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Microdon mutabilis.jpg
Microdon mutabilis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Syrphidae
Subfamily: Microdontinae
Róndani, 1845

The subfamily Microdontinae contains slightly more than 400 species of hoverflies (family Syrphidae) and, while diverse, these species share several characteristics by which they differ from other syrphids. The Microdontinae are myrmecophiles, meaning they live in the nests of ants. Larval Microdontinae are scavengers or predators in ant nests,[1] and, in contrast to other syrphid larvae, have no readily apparent body segmentation. Some species also do not exhibit the typical adult flower-visiting behaviour of other hoverflies, but instead remain near their larval host colonies (some of these species have no functional mouthparts and cannot feed as adults).[2]

A number of genera (e.g. Masarygus, Paragodon, Schizoceratomyia and Surimyia) lack the "spurious vein" which is characteristic of all other Syrphidae.[3]) For other distinguishing characteristics, see Thompson (1969).[4]


Note: the list below, taken from Cheng & Thompson (2008),[2] makes no distinction between genera and subgenera, so some of the names in the list are not necessarily to be construed as valid genera.

A revised list of the genera in Microdontinae was carried out by Reemer & Ståhls (2013), in which ten more genera were also described by Reemer:[7]


  1. ^ R. M. Duffield (1981). "Biology of Microdon fuscipennis (Diptera: Syrphidae) with interpretation of reproductive strategies of Microdon species found north of Mexico". Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 83: 716–724. 
  2. ^ a b Xin-Yue Cheng & F. Christian Thompson (2008). "A generic conspectus of the Microdontinae (Diptera: Syrphidae) with the description of two new genera from Africa and China" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1879: 21–48. 
  3. ^ a b c Menno Reemer (2008). "Surimyia, a new genus of Microdontinae, with notes on Paragodon Thompson, 1969 (Diptera, Syrphidae)" (PDF). Zoologische Mededelingen. 82: 177–188. 
  4. ^ a b c F. Christian Thompson (1969). "A new genus of microdontine flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) with notes on the placement of the subfamily" (PDF). Psyche. 76 (1): 74–85. doi:10.1155/1969/62102. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Frank M. Hull (1937). "New species of exotic syrphid flies". Psyche. 44 (1–2): 12–32. doi:10.1155/1937/46960. 
  6. ^ a b c d Frank M. Hull (1937). "A megamorphic and two curious mimetic flies" (PDF). Psyche. 44 (4): 116–121. doi:10.1155/1937/67124. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Reemer, Menno; Ståhls, Gunilla (2013). "Generic revision and species classification of the Microdontinae (Diptera, Syrphidae)". ZooKeys. 288: 1–213. doi:10.3897/zookeys.288.4095. PMC 3690914Freely accessible. PMID 23798897. 

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