VCSU Macro-Invertabrate Lab
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Order Diptera - The Shore Flies
Distinguishing characteristics - The shore fly larvae have a variety of forms and features depending on the particular genus. In general, their abdominal segments usually lack lateral projections (Fig. A), the posterior abdominal segment is somewhat tapered (Fig. B), and the posterior spiracles are exposed on the terminal end of the anal segment (Fig. C). The posterior spiracular plates are always distinctly separated (Fig. C) and the head is partially retracted into the thorax (Fig. D). Most species collected in North Dakota usually have fairly dense setae covering their integuement.

Tolerance Value - 8

Feeding Group - Collector

Notes - The shore fly larvae eat a variety of food, but algae and diatoms are important in their diet. They live in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, and some species are even able to live in pools of crude petroleum and waste oil. Shore fly larvae are fairly small, at maturity they measure 1.2-12 mm.

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