Until recently the limoniids were placed as a subfamily within Tipulidae. Limoniids belong to the group of craneflies referred to as ‘short-palped’ craneflies. This is due to their last maxillary palpus segment (mouth appendage) being short in comparison to ‘long-palped’ craneflies (Tipulidae proper) where this segment is noticeably elongate and whip-like. Limoniids are also usually smaller and more delicate looking than tipulids. The larvae are found in a range of habitats from lowlands to alpine. They are restricted to moist environments such as saturated soil, under mosses and liverworts, within decaying and rotting vegetation, and so on, while some are properly aquatic. The adults prefer to rest in dark shady areas during the day and are generally most active during twilight. Some have the peculiar habit of hanging from spider webs.
Tasmania has over 160 described limoniid species in at least 26 genera – around two-thirds of these species are endemic to the island state. Molophilus species are most numerous with Dicranomyia, Gynoplistia, and Limnophila also strongly represented. Molophilus have wing veins noticeably adorned with hairs along their veins. Gynoplistia are most obvious in the field being larger and more robust than the usual limoniid and often with conspicuous orange and black banded wings and legs. Some Limnophila and Gynoplistia species have the female with reduced or vestigial wings. In one Tasmanian endemic, Gynoplistia zaluscodes, the males are also flightless.
Quick Genera Links – those unlinked we have not documented.
Amphineurus Antocha Atarba Austrolimnophila Baeoura Bergrothomyia Dicranomyia Diemenomyia Discobola Elephantomyia Epiphragma Erioptera Geranomyia Gonomyia Gynoplistia Helius Leolimnophila Limnophila Molophilus Paralimnophila Rhipidia Sigmatomera Symplecta Tasiocera Tonnoirella Tonnoiromyia Toxorhina [Pending ID – Limoniidae]
Alexander, C. P. 1922. Undescribed crane-flies (Tanyderidae and Tipulidae) in the South Australian Museum. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2: 223-270.
Alexander, C. P. 1928. New or little-known Tipulidae (Diptera) – XXXVII. Australasian species. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 1: 82-108.
Edwards, F. W. 1923. A preliminary revision of the crane-flies of New Zealand (Anisopodidae, Tanyderidae, Tipulidae). Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 54: 265-352.
Oosterbroek, P. 2013. Family Limoniidae. In: Evenhuis, NL (ed.), Catalog of the Diptera of the Australasian and Oceanian Regions. (online version). Available at: http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/aocat/anthomyiidae.html. Last accessed: 9 April 2013.
Skuse, A. A. 1890. Diptera of Australia Part VII. The Tipulidae Brevipalpi. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 4: 757-892.
Theischinger, G. 1992. The Limoniinae (Diptera: Tipulidae) of Australia. II. The genus Molophilus Curtis. Stapfia 27: 5-150.
Theischinger, G. 1993. The Limoniinae (Diptera: Tipulidae) of Australia. III. The genus Gynoplistia Macquart. Stapfia 29: 1-106.
Theischinger, G. 1996. The Limoniinae (Diptera: Tipulidae) of Australia. VIII. Preliminary key to the genus-group taxa. Stapfia 44: 117-144.