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Aulacigastrids are a small group of acalypterate flies consisting of about a dozen species in four genera (three extant; one fossil tentatively included here). The generic composition of the family has differed over the years. Some genera of extant species previously placed here are now treated in the Periscelididae. Little is known of the biologies of these flies. Larvae have been reported inhabiting sap exuding from tree wounds. Adults of some genera have been taken on tree trunks and Alocasia leaves.
Hennig (1965) originally described Protaulacigaster in the Aulacigastridae. D.K. McAlpine (1983) regarded the characters of Protaulacigaster, which Hennig stated as being indicative of a relationship with Aulacigastridae, to actually be ambiguous in this regard, but did not have enough information available to place the genus with certainty in any superfamily of Diptera. J.F. McAlpine (1989) retained the genus in the Aulacigastridae. Until such time as the type of Protaulacigaster can be restudied, it is provisionally retained in this family as questionably included.
A possible true but undescribed example of the family has been recorded from the Oligocene/Miocene amber of the Dominican Republic (Poinar, 1992).
PROTAULACIGASTER Hennig, 1965: 162. Type species: Protaulacigaster
electrica Hennig, 1965, by monotypy.
electrica Hennig, 1965: 162. PA: Baltic Region (Eocene/Oligocene) [A].