresson, 1920: 84 - OH, southern (expect in extreme southern Michigan)

    Tetanocera Duméril, 1800: 439 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) annae Steyskal, 1938: 1 - Steyskal 1965
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) clara Loew, 1862: 109 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) ferruginea Fallén, 1820: 9 - Steyskal 1965
        (syn.) Tetanocera triangularis Loew, 1861: 344
        (syn.) Tetanocera huronensis Steyskal, 1938: 6
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) fuscinervis (Zetterstedt, 1838: 737 as Sciomyza) - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
        (syn.) Tetanocera unicolor Loew, 1847: 199
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) loewi Steyskal, 1959: 68 - Steyskal 1959
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) melanostigma Steyskal, 1959: 80 - Steyskal 1965
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) mesopora Steyskal, 1959: 70 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) montana Day, 1881: 87 - Murphy 2010
        (syn.) Tetanocera borealis Frey, 1924: 51
        (syn.) Tetanocera ornatifrons Frey, 1924: 51 [in part]
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) oxia Steyskal, 1959: 80 - Steyskal 1965
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) phyllophora Melander, 1920: 330 - Murphy 2010
        (syn.) Tetanocera nigricosta Róndani, 1868: 25
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) plebeja Loew, 1862: 120 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Tetanocera (Tetanocera) plumosa Loew, 1847: 201 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Tetanocera (Chaetotelanocera) robusta Loew, 1847: 197 - Steyskal 1965
        (syn.) Tetanocera papillifera Melander, 1920
      Tetanocera (Chaetotelanocera) rotundicornis Loew, 1861: 344 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Tetanocera (Chaetotelanocera) valida Loew, 1862: 110 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012
      Tetanocera (Chaetotelanocera) vicina Macquart, 1843: 337 - Murphy, pers.comm. 2012

References
    Barnes JK. 1988. Notes on the biology and immature stages of Poecilographa decora (Loew)(Diptera: Sciomyzidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 90(4): 474-479.
    Elberg K, Rozkosny R, Knutson L. 2009. A review of the Holarctic Sepedon fuscipennis and S. spinipes groups with description of a new species (Diptera: Sciomyzidae). Zootaxa 2288:51-60.
    Knutson LV. 1970. Pteromicra melanothrix Melander, new synonym of Antichaeta melanosoma Melander, with a key to the Nearctic species of Pteromicra Lioy (Diptera: Sciomyzidae). Entomological News 81(10): 247-251.
    Knutson L, Abercrombie J. 1977. Biology of Antichaeta melanosoma (Diptera: Sciomyzidae), with notes on parasitoid Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 79(1): 111-125.
    Knutson L, Orth RE, Rozkošný R. 1990. New North American Colobaea, with a preliminary analysis of related genera (Diptera: Sciomyzidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 92(3): 483-492.
    Knutson LV, Mathis WN, Chapman EG. (in prep.). Taxonomy, cladistic analysis, and biology of clam-killing flies of the genus Renocera Hendel (Diptera: Sciomyzidae).
    Orth RE. 1982. Five new species of Pherbellia Robineau-Desvoidy, subgenus Oxytaenia Sack, from North America (Diptera: Sciomyzidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 84(1): 23-37.
    Orth RE. 1986. Taxonomy of the Sepedon fuscipennis group (Diptera: Sciomyzidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 88(1): 63-76.
    Orth RE, Knutson L. 1987. Systematics of snail killing flies of the genus Elgiva in North America and biology of E. divisa (Diptera: Sciomyzidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 80(6): 829-840.
    Steyskal GC. 1965. Family Sciomyzidae, pp. 685-695 in A Catalog of the Diptera of America North of Mexico. Stone A, Sabrosky CW, Wirth WW, Foote RH, Coulson JR. (Editors). Agricultural Research Service, Agricultural Handbook 267, United States Department of Agriculture. Smithsonian Institution Press 1983 reprint: Washington, D. C. iv + 1696.

References - Taxonomic

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    Cresson ET, Jr. 1920. A Revision of the Nearctic Sciomyzidae (Diptera, Acalyptratae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 46: 27-89, 3 pls.
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    Zetterstedt JW. 1837. Conspectus familiarum, generum et specierum dipterorum, in fauna insectorum Lapponica descriptorum. Isis (Oken's) 21: 28-67.
    Zetterstedt JW. 1838. Dipterologis Scandinaviae. Sect. 3: Diptera, pp. 477-868. In his Insecta Lapponica. vi + 1,140 (pp.) Lipsiae [= Leipzig].
    Zetterstedt JW. 1842-1860. Diptera Scandinaviae. Disposita et descripta. Vol. 1, pp. iii-xvi+440, [1842]; Vol. 2, pp. 441-894 [1843]; Vol. 3, pp. 895-1012 [1844], 1013-1280 [1845]; Vol. 4, pp. 1281-1738 [1845]; Vol. 5, pp. 1739-2162 [1846]; Vol. 6, pp. 2163-2580 [1847]; Vol. 7, pp. 2581-2934 [1848]; Vol. 8, pp. 2935-3366 [1849]; Vol. 9, pp. 3367-3710 [1850]; Vol. 10, pp. 3711-4090 [1851; Vol. 11, pp. 4091-4545 [1852]; Vol. 12, pp. xx + 4547-4942 [1855]; Vol. 13, pp. xvi+ 4943-6190 [1859, preface]; Vol. 14, pp. iv + 6191-6609 [1860]. Officina Lundbergiana, Lundae [=Lund.]
Page edits:
    April 14, 2017
    Corrections to nomenclature and organization; splitting references into sections for distribution and taxonomy
    December 06, 2012
    Added information on distributions and nomenclature from William Murphy (pers.comm. Dec. 2012):
    • Antichaeta is now spelled Anticheta;
    • Some or all Dictya stricta records from Michigan, especially any north of Saginaw, are D. hudsonica;
    • Current name used for Pherbellia maculata Cresson in North America is P. schoenherri maculata (Cresson) to avoid confusion with the Palearctic P. s. schoenherri;
    • Current name used for Pherbellia nana (Fallén) in North America is P. nana nana (Fallén) to avoid confusion with the Palearctic P. nana reticulata;
    • Current name for Pherbellia parallela (Walker) is Ditaeniella parallela (Walker);
    • Renocera cyathiformis Melander is now R. striata (Meigen) - Knutson LV, Mathis WN, Chapman EG. (in prep.). Taxonomy, cladistic analysis, and biology of clam-killing flies of the genus Renocera Hendel (Diptera: Sciomyzidae);
    • Sepedon tenuicornis probably does not occur in Michigan, farthest northern record is Toledo, Ohio. This will remain a "likely species" due to the proximity of the Toledo record to Michigan. Note that Orth 1986 describes S. gracilicornis ranging as far north as "New York near the southern shores of Lake Ontario." The very similar S. gracilicornis is far more likely in Michigan and has been confused with S. tenuicornis in the past;
    • Sepedon americana Steyskal formerly was called S. spinipes americana, elevated to full species by Elberg et al. (2009).
    • Sepedon fuscipennis is no longer separated with the forms fuscipennis and nobilis. DNA analyses show no significant difference, and because the only external difference is that the parafrontal spots grow more distinct as one moves south (clinal?).
    November 21, 2012
    • Beginning to keep track of changes to the web site pages
    • Removed individual pages for families into one long list, families accessed from left menu via anchor redirects within page; larger groups retained as separate pages

Page created: December 02, 2002; Last edited: April 14, 2017 (EB)