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Ochthera sp. from the Western Ghats
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Ephydridae
Genus: Ochthera
Latreille, 1802

Ochthera is a genus of flies in the family of Shore flies. The genus is distinctive because of the swollen raptorial forelegs. The larvae are predaceous on midge larvae while the adults feed on midges and mosquitoes. The genus is found around the world with about 37 species.[1] The species Ochthera chalybescens has been shown to prey on African malaria vectors .[2]


It has been noted that foreleg waving may be involved in displays and UV reflective patches on the face and fore coxae may be involved.[3]

Spreading and waving of the foreleg is involved in same sex encounters as well as with male and female pairs during approach. It is not known if it is a threat or a recognition display. Adult Ochthera mantis have been noted to probe sand with their proboscis and when they detect prey such as chirononomid larvae, they are excavated using the fore tibial spines and held between the tibia and femora as the prey is consumed.[4]

All species in the genus are predaceous.


  1. ^ Zhang, J & Yang D (2006) Review of the species of the genus Ochthera from China (Diptera: Ephydridae). Zootaxa 1206: 1-22 PDF Preview
  2. ^ Minakawa,N; Futami, K.; Sonye, G.; Akweywa, P.; Kaneko (2007)Predatory capacity of a shorefly, Ochthera chalybescens, on malaria vectors.Malaria Journal6:104 [1]
  3. ^ Clausen, P. J. (1977) A revision of the Nearctic, Neotropical, and Palaearctic species of the genus Ochthera, including one Ethiopian species, and one new species from India. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 103:451-530
  4. ^ Deonier, D. L. (1972) Observations on Mating, Oviposition, and Food Habits of Certain Shore Flies (Diptera: Ephydridae) The Ohio Journal of Science. 72(1):22-29 Online

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