Australasian/Oceanian Diptera Catalog -- Web Version

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by Norman E. Woodley

The family Neurochaetidae, whose species are commonly known as upside-down flies, was erected for 3 concurrently described extant species in the genus Neurochaeta (McAlpine 1978) and 2 species of Anthoclusia Hennig known from Baltic amber. Woodley (1982) described 2 additional species of Neurochaeta and discussed the phylogeny of species in the genus. McAlpine (1988a) recently described 3 additional species of Neurochaeta and placed Nothoasteia, a genus comprising 2 known species, in the family. Thus, there are 2 extant genera and a total of 10 species presently placed in the family; 4 species occur in the Australian Region.

Neurochaeta inversa has been relatively well studied for such a recently described fly. The biology of this species indicates that larval and adult neurochaetids are closely associated with specific host plants. Adults are found primarily on leaves and inflorescences of Alocasia macrorrhiza (L.) G. Don (Araceae) and assume a head-downward orientation on vertical surfaces (McAlpine 1978b). Larvae develop in the watery medium around the infructescence of the host plant, apparently feeding on microorganisms (McAlpine 1978, Shaw et al. 1982). Adults have been observed feeding on pollen of the host plant (McAlpine, 1988b). Neurochaeta magnifica from Papua New Guinea was found associated with Pandanus sp. (Pandanaceae), and Oriental species of Neurochaeta have been collected on Musaceae and Zingiberaceae (McAlpine 1987b, 1988b).
Refs.: McAlpine (1978b; 1987b, biol.; 1988a, syst.; 1988b, biol.), Shaw et al. (1982, biol.), Woodley (1982, key, phylog.).


NEUROCHAETA McAlpine, 1978b: 278. Type species: Neurochaeta inversa McAlpine, 1978, orig. des.
inversa McAlpine, 1978b: 285. Australia (NSW); Australia (Qld).
magnifica McAlpine, 1988a: 49. PNG (PNG).


NOTHOASTEIA Malloch, 1936b: 259. Type species: Nothoasteia platycephala Malloch, 1936, orig. des.
clausa McAlpine, 1988a: 55. Australia (WA).
platycephala Malloch, 1936b: 259. Australia (Qld).

This page last revised 2 September 1996