Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2016-03-29
Page range: 41–58
Abstract views: 95
PDF downloaded: 8

Bryophyte-feeding of Litoleptis (Diptera: Rhagionidae) with descriptions of new species from Japan

Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-nihonmatsu-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan
Diptera herbivory Brachycera Hilarimorpha bryophytivore leaf-mining keys


Here we report the larval phytophagous habit of Litoleptis for the first time, and describe six new species of Litoleptis in Japan; L. japonica n. sp., L. kiiensis n. sp., L. niyodoensis n. sp., L. himukaensis n. sp., L. izuensis n. sp., and L. asterellaphile n. sp. All the species described here are thallus-miners of liverworts belonging to Aytoniaceae and Conocephalaceae (Marchantiopsida: Marchantiophyta). Each fly species mined thalli of only one of the following genera: Conocephalum, Reboulia, and Asterella. The descriptions of the Japanese Litoleptis species here expand the concept of this genus. The female genital morphology of Litoleptis strengthened the current placement of Litoleptis as a member of Spaniinae.



  1. Arillo, A., Penalver, E. & Garcia-Gimeno, V. (2009) First fossil Litoleptis (Diptera: Spaniidae) from the Lower Cretaceous amber of San Just (Teruel Province, Spain). Zootaxa, 2026, 33–39.

    Brindle, A. (1959) Notes on the larvae of the British Rhagionidae and Stratiomyidae with a key to the genera. Entomologist's Record, 71, 126–133.

    Brauer, O.F. (1883) Die Zweiflügler des Kaiserlichen Museums zu Wien. III. Systematische studein auf Grundlage der Dipteren-Larven nebst einer Zusammenstellung von Beispielen aus der Literatur über dieselben und Beschreibung neuer Formen. Denkschriften der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 47, 1–100.

    Chillcott, J.G. (1963) A new genus of Rhagionidae (Diptera) with notes and descriptions of Bolbomyia Loew. The Canadian Entomologist, 95, 1185–1190.

    Colless, D.H. & McAlpine, D.K. (1991) Diptera. Insects of Australia, 2, 717–789.

    Ferguson, E.W. (1915) Descriptions of new Australian blood-sucking flies to the family Leptidae. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 49, 233–243.

    Friis, E.M., Crane, P.R. & Pedersen, K.R. (2011) Early flowers and angiosperm evolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 596 pp.

    Grimaldi, D. & Engel. M.S. (2005) Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 772 pp.

    Grimaldi, D. (1999) The co-radiations of pollinating insects and angiosperms in the Cretaceous. Annals of the Missouri Botanic Garden, 86, 373–406.

    Grimaldi, D. & Cumming, J. (1999) Brachyceran Diptera in Cretaceous ambers and Mesozoic diversification of the Eremoneura. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 239, 124.

    Hennig, W. (1972) Eine neue Art der Rhagionidengattung Litoleptis aus Chile, mit Bemerkungen über Fühlerbildung und Verwandtschaftsbexiebungen einiger Brachycerenfamilien (Diptera: Brachycera). Stuttgarter Beitraege zur Naturkunde. Serie A. Biologie, 174, 1–51.

    Hennig, W. (1973) Diptera (Zweiflugler). Handbuch der Zoologie, 4 (2), 1–337. [Berlin]

    Imada, Y., Kawakita, A & Kato, M. (2011) Allopatric distribution and diversification without niche shift in a bryophyte-feeding basal moth lineage (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 278, 3026–3033.

    Iwatsuki, Z. (2001) Mosses and liverworts of Japan. Heibonsha Ltd, Tokyo, 355 pp.

    Kellogg, V.L. (1908) American Insects. Henry Holt and Company, New York, 694 pp.

    Kerr, P.H. (2010) Phylogeny and classification of Rhagionidae, with implications for Tabanomorpha (Diptera: Brachycera). Zootaxa, 2592, 1–133.

    Kristensen, N.P. (1984) Studies on the morphology and systematics of primitive Lepidoptera (Insecta). Steenstrupia, 10, 141–191.

    Krzemiński, W. & Krzemińska, E. (2003) Triassic Diptera: descriptions, revisions and phylogenetic relations. Acta zoologica cracoviensia, 46, 153–184.

    Labandeira, C.C. (2005) Fossil history of the Diptera and their associations with plants. In: Wiegmann, B. & Yeates, D. (Ed.), The Evolutionary Biology of Flies. Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 217–273.

    Lane, R.S. & Anderson, J.R. (1982) Breeding sites of snipe flies (Rhagionidae) and other Diptera in woodland-grass soils. Journal of Medical Entomology, 19, 104–108.

    Latreille, P.A. (1802) Histoire naturelle générale et particulière des crustacés et des insects. Vol. 3. Dufart, Paris, 467 pp.

    Leonard, M.D. (1930) A revision of the Dipterous family Rhagionidae (Leptidae) in the United States and Canada. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society, 7, 1–181.

    Mik, J. (1896) Dipterologische Miscellen. Serie 2. Weiner entomologische Zeitung, 15, 241–278.

    Mostovski, M. (2000) Contributions to the Study of Fossil Snipe-Flies (Diptera: Rhagionidae). The Genus Palaeobolbomyia. Paleontological Journal, 34 (Supplement 3), S360–S366.

    Nagatomi, A. (1958) Life History of the Japanese Aquatic Snipe Flies (Diptera, Rhagionidae). The Science reports of the Hyogo University of Agriculture. Series agricultural biology, 3, 113–134.

    Nagatomi, A. (1982) The genera of Rhagionidae (Diptera). Journal of Natural History, 16, 31–70.

    Nagatomi, A. & Iwata, K. (1976) Female terminalia of lower Brachycera (Diptera). Beiträge zur Entomologie, 26, 5–47.

    Nartshuk, E.P. (1995) Taxonomic and faunistic data on the Rhagionidae (Diptera, Brachycera) of the northern Palaearctic. 199, Acta Zoologica Fennica, 199, 17–24.

    Narchuk, E.P. (1988) Family Rhagionidae (Leptidae). In: Bei Bienko, G.Y. (Ed.), Keys to the insects of the European part of the USSR. Smithsonian Institution Libraries & National Research Foundation, Washington D.C., pp. 683–696.

    Novotny, V., Clarke, A.R., Drew, R.A.I., Balagawi, S. & Clifford, B. (2005) Host specialization and species richness of fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in a New Guinea rain forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 21, 67– 77.

    Oldroyd, H. (1964) The Natural History of Flies. Norton, New York, 336 pp.

    Paramonov, S.J. (1962) A review of the Australian Leptidae (Diptera). The Australian Journal of Zoology, 10, 113–169.

    Ren, D. (1998) Flower-associated Brachycera flies as fossil evidence for Jurassic angiosperm origins. Science, 280, 85–88.

    Roberts, M.J. (1969) Structure of the mouthparts of the larvae of the flies Rhagio and Sargus in relation to feeding habits. Journal of Zoology, 159, 381–398.

    Sommerman, K.M. (1962) Alaskan snipe fly immatures and their habitat (Rhagionidae: Symphoromyia). Mosquito News, 22, 116–123.

    Stuckenberg, B.R. (1956) Notes on the genus Arthroteles Bezzi, with description of two new species (Diptera: Erinnidae). Annals of the Natal Museum, 13, 313–335.

    Stuckenberg, B.R. (2001) Pruning the tree: a critical review of classifications of the Homeodactyla (Diptera, Brachycera), with new perspectives and an alternative classification. Studia Dipterologica, 8, 3–41.

    Tsacas, L. (1962) Recherches sur la structure et le fontionnement de la tete et des pieces buccales larvaires de Rhagionidae (Dipteres). Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Series A (Zoologie), 27, 147–235.

    Turner, W.J. & William, J. (1979) A case of severe human allergic reaction to bites of Symphoromyia (Diptera: Rhagionidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, 15, 138–139.

    Wiegmann, B.M., Trautwein, M.D., Winkler, I.S., Barr, N.B., Kim, J. Lambkin, C., Bertone, M.A., Cassel, B.K., Bayless, K.M., Heimberg, A.M., Wheeler, B.M., Peterson, K.J., Pape, T. Sinclair, B.J., Skevington, J.S., Blagoderov, V., Caravas, J., Kutty, S.N., Schmidt-Ott, U., Kampmeier, G.E., Thompson, F.C., Grimaldi, D.A., Beckenbach, A.T., Courtney, G.W., Friedrich, M., Meier, R., & Yeates, D.K. (2011) Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 108, 5690–5695.

    Winkler, I.S., Mitter, C. & Scheffer, S.J. (2009) Repeated climate-linked host shifts have promoted diversification in a temperate clade of leaf-mining flies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 106, 18103–18108.

    Yang, D., Yang, C. & Nagatomi, A. (1997) The Rhagionidae of China (Diptera). South Pacific Study, 17, 113–262.

    Yeates, D.K. (2002) Relationships of extant lower Brachycera (Diptera): a quantitative synthesis of morphological characters. Zoologica Scripta, 31, 105–121.