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) of Michigan

Marsh flies (Sciomyzidae Macquart, 1846: 331) occur in lake margins, ponds, swamps, marshes, vernal pools and wet pastures or mesic habitats where larvae are obligate 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 73 species in 19 genera of aquatic and semi-aquatic marsh flies documented in Michigan, and another 18 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, species distributions and literature (2012, 2020). He has also indicated that he remains willing to assist researchers with taxonomic identication. We are also fortunate for the recent publication of Schorno et al. (2019), which has updated distributional information for species in northeastern North America.

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. You can use the Find function in your web browser to locate a taxon or author of interest. Synonomous species (indented) are listed below the current valid species (denoted in bold) with its taxonomic status indicated.

Sciomyzidae Fallén, 1820

    Antichaeta Haliday, 1838: 187 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Anticheta borealis Foote, 1961: 161 - MN, OH, ON (Schorno et al. 2019)
      Anticheta canadensis (Curran, 1923: 277 as Pteromicra) - Steyskal 1960: 20
      Anticheta fulva Steyskal, 1960: 20 - NY, OH, ON west to AB, ID (Schorno et al. 2019)
      Anticheta melanosoma Melander, 1920: 318 - Knutson & Abercrombie 1977: 112
        (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 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2020; ON, AB-QB (Knutson et al. 1990: 490, Bratt et al. 2020: 18-20)

    Dictya Meigen, 1803: 277 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Dictya atlantica Steyskal, 1954: 524 - Steyskal 1965 (note: should be examined for D. hudsonica - (W. Murphy, pers. comm. 2012)
      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, Orth 1991
      Dictya lobifera Curran, 1932: 6 - Steyskal 1965
      Dictya pictipes (Loew, 1859: 292 as Tetanocera) - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012
      Dictya praecipua Orth, 1991: 683 - 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: 833, 837
        (syn.) Musca rufa Panzer, 1798: 17 (preoccupied by M. rufa Scopoli, 1763)

    Euthycera Latreille, 1829: 529 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Euthycera flavescens (Loew, 1847: 123 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 arcuata var. uniformis Cresson, 1920:74
        (nom. nud.) Tetanocera cribraria Harris, 1835: 600
        (mis. id.) Tetanocera flavipes Gibson, 1917: 157
        (reassigned) Tetanocera arcuata (Loew, 1859)

    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 loewi Steyskal 1965: 691 - IL, IN, OH, ON, expect in LP and e. UP (Schorno et al. 2019)
        (syn.) Tetanocera costalis Loew, 1862: 118
      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: 685, Schorno et al. 2019: 202

    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: 686, Schorno et. 2019: 208
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) anubis Knutson, 1969 - Bratt et al. 1969; also MN, OH, ON, Schorno et al. 2019: 210
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) argyra Verbeke, 1967: 4 - widespread, Schorno et al. 2019: 212
      Pherbellia (Oxytaenia) beatricis Steyskal, 1949: 178 - Steyskal 1965: 686
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) griseola Fallén, 1820: 14 - Steyskal 1965: 686
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) luctifera (Loew) 1861: 345 - IN, OH, ON, Steyskal 1965: 686, Schorno et al. 2019: 220
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) nana nana (Fallén, 1820: 15 as Sciomyza) - Schorno et al. 2019: 222
        (syn.) Pherbellia villiersi Séguy, 1941: 31
      Pherbellia (Oxytaenia) propages Steyskal, 1967: 37 - Orth 1982
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) quadrata Steyskal, 1961: 412 - Steyskal 1965: 686
      Pherbellia (Pherbellia) schoenherri maculata (Cresson, 1920: 48 as Melina) - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012; Schorno et al. 2019: 231
      Pherbellia (Chsetocera) seticoxa Steyskal, 1961: 414 - Steyskal 1965: 686, Schorno et al. 2019: 234
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) similis (Cresson, 1920: 44 as Melina) - Schorno et al. 2019: 236
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) tenuipes (Loew, 1872 as Sciomyza) - IL, MN, ON, Schorno et al. 2019: 240
      Pherbellia (Chetocera) vitalis (Cresson, 1920: 43 as Melina) - MN, OH, ON, widespread , Schorno et al. 2019: 242
        (syn.) Melina palustris Melander, 1920: 316

    Poecilographa Melander, 1913: 205 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Poecilographa decora (Loew, 1864: 97 as Sapromyza) - Barnes 1988, Schorno et al. 2019: 244 - semiaquatic, bogs

    Pteromicra Lioy, 1864: 1012 (Tribe Sciomyzini)
      Pteromicra anopla Steyskal, 1954: 260 - Steyskal 1954: 262
      Pteromicra inermis Steyskal, 1956: 76 - SD-NY (Steyskal 1965: 687)
      Pteromicra pectorosa (Hendel, 1902: 61 as Dichrochira) - Steyskal 1965: 687
      Pteromicra pleuralis Cresson, 1920: 39 as Dichrochira) - Knutson 1970: 250
      Pteromicra similis Steyskal, 1954: 266 - Steyskal 1954: 268
      Pteromicra sphenura Steyskal, 1954: 268 - Steyskal 1954: 269
      Pteromicra steyskali Foote, 1959:14 - IA-NY (Steyskal 1965: 687), expect in e. UP; Schorno et al. 2019: 258

    Renocera Hendel, 1900: 333 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Renocera amanda Cresson, 1920: 53 - Steyskal 1965
      Renocera johnsoni Cresson, 1920: 53 - Schorno et al. 2019: 262
      Renocera longipes (Loew, 1876: 328 as Sciomyza) - OH, ON, expect in e. UP, Schorno et al. 2019: 264
      Renocera striata (Meigen, 1830: 20 as Sciomyza) - Schorno et al. 2019: 266
        (syn.) Renocera cyathiformis Melander, 1920: 319

    Sciomyza Fallén, 1820: 11 (Tribe Sciomyzini)

      Sciomyza aristalis (Coquillett, 1901: 617) - Schorno et al. 2019: 268
      Sciomyza simplex Fallén, 1820: 12 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012
      Sciomyza varia (Coquillett, 1904: 617 as Bischofia) - Steyskal 1965: 688, OH, ON - Barnes 1990: 928, Schorno et al. 2019: 272

    Sepedon Latreille, 1804: 196 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Sepedon americana Steyskal, 1951: 277 - Steyskal 1965, Murphy, pers. comm. 2012
      Sepedon armipes Loew, 1859: 298 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012
      Sepedon borealis Steyskal, 1951: 283 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012
      Sepedon fuscipennis Loew, 1859: 299 - Orth, 1986: 72, fig. 20; Schorno et al. 2019: 280
        (syn.) Sepedon fuscipennis nobilis Orth, 1986: 59 (Murphy, pers. comm. 2012)
      Sepedon gracilicornis Orth, 1986: 73 - Orth, 1986: 73; Murphy, pers. comm. 2012
      Sepedon lignator Steyskal, 1951: 286 - Steyskal 1951: 286
      Sepedon neili Steyskal, 1951: 286 - Steyskal 1951: 286, Schorno et al. 2019: 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 annae Steyskal, 1938: 1 - Steyskal 1965, Schorno et al. 2019: 288
      Tetanocera clara Loew, 1862: 109 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012
      Tetanocera ferruginea Fallén, 1820: 9 - Steyskal 1965, Schorno et al. 2019: 292
        (syn.) Tetanocera triangularis Loew, 1861: 344
        (syn.) Tetanocera huronensis Steyskal, 1938: 6
      Tetanocera fuscinervis (Zetterstedt, 1838: 737 as Sciomyza) - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012, Schorno et al. 2019: 294
        (syn.) Tetanocera unicolor Loew, 1847: 199
      Tetanocera latifibula Frey, 1924: 51
        (syn.) Tetanocera hespera Steyskal, 1959: 71
      Tetanocera loewi Steyskal, 1959: 68 - Steyskal 1959, Schorno et al. 2019: 300
      Tetanocera melanostigma Steyskal, 1959: 80 - Steyskal 1965: 694, Schorno et al. 2019: 302
      Tetanocera mesopora Steyskal, 1959: 70 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012, Schorno et al. 2019: 304
      Tetanocera montana Day, 1881: 87 - Murphy 2010, Schorno et al. 2019: 306
        (syn.) Tetanocera borealis Frey, 1924: 51
        (syn.) Tetanocera ornatifrons Frey, 1924: 51 [in part]
      Tetanocera oxia Steyskal, 1959: 80 - Steyskal 1965, Schorno et al. 2019: 308
      Tetanocera phyllophora Melander, 1920: 330 - Murphy 2010, Schorno et al. 2019: 310
        (syn.) Tetanocera nigricosta Rondani, 1868: 25
      Tetanocera plebeja Loew, 1862: 120 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012, Schorno et al. 2019: 312
      Tetanocera plumosa Loew, 1847: 201 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012, Schorno et al. 2019: 314
      Tetanocera robusta Loew, 1847: 197 - Steyskal 1965, Schorno et al. 2019: 316
        (syn.) Tetanocera papillifera Melander, 1920
      Tetanocera rotundicornis Loew, 1861: 344 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012, Schorno et al. 2019: 318
      Tetanocera silvatica Meigen, 1830: 41 - MN, ON, Schorno et al. 2019: 320
      Tetanocera valida Loew, 1862: 110 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012, Schorno et al. 2019: 324
      Tetanocera vicina Macquart, 1843: 337 - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012, Schorno et al. 2019: 326

    Trypetoptera Hendel, 1900: 352 (Tribe Tetanocerini)
      Trypetoptera canadensis (Macquart, 1843: 338 as Tetanocera) - Murphy, pers. comm. 2012, Schorno et al. 2019: 328 (immatures prey on terrestrial snails, adults frequent aquatic habitats)

References

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    Steyskal GC. 1954. Colobaea and Hedria, two genera of Sciomyzidae new to America (Diptera: Acalyptratae). The Canadian Entomologist 86: 60-65.
    Steyskal GC. 1956. New species and taxonomic notes in the family Sciomyzidae (Diptera, Acalyptratae). Papers from the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters (1955) 41: 73-87.
    Steyskal GC. 1959. The American species of the genus Tetanocera Duméril (Diptera). Papers from the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters (1958) 44: 53-91.
    Steyskal GC. 1960. The genus Antichaeta Haliday, with special reference to the American species (Diptera, Sciomyzidae). Papers from the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters (1959) 45: 17-26, 11 figs.
    Steyskal GC. 1961. The North American Sciomyzidae related to Pherbellia fuscipes (Macquart) (Diptera, Acalyptratae). Papers from the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters (1960) 46: 405-415.
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Page edits:
    September 02, 2020
    Colobaea americana occurs in Michigan, per information from William Murphy (pers. comm. September 2020)
    June 28, 2020
    Corrections to spelling, monenclature, species list per information from William Murphy (pers. comm. June 2020)
    April 09, 2020
    Corrections to nomenclature, species list per information in Schorno et al. 2019
    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) - Murphy WL, Mathis WM, Knutson LV. (in press). Revision of clam-killing flies of the genus Renocera Hendel (Diptera: Sciomyzidae), with an emphasis on the Nearctic fauna. Zootaxa;
    • 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: February 02, 2002; Last edited: September 2, 2020 (EB)