Heleomyzidae (Sun Flies)

The Heleomyzidae are small to largish flies usually occuring in temperate or wet forests. The most conspicuous in Tasmania, as is the case on the Australian mainland, are the stocky adult Tapeigaster flies which are often found on fungi hosts. Their larvae have been reared from a variety of mushrooms including Pleurotus, Amanita, Boletus, and Agaricus species. Austroleria extensa has also been reared from Boletus and it is assumed related genera/species follow a similar fungi-host relationship. Borboroides are small heteromyzids, resembling lesser dung flies (Sphaeroceridae), that are associated with wombats and can be found at their fresh dung – these have been appropriately coined Wombat Flies. It is possible the related, and similar looking, genus Heleomicra  is also integrally involved with large marsupial habitat and activity. Pentachaeta spp. and the introduced Prosopantrum flavifrons are attracted to faeces. While the larvae of Cairnsimyia robusta (Rhinotorinae: Rhinotorini) have been found living in the tunnels left behind by wood boring beetle larvae.

Officially, Tasmania has 27 described species from 11 genera representing over one third of the Australian fauna. The bulk found in Borboroides (7 spp.), Tapeigaster (6 spp.), and Diplogeomyza (5 spp.). Two species are introduced, Prosopantrum flavifrons and Oecothea fenestralis.

Quick Genera Links – those not linked we have not documented.
Austroleria Borboroides Cairnsimyia Diplogeomyza Heleomicra Leriopsis Oecothea Pentachaeta Prosopantrum Tapeigaster Trixoleria

Subfamily Cnemospathidinae
Tribe Allophylopsini
Genus Austroleria
Austroleria extensa Austroleria truncata

Genus Diplogeomyza
Diplogeomyza diaphora Diplogeomyza hardyi tasmanica Diplogeomyza maculipennis Diplogeomyza wirthi/conformis

Genus Trixoleria
Trixoleria maculata

Tribe Borboroidini
Genus Borboroides
Borboroides sp. (Cnemospathidinae)

Subfamily Rhinotorinae
Genus Cairnsimyia
IMG 2518 IMG 2519 IMG 2526

Subfamily Tapeigastrinae
Genus Tapeigaster
Tapeigaster annulata Tapeigaster annulipes Tapeigaster argyrospila Tapeigaster brunneifrons Tapeigaster nigricornis Tapeigaster paramonovi

Subfamily Trixoscelidinae
Genus Pentachaeta
Pentachaeta sp.

Bezzi, M. 1923. Note on the Australian genus Tapeigaster Macq. (Diptera) with descriptions of new species. The Australian Zoologist 3: 72-78.

McAlpine, D. K. 1967. The Australian species of Diplogeomyza and allied genera (Diptera, Heleomyzidae). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 92: 74-106.

McAlpine, D. K. 1982. Systematics of Tapeigaster (Diptera: Heleomyzidae) with notes on biology and larval morphology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 106: 33-58.

McAlpine, D. K. 1985. The Australian genera of Heleomyzidae (Diptera: Schizophora) and a reclassification of the family into tribes. Records of the Australian Museum 36: 203–251.

McAlpine, D. K. 2007. Review of the Borboroidini or wombat flies (Diptera: Heteromyzidae), with reconsideration of the status of families Heleomyzidae and Sphaeroceridae, and descriptions of femoral gland-baskets. Records of the Australian Museum 59: 143-219.

McAlpine, D. K. 2013. Supplementary descriptions of Australian Rhinotorini (Diptera: Heteromyzidae). Zootaxa 3680: 130–138.

McAlpine, D. K. 2014. Review of the Australian genus Pentachaeta (Diptera: Heleomyzidae), with descriptions of nine new species. Records of the Australian Museum 66: 247-264.

Paramonov, S. J. 1955. Notes on Australian Diptera (XX). A review of the genus Tapeigaster Macq. (Neottiophilidae, Acalyptrata), Diptera. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (12) 8: 453-464.

Pitkin, B. R. 2007. Family Heleomyzidae. In: Evenhuis, NL (ed.), Catalog of the Diptera of the Australasian and Oceanian Regions. (online version). Available at: http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/aocat/heleomyzidae.html. Last accessed: 6 June 2012.