A Guide to the Insects of the Coal Oil Point Reserve


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Funded in part by the UCSB Pearl Chase Fund

Last updated 08/15/2005
  Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Flies

Diptera - True Flies

Diptera is both a very abundant and diverse order. As their name suggests, flies are excellent fliers. Unlike most insects, they only have one set of membranous wings. Their hind wings have evolved over time into structures known as “halteres,” small knob-like structures responsible for balance.

Fly larvae are found in a wide range of habitats and have diverse food habits eating plant tissue, dead and living animal tissue, decaying organic matter, blood, other insects, etc. Adults feed mainly on liquids, often from sweet or decaying sources. Flies are also important pollinators of native plants and crops.

The most common flies at the reserve are two species of kelp flies, Fucellia costalis and Coelopa vanduzeei. The larvae, together with the beach hoppers, are responsible for the breakdown of the kelp that washes on the beach. The adult flies occurs in huge number in and around kelp wrack. These flies are an important food source to many shorebirds, including the threatened Western Snowy Plover.

The most curious of our flies is the petroleum fly, Helaeomyia petrolei. This fly spends its entire larval stage submerged in pools of crude oil, feeding on insects that fall into the oil. We do not know much about the population of petroleum flies at Coal Oil Point, but we expect that the reserve provides good habitat for them, as crude oil is common on the beach and around the dune pond.

Flies are responsible for a great deal of the diversity at Coal Oil Point, with over 120 species in the collection.




Navigate by family

Tipulidae | Bibionidae | Sciaridae | Cecidomyiidae | Mycetophilidae | Psychodidae | Scatopsidae | Culicidae | Chironomidae | Therevidae | Asilidae | Bombyliidae | Empididae | Dolichopodidae | Phoridae | Syrphidae | Pipunculidae | Acalyptratae | Lonchaeidae | Tephritidae | Coelopidae | Piophilidae | Agromyzidae | Lauxaniidae | Heliomyzidae | Sphaerocidae | Curtonotidae | Ephydridae | Chloropidae | Anthomyiidae | Muscidae | Calliphoridae | Sarcophagidae | Tachinidae

* Additional information and pictures are available for the families in bold.

Fly Photos
(click to enlarge)

Tipulidae - Crane Flies





Bibionidae - March Flies

Dilophus sp.


Bibiodes sp. (female)


Bibiodes sp. (male)


Sciaridae - Dark-winged Fungus Gnats







Cecidomyiidae - Gall Gnats



Additional pictures and information about Cecidomyiidae


Mycetophilidae - Fungus Gnats








Psychodidae - Moth Flies





Scatopsidae - Minute Black Scavenger Flies





Culicidae - Mosquitoes

Culex sp.



Chironomidae - Midges











Therevidae - Stilleto Flies






Asilidae - Robber Flies






Bombyliidae - Bee Flies




Empididae - Dance Flies






Dolichopodidae - Long-legged Flies


Syntormon sp.



Phoridae - Humpbacked Flies



Syrphidae - Flower Flies




Additional pictures and information about Syrphidae


Pipunculidae - Big-headed Flies




Acalyptratae ?







Lonchaeidae - Lonchaeid Flies


Setisquamalonchaea
fumosa




Tephritidae - Fruit Flies





Coelopidae -Kelp Flies


Coelopa vanduzei





Piophilidae - Skipper Flies

Mycetaulus sp.




Agromyzidae - Leaf Miner Flies





  Additional pictures and information about Agromyzidae


Lauxaniidae - Lauxaniid Flies





Heleomyzidae - Heleomyzid Flies




Sphaerociidae - Small Dung Flies

Leptocera sp.




Curtonotidae - Curtonotid Flies

Axinota sp. (?)




Ephydridae - Shore flies


Petroleum fly
Helaeomyia petrolei


Petroleum fly (larva)
Helaeomyia petrolei


Atissa sp. (?)






Chloropidae - Grass Flies

  Additional pictures and information about Chloropidae


Anthomyiidae - Anthomyiid Flies







Muscidae - House Flies


Additional pictures and information about Muscidae


Calliphoridae - Blow Flies



Sarcophagidae - Flesh Flies




Tachinidae - Tachinid Flies


Additional pictures and information about Tachinidae


 

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