The lauxaniids are generally small to medium sized flies. Many are coloured orange and superficially resemble vinegar flies (Drosophilidae). Their larvae are saprophagous, usually living in, or between, fallen leaf debris or similar composting vegetable matter. Some are known to occur in the nests of birds, feeding on the decaying nest materials. In Tasmania, Sapromyza flavimana has been reared from the nest of the Scrubtit (Acanthornis magna).
Tasmania has close to 50 described species of Lauxaniidae. The vast majority belong in subfamily Lauxaniinae with only 7 from Homoneurinae. Close to half of the Tasmanian Lauxaniinae are endemic. The genus Incurviseta is particularly notable with eight of the eleven described species apparently restricted to the island state. Other genera with large endemism are Sapromyza and Ceratolauxania. The most common urban garden lauxaniid is Poecilohetaerus schineri, one of five ‘two-striped’ fly species occuring in Tasmania. In semi-rural to rural districts Sapromyza mallochiana is also typical. Flower visiting is not strong in Lauxaniidae, however Incurviseta species regularly feed at flowers in summer, especially at the higher altitudes. Ceratolauxania appears to favour wet forest.
Quick Genera Links – those not linked we have not documented.
Ceratolauxania Depressa Homoneura Incurviseta Meiosimyza Melanina Paranomina Poecilohetaerus Rhagadolyra Sapromyza Steganopsis Trigonometopsis Trypetisoma Xenohomoneura [Pending ID – Lauxaniinae] [Pending ID – Lauxaniidae]
Evenhuis, N. L. & Okadome, T. 2012. Family Lauxaniidae. In: Evenhuis, NL (ed.), Catalog of the Diptera of the Australasian and Oceanian Regions. (online version). Available at: http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/aocat/lauxaniidae.html. Last accessed: 2 March 2012.
Kim, S. P. 1994. Australian Lauxaniid Flies : Revision of the Australian Species of Homoneura van der Wulp, Trypetisoma Malloch, and Allied Genera (Diptera : Lauxaniidae). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.
Malloch, J. R. 1927. Notes on Australian Diptera. No. xiii. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 52: 399-446.
Malloch, J. R. 1928. Notes on Australian Diptera, No. xvi. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 53: 343-66.
Miller, R. M. 1977. Ecology of Lauxaniidae (Diptera: Acalyptratae) I. Old and new rearing records with biological notes and discussion. Annals of the Natal Museum 23: 215-238.
Papp, L. 2007. A review of the Old World Trigonometopini Becker (Diptera: Lauxaniidae). Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 99: 129-169.
Scheneider, M. A. 1991. Revision of the Australasian genus Poecilohetaerus Hendel (Diptera: Lauxaniidae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 30: 143-68.