Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University
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Long-legged Fly
A long-legged fly.  Photo by Jackman.
Click on image to enlarge
A long-legged fly,
(Diptera: Dolichopodidae).
Photo by Jackman.
Common Name: Long-legged fly
Scientific Name: Varies
Order: Diptera

Description: This is a large family of flies, and species vary in their appearance and biology. In general, adult flies are medium to small, slender flies with green, blue or copper metallic colored bodies and long legs. Their wings are clear or marked with darker areas towards the wing tips. Wing venation patterns are characteristic for identification to family.

Life Cycle: Larvae develop through several stages (instars) in wet to dry soil and pupate in cocoons made up of soil particles cemented together. Adults mate after elaborate and unique behavior, involving the males displaying their legs to the female.

Habitat and Food Source(s): Mouthparts are for piercing (with a short proboscis). They are common in lightly shaded areas near swamps and streams, in meadows and woodlands. Adults and larvae are predaceous on small insects. Larvae are primarily aquatic and semi-aquatic, although immatures of some species mine stems of grasses and other plants or live under bark of trees. Not much is known about larval feeding habits although some species are known to be predaceous.

Pest Status: Adult flies and larval stages are beneficial, being predaceous on other arthropods; medically harmless.

Management: None, considered a beneficial insect.

For additional information, contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent or search for other state Extension offices.

Literature: Borror et al. 1989; Swan & Papp 1972.

From the book:
Field Guide to Texas Insects,
Drees, B.M. and John Jackman,
Copyright 1999
Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas

A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects, Bastiaan M. Drees and John A. Jackman.


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