Sphaeroceridae

Small dung fly adults are 1.5-5 mm long and the body is usually dull black or brown; the basal segment of the antenna is nearly round (Fig. 7.7g). Hind tarsal segment 1 and sometimes 2 is enlarged in both males and females. Adults often occur in large numbers around organic waste and manure; Copromyza equina is commonly found on manure. Large numbers of sphaerocerids can occur indoors when sewer or septic systems are infested.

Larvae live as scavengers in excrement and decaying vegetable matter, seaweed, or fungi. Common species found associated with septic or sewer systems are Leptocera caenosa and L. empirica (= L. pectinifera). These, and a Leptocera species taxonomically near L. gracilipennis, are limited to peridomestic habitats, and rarely live in natural habitats. Other species, such as L. limosa, L. forceps, L. lutosa, L. urodela, and L. vagans, are abundant outdoors, but do not infest sewer and septic systems and rarely occur indoors.

Small dung fly, Leptocera caenosa Adults are about 3.5 mm long and dull black. Wings are translucent and the body setae are distinct. Full-grown larvae are about 5 mm long, yellowish white, and the body is nearly devoid of spines. Mouthparts are well-sclerotized. Anterior spiracles have about six lobes, and the posterior spiracles are contiguous on short tubercles, and surrounded by a circle of fine setae. Adults are generally unresponsive to lightand their movement consists ofshort runs and occasionally short flight or hops. Mating occurs on the ground in daylight or darkness. Eggs are laid singly on the substrate, and females lay eggs for about 45 days; fecundity is 982-1328 eggs. Hatching occurs in about 48 h. Larval development is 13 daysat22 °C; in adverse conditions, development can extend to 63 days. The pupal period lasts 7-11 days at 22 °C. Adult males live about 32 days and females live about 79 days. This species occurs inNorth America and Canada, and is widespread in Europe and New Zealand.

This species is considered a domestic pest in the region it occurs. Itdoes notgenerally occur outdoors, and is known only to breed in sewer or septic systems in the urban environment. It is native to Europe, and there it occurs in buildings and the holds of ships. This fly has been carried around the world, perhaps on infested ships, and in new regions it may displace native species. The adults are capable of entering openings as small as 0.05 mm diameter, and can locate and enter sites that contain animal waste.

Leptocera fuscipennis Adults are 1.5-2 mm long and brownish black to dull black. Wings are light gray. Full-grown larvae are about 4 mm long and pale white; the puparium is about 3 mm long. Development from egg to adult takes about 14 days at 25 °C. This species occurs in Eurasia, North America, and North Africa. In Japan, adults become numerous following the rainy season in July and September. Soil in an area near Tokyo (close to Narita airport), an industrial waste treatment facility, becomes a breeding site, and large numbers of adults are car ried by wind to outdoor lights around houses and commercial buildings in the area.

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