Living members of the cosmopolitan family Ephydridae, or shore flies, occupy a diverse array of habitats including hot springs, petroleum pools, alkaline lakes, marshes, and various plant parts such as stems, leaves, and roots. Most species are an important food source to many waterfowl and wildlife; however, others are known to cause damage to agricultural crops.
The fossil record includes five species in four described genera. No amber specimens of true Ephydridae have been described in the literature, but undetermined material is known from the Miocene amber of Chiapas, Mexico (Poinar, 1992: 186) and the Oligocene/Miocene Dominican amber. Other undetermined material has been recorded from the Eocene/Oligocene deposits of the Isle of Wight by Jarzembowski (1979: 251).
According to Hennig (1965), the specimens referred to as "Ephydra sp." by Loew (1850b) belong to Camillidae (see under that chapter in this catalog).
BECKERIELLA Williston, 1897: 1. Type species: Ephydra bispinosa Thomson, 1869 [preoccupied, = Scatophaga bispinosa Fabricius, 1805, by monotypy.
Unidentified sp.-NT: Dominican Republic (Oligocene/Miocene) [A] (W.N. Mathis, in litt.).
*EPHYDRA Fallén, 1810: 22. Type species: Ephydra riparia Fallén, 1813, by subsequent designation of Curtis (1832: pl. 413).
oligocena Cockerell, 1915c: 495. PA: UK (England) (Eocene/Oligocene)
sepulta Cockerell, 1915c: 495. PA: UK (England) (Eocene/Oligocene) [C].
NOTIPHILA Fallén, 1810: 22. Type species: Notiphila
cinerea Fallén, 1813, subsequent designation Westwood
[Notiphila originally proposed without included species; designation by Westwood is from 15 species included in Fallén (1813: 248-55).]
Unidentified sp.-NE: USA (Oligocene) [C] (Cuffey et al., 1982: 120).
*OCHTHERA Latreille, 1802: 462. Type species: Musca manicata Fabricius, 1794, by subsequent designation of Latreille (1810: 444).
Unidentified sp.-PA: France (Oligocene) [C] (Serres, 1829: 233).