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Pherbellia cinerella.png
Pherbellia cinerella
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Family: Sciomyzidae
Tribe: Sciomyzini
Genus: Pherbellia
Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830
Type species
Pherbellia vernallis

About 95, see text


Pherbellia is a genus of flies in the family Sciomyzidae, the marsh flies or snail-killing flies. They occur throughout the world, except for the Subantarctic region.[2]

Like many Sciomyzidae, species of this genus have larvae that are predators or parasitoids of snails. The larva of P. albovaria, for example, eats land snails such as Anguispira alternata and A. fergusoni, and then pupates in the empty shell.[3] The P. albocostata larva eats up to five snails and then pupates in the ground litter next to the last empty shell.[4] The larva of P. inflexa attacks the glass snail Zonitoides arboreus.[5]

P. punctata is a parasitoid on the amber snail Succinea putris.[6] P. anubis larvae feed on several types of freshwater snails along the edges of ponds and marshes.[4] Several Pherbellia are predators of the pond snail Stagnicola palustris.[4] While most snail-killing flies target land and freshwater pulmonate snails, P. prefixa preys on the mossy valvata (Valvata sincera), which is an operculate snail in the valve snail family.[4]

As of 2012 there were about 95 species in the genus.[2]


Pherbellia albocostata in the lower vegetation near a small pond
Two males of Pherbellia annulipes face off on a stump
Pherbellia cinerella

Species in this genus include:[7][4]

  • unplaced


  1. ^ a b c d e Rozkošný, R. (1984). The Sciomyzidae (Diptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica. 14. E.J. Brill/Scandinavian Science Press. pp. 224 pp. ISBN 978-90-04-07592-4.
  2. ^ a b Knutson, William L.; Knutson, Lloyd V.; Chapman, Eric G.; Mc Donnell, Rory J.; Williams, Christopher D.; Foote, Benjamin A.; Vala, Jean-Claude (2012). "Key Aspects of the Biology of Snail-Killing Sciomyzidae Flies" (PDF). Annual Review of Entomology. 57: 425–447. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-120710-100702. PMID 22149268. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  3. ^ Örstan, A. (2008). "Larva of the sciomyzid fly Pherbellia albovaria preys on the land snail Angispira fergusoni" (PDF). Triton. 18: 37. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Foote, B.A.; Knutson, L.V.; Keiper, J.B. (1999). "The snail-killing flies of Alaska (Diptera: Sciomyzidae)". Insecta Mundi. 13 (1–2): 45–71. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  5. ^ Foote, B.A. (2007). "Biology of Pherbellia inflexa (Diptera: Sciomyzidae), a predator of land snails belonging to the genus Zonitoides". Entomological News. 118 (2): 193–198. doi:10.3157/0013-872x(2007)118[193:bopdsa];2.
  6. ^ Moor, B. (1980). "On the biology of the relationship between Pherbellia punctata (Diptera, Sciomyzidae) and its host Succinea putris (Pulmonata, Stylommatophora)". Revue Suisse de Zoologie. 87 (4): 941–953. doi:10.5962/bhl.part.85565. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  7. ^ Pherbellia. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
  8. ^ Knutson, L.; Manguin, S.; Orth, R.E. (1990). "A second Australian species of Pherbellia Robineau Desvoidy (Diptera: Sciomyzidae)". Australian Journal of Entomology. 29 (4): 281–386. doi:10.1111/j.1440-6055.1990.tb00364.x.
  9. ^ a b c d Malloch, John Russell (1933). "Acalyptrata; Heleomyzidae, Trypetidae, Sciomyzidae, Sapromyzidae". Diptera of Patagonia and South Chile. 6 (4): 177–389.
  10. ^ Knutson, Lloyd (1985). "Pherbellia kugleri, a remarkable new species from Mt. Hermon, with other new records of Sciomyzidae from Israel (Diptera:Acalyptratae)" (PDF). Israel Journal of Entomology. 19: 111–117. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  11. ^ Sueyoshi, M. (2001). "A revision of Japanese Sciomyzidae (Diptera), with descriptions of three new species". Entomological Science. 4 (4): 485–506.