How to collect Platypezidae

    Platypezidae are rare small Brachycerous flies, which are generally not easy to find and collect.

    Choosing the right locality and biotope is crucial.

    With following approaches I am able to collect them effectively and also in great numbers. I use following collecting techniques:

    1) Watch and sweep
    I try to look on foliage and leaves, mainly on forest edges, forest valleys and close to streams and rivers. Usually many kinds of invertebrates and insects can be spotted, but I have trained my eyes to recognize many Diptera families. With some training by looking on flies on the leaves it is possible to recognize that their movements are different and can help with the identification. The Platypezidae are rarely sitting on leaves, but they prefer to run fast at constant speed in straight trajectories with very quick change of direction. The trajectory often resemble triangle. These frantic movements are very typical and similar movements are also present in Phoridae.
    This strategy can be very effective and one can collect more than 100 specimens in one day. Several different species can be collected, but usually one or two of them dominate in the sample.

    2) Sweep and search

    3) Individual collecting close to their host fungi

    4) Rearing from fungi

    5) Attracting Microsania to smoke

    Not effective methods for collecting Platypezidae: YPT, MT


About the author • Updated March 16, 2014 • Contact: michaltkoc(at)gmail(dot)com