Australasian/Oceanian Diptera Catalog -- Web Version

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by Brian R. Pitkin

This is a small family of some 25 world species in the genera Cryptochetum and Librella (McAlpine 1976). The species of Cryptochetum are mostly tropical and subtropical and originate in the Old World (Cogan 1980b). They are recorded within the Australasian/Oceanian Regions only from Australia, New Zealand, and the Hawaiian Islands.

The larvae of Cryptochetum are internal parasitoids of monophlebine coccids and have been used successfully to control coccid pests of cultivated plants such as citrus and pine. Two of the 4 Australian species have been introduced to North America (Colless & McAlpine 1970), and one of these subsequently to Chile (Prado 1975) to control scale insects. Detailed information on the life histories of Cryptochetum species is given by Thorpe (1931, 1934, 1941a,b). The adults of some species are obnoxious as "eye gnats" in India, Japan, and the Philippines (Nartshuk 1984). Nothing is known of the life history of Librella demetrius.
Refs.: Thorpe (1931, 1934, 1941a,b, life history), Ferrar (1987, immat. biol.).


CRYPTOCHETUM Rondani, 1875a: 167, 190. Type species: Cryptochetum grandicorne Rondani, 1875, orig. des.
CRYPTOCHOETUM. Incorr. orig. spell. of Cryptochetum (Rondani, 1875a: 172).
LESTOPHONUS Williston, 1888: 21. Type species: Lestophonus iceryae Williston, 1888, mon.
CRYPTOCHAETUM, error for Cryptochetum.
iceryae Williston, 1888: 21 (Lestophonus). Australia (?SA); Hawaiian Is, NZ (NZ) [introduced]; N. & S. Am. [introduced], Afrotrop. Reg.

monophlebi, authors, not Skuse, 1889, misid.
latimana Malloch, 1927h: 422. Australia (NSW).
monophlebi Skuse, 1889a: 125 (Lestophonus). Not given [Australia].

Genus LIBRELLA McAlpine

LIBRELLA McAlpine, 1976: 45. Type species: Librella demetrius McAlpine, 1976, orig. des.
demetrius McAlpine, 1976: 46. Australia (NSW); Australia (ACT).

This page last revised 2 September 1996