"March fly" redirects here. In Australia, this term refers to the horse-flies, an unrelated dipteran family.
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Bibionid larvae grow up in grassy areas and are herbivores and scavengers feeding on dead vegetation or living plant roots. Some species are found in compost (Hardy, 1981). Adults of most Plecias and some species of Bibio do not eat, but subsist solely on the food taken in during the larval stage and drop steadily when in flight until they are a few inches above the ground, hovering slowly. Adult stage bibionids are quite short-lived, and some species of Plecia (lovebugs) spend much of their adult lifetime copulating. The male and female attach themselves at the rear of the abdomen and remain that way at all times, even in flight. Adults swarm after synchronous emergence, sometimes in enormous numbers.
Bibionids have the most extensive fossil record of any Diptera family. Fossil bibionids are known questionably from the Jurassic, while some forms from the early part of the Upper Cretaceous look quite similar to modern species. Bibionid flies are very abundant among insect fossils from the Tertiary period, and a large number of species have been described, although often based on highly fragmentary material. Most fossil species are easily identified with extant genera. In particular, the genera Plecia and Bibio are abundant among Tertiary fossils. Fossils from Europe include a large number of specimens of the mainly tropical genus Plecia which is today entirely absent from Europe, demonstrating a warmer climate during the Tertiary.
Hardy, D.E. et al., 1958. Guide of the insects of Connecticut PartVI. The Diptera or true flies of Connecticut Sixth Fascicle: March flies and gall midges. Bibionidae, Itonididae (Cecidomiidae). Conn. Geol. Nat. Hist. Surv. Bull. 87, 218 pp., 15 pl., 29 figs.
Hardy, D.E., 1967. The Bibionidae (Diptera) of Nepal, results of the Austrian and the B.P. Bishop Museum.Expeditions, 1961 and 1965. Pacific Insects 9(3): 519–536.
Hardy, D.E. and Delfinado, M.D,1969. The Bibionidae (Diptera) of the Philippines. Pacific Insects 11(1): 117–154.