|Subfamilies and tribes|
Shore flies are tiny flies that can be found near seashores or at smaller inland waters, such as ponds. About 1,500 species have been described worldwide, including Ochthera.
In the subfamily Notiphilinae the head is reduced to a cephalic skeleton, there are no anterior spiracles and the posterior spiracles are extended as spines. The other subfamilies have larvae similar to the Sciomyzidae, with the posterior spiracles at the apices of divergent branches from a common base. They may be differentiated by short thoracic segments (like the abdominal ones) and by the absence of a ventral arch linking the mouth hooks.
- Andersson, H. (1971), The European species of Limnellia (Dipt., Ephydridae). Entomologica Scandinavica 2: 53–59.Key to European species.
- Becker, T. (1926), Ephydridae. 56a. In: Lindner, E. (Ed.). Die Fliegen der palaearktischen Region 6: 1–115. Keys to Palaearctic species but now needs revision (in German).
- Canzoneri, S. & Meneghini, D. (1983), Ephydridae e Canaceidae. Fauna d’Italia XX.Revision of the Italian species for these two families (in Italian).
- Mathis, W.N. & Zatwarnicki, T. (1990), A revision of the western Palaearctic species of Athyroglossa (Diptera: Ephydridae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 116: 103–133. Revision of the West Palaearctic species of the genus.
- Zatwarnicki, T. (1997), Ephydridae. In: Nilsson, A. (Ed.) Aquatic Insects of North Europe (A Taxonomic Handbook). Apollo Books, Stenstrup, Denmark. Includes a key (in English) to the genera.
Ephydridae occupy a diverse array of seashore and wetland habitats including hot springs, petroleum pools, salt pools, alkaline lakes, marshes. As larvae, many are phytophagous, grazing on aquatic plants (including cultivated rice), others are algal grazers. Some species are an important food source for other animals. Others cause damage to agricultural crops. Larvae of some Ephydridae live in very unusual habitats. For example, Ephydra brucei lives in hot springs and geysers where the water temperature exceeds 45 degrees Celsius; Helaeomyia petrolei develops in pools of crude oil; and Ephydra cinera, the brine fly proper, in pools with very high concentrations of salt. Some have public health significance being associated with sewage filter beds and septic tanks.