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The family Cryptochetidae are a small family (about 25 described fossil and living species in one extant genus and one fossil genus). Native extant forms are primarily restricted to the Australasian and Afrotropical regions, with a few species in the Palearctic Region. Because of the biological control potential of some species, many purposeful introductions into other areas of the world have taken place. Larvae are endoparasitic on various scale insects. Adults are slow-moving and can be found walking among colonies of scale insects, where they feed on honeydew. D.K. McAlpine (1976) discussed the relationships of certain genera of Cryptochetidae and concluded that Phanerochaetum Hennig was closely related to Librella McAlpine. However, J.F. McAlpine (1989:) further reviewed the characters and phylogenetic relationships of Phanerochaetum Hennig and was unconvinced that the genus belonged to this family; instead postulating that it was more closely related to families in the Ephydroidea. The genus is here retained in Cryptochetidae until further study can be conducted on the type specimen to better ascertain its position among the acalypterate Diptera.
Ref.: J.F. McAlpine (1989, phylogenetic position).
Genus PHANEROCHAETUM Hennig
PHANEROCHAETUM Hennig, 1965: 179. Type species: Phanerochaetum tuxeni Hennig, 1965, by monotypy.
tuxeni Hennig, 1965: 179. PA: Baltic Region (Eocene) [A].