March Fly
( Bibionidae )


2014-0419-21110001-DIP01965-Bibionidae[1558h23s,F,A,plant-flower]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Bibionidae
(Fleming ,1821 )
Common Name:March Fly
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Diptera
Suborder:Nematocera
Family:Bibionidae
Taxon Code:DIP01965
ITIS/TSN:121316

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Point Reyes National Seashore, Tomales Point Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore, Inverness
County:Marin County
ECI Site#:CA21110000
Open Space Location:Point Reyes National Seashore

RECOGNITION
Description
Body: Usually black, covered with long hair, thorax red or yellow in some genera. Antennae: Short, placed low on face. Eyes: Ocelli present. Males with large compound eyes, divided into upper and lower sections. Legs: Tibiae with prominent apical spurs. Pulvilli (pads) present beneath tarsal claws. Wings: Clear or dark, some have dark spot on the anterior margin. Anal angle of wing usually well developed.
Body Length
5-12 mm.
Diversity
About 60 species in 6 genera in our area. More than 1,100 species in 12 genera total.

BIOLOGY
Food
Adults feed on nectar or pollen, but also on honeydew and plant liquids associated with damage from other insect feeding. Some species do not feed as adults. Larvae feed on leaf and needle litter, decaying organic matter, also on subterranean structures of live plants. Some larvae are xylophagous and bore in the decaying wood of various deciduous trees.
Habitat
Larvae live gregariously in the top layers of soil and leaf litter, rotten wood, and dung; adults often found on flowers.
Importance
Larvae may damage cereal crops, vegetable crops, ornamental plants, nursery stock, grass, and forage crops. Adult Bibio and Dilophus may be important pollinators in orchards and are the exclusive pollinators of some species of Orchidaceae and Iridaceae.
Range
Worldwide; most diverse in the Neotropical and Palaearctic regions, but distribution patterns vary considerably between genera.
Diversity
About 60 species in 6 genera in our area. More than 1,100 species in 12 genera total.
Importance
Larvae may damage cereal crops, vegetable crops, ornamental plants, nursery stock, grass, and forage crops. Adult Bibio and Dilophus may be important pollinators in orchards and are the exclusive pollinators of some species of Orchidaceae and Iridaceae.
Development
Adults emerge synchronously in huge numbers and often form dense mating aggregations. Males form loose ""swarms"" and copulate immediately with females as they emerge from the soil. After mating, female bibionines dig a small chamber in the soil with their fossorial fore tibiae, lay eggs, and die within the chamber. Some species lay eggs on the soil surface. Adults are short-lived (3-7 days).

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Family Bibionidae - March Flies. (bugguide.net/node/view/3834). Accessed July 15, 2016. .
ITIS.


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