Chloropidae

Chloropid adults are about 5 mm long and are without bristles and fine setae. Some species are yellow and black, and often have green eyes, from which the family gets its name. Larvae of most species feed in grass stems, a few are scavengers in decaying vegetation and excrement, some are parasitic on other arthropods (spiders), and some are predaceous. Liohippelates species are called eye gnats because they frequently gather around the head and feed on secretions around eyes, and other sites. Eye gnats are commonly found in suburban areas bordering woods or agricultural fields. Adults are attracted to wounds, scabs, blood, sebaceous material, and body orifices, especially around the eyes. They do not bite, but feed with their sponging mouthparts on liquids at the surface. The labellum of the mouthparts has spines that may produce tiny scratches on the eyeball while the female fly is feeding. This assists the entry of pathogenic organisms, such as the causative agent for pinkeye, carried on their tarsi. These flies are very annoying, especially to small children, because the adults generally fly close to the ground.

Eye gnat, Liohippelates collusor Adults are about 3 mm long and black; the thorax is smooth and shiny. Eggs are deposited in batches ofabout50 atfirst, followed by a second butsmall batch in about 7 days. They are laid on or below the surface of moist soil; hatching occurs in 2-3 days. Oviposition sites also include excrement mixed with soil, decaying meats, fruits, and other vegetable material. Development takes about 11 days, depending on substrate, moisture, and temperature; on human feces it is about 11 days, on canine excrement 8.7 days, and on decaying fruit 17 days. During cold weather, the larval and pupal period may last3 weeks or longer. Adults are strong flyers; they can fly with and against the wind, and may disperse about 6 km from breeding sites. This species has a wide distribution in southern USA where winters are mild. Adults are present throughout the year in the desert and foothill region of California, and are annoying during April through November. During months of peak activity, they are noticeable in early morning and late in the afternoon, in the sun and shade.

Other Liohippelates The dominant species in southeastern USA include L. pusio and L. bishopii. Adult L. impressus are reddish orange. This pest is distributed from sea level to 1800 m elevation in southern California. It occurs in adjacent states east to Texas, and in Mexico and the Virgin Islands. L.fiavipzs is a pest species in Jamaica.

Eye fly, Siphunculina funicola This chloropid is distributed in India, primarily along the seacoasts and mountains. It occurs nearly year-round, with maximum abundance in summer and in short periods after the southwest monsoons. Adults come to feed on the liquid secretions from the eyes, lips, nose, and ears of humans and animals. Adults gather in large numbers indoors and are active on hot, sunny days. Larvae breed in soil and in fresh cow dung, in decomposing organic matter, and excrement. Eggs are deposited on the surface of soil; fecundity is 40-50 eggs. Hatching occurs in about 3 days. Development is completed in 4-7 days, and the pupal period lasts 2-7 days.

Adults live about 30 days. There are two or three generations per year.

Yellow swarming fly, Taumatomyia notata Adults are about 4 mm long and yellow with black markings on the thorax and abdomen. Full-grown larvae are about 2.5 mm long and pale yellow. Eggs are deposited in the soil, around the base of grasses. Larvae feed on the root aphid, Pemphigius bursarius. There are two generations during the summer, the second of which normally spends the winter as pupae in the soil. Some adults emerge prematurely, especially during warm spells in fall. Cold temperatures at ground level force the flies into the air. The adults are easily swept up by strong winds and carried across the suburban countryside and urban areas. Wind-streams carrying these flies pass over roofs, and eddies are formed under eaves on the lee side ofbuildings. Flies trapped in the downdrafts of air are carried into open windows on upper floors. This species is a household pestin the fall in the UK, an estimated cluster of 12-14 million was once collected indoors. A related species, Thaumatomyia annulata (as Chlorpisca), is known to occur in buildings in USA.

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