VCSU Macro-Invertabrate Lab
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Order Diptera - The Aquatic Dance Flies
Distinguishing characteristics - The larvae of the aquatic dance flies are some what similar to the watersnipe flies (Family Athericidae). Their abdominal segments bear paired prolegs (Fig. B) and the head capsule is partially retracted within thorax (Fig. C). They can usually be distinguished from the watersnipe fly larvae by the terminal segment of the abdomen. Empididae larvae have 1-4 rounded terminal processes bearing apical setae. These processes are rarely longer than the the terminal prolegs (Fig. D, black arrow), unlike the Athericidae.

Tolerance Value - 6

Feeding Group - Predator

Notes - Most species of this Family have terrestrial larvae. The species with aquatic larvae are predators which are found living among the rocks at the bottom of swift streams or sometimes they inhabit the wet marginal areas of rivers and streams. The size of the aquatic dance flies at maturity is 2-7 mm.

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