Check list of Dolichopodidae of Israel

Compiled by I. Grichanov (2000)
Last updated: 12 February 2004

I.Ya. Grichanov, All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection, Podbelskogo 3, St.Petersburg-Pushkin, 189620, Russia.

Key words: Diptera, Dolichopodidae, Israel, key, new species, check list.


The known world fauna of Dolichopodidae is very big, with about 6500

species and 200 genera. The Israeli fauna of Dolichopodidae is poorly known. Three species were described from this country: Dolichopus syriacus Becker,1917:159, Sciapus judaeus Parent, 1932: 222, and Aphrosylus schumanni Negrobov, 1979: 473. Two short lists of the collected material were also published (Bodenheimer, 1937 and Parvu, 1996, 1997). Bodenheimer listed 12 species of Dolichopodidae for “Palestine”, giving no information about collectors, collection sites, depositarium and identificator:

Dolichopus nitidus Fallen, 1823: 12,

Chrysotus suavis Loew, 1857: 49,

Hydrophorus litoreus Fallen, 1823: 3,

Hydrophorus viridis (Meigen, 1824: 60), (Medeterus),

Lamprochrosus speciosus (Loew, 1871:58), (Sympycnus),

Medetera dendrobaena Kowarz, 1877: 70,

Micromorphus albipes (Zetterstedt, 1843: 454), (Hydrophorus),

Sciapus albifrons (Meigen, 1830: 360), (Psilopus),

Sciapus pallens (Wiedemann, 1830: 219), (Psilopus),

Sciapus vicinus Parent, 1925: 172,

Syntormon denticulatus Zetterstedt, 1843: 478 [now Syntormon pumilus (Meigen, 1824: 53), (Rhaphium)],

Thinophilus flavipalpis (Zetterstedt, 1843: 472), (Rhaphium).

Parvu (1996) recorded only Chrysotus suavis Loew and Syntormon pumilus (Meigen) of the previously known species and added 7 more species (collected mainly from the northern part of the country) for the fauna of Israel:

Dolichopus immaculatus Becker, 1909: 323,

Dolichopus sabinus Haliday, 1838: 184,

Dolichopus siculus Loew, 1859: 11,

Hydrophorus balticus (Meigen, 1824: 66),

Hydrophorus praecox (Lehmann, 1822: 42),

Syntormon pallipes (Fabricius, 1794: 340),

Teuchophorus monacanthus Loew, 1859: 21,

Parvu (1997) gave new records for Hydrophorus praecox (Lehmann), Teuchophorus monacanthus Loew and Syntormon pumilus (Meigen) of the previously known species and added 5 more species (collected mainly from the northern part of the country) for the fauna of Israel:

Campsicnemus picticornis (Zetterstedt, 1843: 607)

Melanostolus nigricilius (Loew, 1871: 297)

Ortochile nigrocoerulea, (Latreille, 1809: 289)

Sympycnus simplicipes Becker, 1908: 46.

Tachytrechus planitarsis Becker, 1907: 48

In all, 27 species of Dolichopodidae were recorded from Israel. A. Freidberg (1988) suspected that the fauna of Israel might contain about 100 species.

During my recent short visit to Israel at early August, 1999, I have found in drawers of the Tel Aviv University about 90 species of Dolichopodidae collected all over the country. In addition, I have collected 17 species in three points near the Dead Sea coast and two points near Haifa, of which at least 10 species are absent in the University collection (the best season for the collecting is April-May).

So, the number of species deposited in the collections of Tel Aviv University and author of this report is about 100, of which 57 species are named below, of which 12 species were known from literature. The unnamed species are represented by females only, or belong to unrevised genera, or may be described as new for science. The total number of species known from the literature and collections is about 110 belonging to 34 genera, but the real number may reach 200 after a special spring expedition in various parts of the country.

Most adult dolichopodids occur on sand, damp ground, grass, leaves, tree trunks, river rocks, and other surfaces near open water. These sites are used both for mating and opportunistic feeding on soft-bodied invertebrates. The flies are predaceous on small aphids, psyllids, psocids, thrips, mites, mosquitoes and other insects, sometimes playing some regulating role in agricultural ecosystems (Grichanov, 1991, 1993).

Many of rare species are known only from their type localities. When such species are only known from small blocks of remnant or disturbed vegetation, their long-term survival is more problematical, especially in highly altered agricultural and urban districts. They may be threatened, if their remnant habitats are degraded by burning, grazing, clearing or invasion by exotic weeds, replaced by settlements, roads and other anthropogenic landscapes. Active application of chemical plant protection means, land reclamation, changes in land use technologies towards more rationalized approaches can have adverse effects on the biodiversity of natural ecosystems. Israel is one of the model example of those changes. I suspect that many species collected 20, 60 or more years ago will never be found on this territory. That is why a revision of Israeli hydrophilous fauna (including Dolichopodidae) is urgently necessary.


1. Acropsilus Mik, 1878:6.

Two species were found. The genus (with the smallest species in the family) is very abundant in tropics of Africa, Orient and northern Australia.

Acropsilus niger (Loew,1869: 298).
Acropsilus brevitalus (Parent)

2. Aphrosylus Haliday in Walker, 1851:220

One species is present in the collection, apparently different from Aphrosylus schumanni Negrobov known only from Israel and other Palearctic species of the mostly Mediterranean genus.

3. Argyra Macquart, 1834:456

This mostly boreal Holarctic genus is represented by two species in the fauna of Israel.

Argyra leucocephala (Meigen, 1824: 49), (Porphyrops),

Argyra vestita (Wiedemann, 1817: 75), (Dolichopus).

4. Argyrochlamys Lamb, 1922:391

Species of the genus known from western Indian Ocean islands (including Dahlak Archipelago in the Red Sea) may be found in southern Israel.

5. Asyndetus Loew, 1869:34

Xerophilous species of the genus are widely distributed in deserts of North Africa, Central Asia and other regions with a deficit of water. Two unnamed species were found in addition to the following.

Asyndetus chaetifemoratus Parent, 1925:162,

Asyndetus transversalis Becker, 1907: 110.

6. Campsicnemus Haliday in Walker, 1851:187

Four species of this almost cosmopolitan genus were found, two of which are unnamed. Species of the genus may be found on the wet sand at sea coast and along rivulets.

Campsicnemus magius (Loew, 1845: 392), (Medeterus),

Campsicnemus simplicissimus Strobl, 1906:323.

7. Chrysotimus Loew, 1857:48

Chrysotimus flaviventris (von Roser, 1840: 55),

8. Chrysotus Meigen, 1824:40

Only two species (one is unnamed) of this abundant genus were found.

Chrysotus suavis, Loew,1857: 49.

9. Diaphorus Meigen, 1824:32

Diaphorus hoffmanseggi Meigen, 1830: 360,

Diaphorus nigricans Meigen, 1824: 33,

Diaphorus varifrons Becker, 1918: 46.

10. Dolichopus Latreille, 1796:159

The genus is especially abundant in boreal part of the Holarctic Region with hundreds of known species. Israeli fauna contains at least 11 species (including 2 unnamed species and 4 species known from literature).

Dolichopus griseipennis Stannius, 1831: 49,

Dolichopus nivalis Vaillant, 1973: 149,

Dolichopus perversus Loew, 1871: 57,

Dolichopus siculus Loew, 1859: 11,

Dolichopus strigipes Verrall, 1875: 143.

11. Halaiba Parent, 1929:56

Two known species of the genus occur in the north-eastern part of the Afrotropical Region. Israeli fauna has the third, yet undescribed species of the genus.

12. Hercostomus Loew, 1857:9

Species of the genus replace gradually species of the genus Dolichopus in southern part of Palearctic region, being also numerous in Oriental and Afrotropical Regions. Hundreds of species often are important endemic elements for many small countries. The collection of Tel Aviv University contains 7 probably undescribed species in addition to the following two.

Hercostomus (Poecilobothrus) fumipennis (Stannius, 1831: 248), (Dolichopus),

Hercostomus (Hercostomus) longiventris (Loew, 1857: 7), (Sybistroma).

13. Hydrophorus Fallen, 1823:2

Species of the genus could be hardly distinguished by their external habitus. That is why I consider the previous records of Hydrophorus litoreus Fallen and Hydrophorus viridis (Meigen) by Bodenheimer (1937) as doubtful.

Hydrophorus balticus (Meigen, 1824: 66), (Medeterus),

Hydrophorus praecox (Lehmann, 1822: 42), (Dolichopus).

14. Lamprochromus Mik, 1878:7

Lamprochrosus speciosus (Loew, 1871:58), (Sympycnus).

15. Liancalus Loew, 1857:22

Not many species of the genus are known from Tropical Africa and eastern Asia. The only western-Palearctic species is widely distributed from northern to southern Europe and Central Asia. In all regions he occupies mostly such a specific biotope as wet stones under the splashes of waterfalls.

Liancalus virens (Scopoli, 1763: 342), (Musca).

16. Ludovicius Rondani, 1843:43

Ludovicius. golanicus Grichanov, 2000: Russian Entomol. J., 9(3): 273
Ludovicius impar Rondani, 1843: 43.
Ludovicius israelensis Grichanov, 2000: Russian Entomol. J., 9(3): 270

17. Medetera Fischer von Waldheim, 1819:7

Most of the numerous species of this cosmopolitan genus are associated with tree trunks, especially in boreal forests of the Holarctic Region, where they predate on the beetles – tree pests. On the other hand, imago of many species may be found in montane regions on the large stones and rocks covered by mosses and lichens and in semidesert regions in and at rodent holes and other ground cavities. At least three unnamed species were found in the collection in addition to the following list. M. dendrobaena was identified by E. Lindner and M. truncorum by anonyme.

Medetera dendrobaena Kowarz, 1877: 70,

Medetera diadema (Linne, 1767: 982), (Musca),

Medetera flavipes Meigen, 1824: 61,

Medetera media Parent, 1925: 186,

Medetera perfida Parent, 1932: 224,

Medetera truncorum Meigen, 1824: 67.

18. Melanostolus Kowarz, 1884:51

Israeli fauna includes one, probably new for science species of this genus.

19. Micromorphus Mik, 1878:6

Micromorphus albipes (Zetterstedt, 1843: 454), (Hydrophorus).

20. Neurigona Rondani, 1856:142

Israeli fauna includes one, probably new for science species of this mostly Holarctic genus.

21. Orthoceratium Schrank, 1803:55

This Mediterranean genus contains two species, the listed species is known also from Tanzania.

Orthoceratium lacustre (Scopoli, 1763: 343), (Musca),

22. Ortochile Latreille, 1809:289

Specimens of the following Mediterranean species are numerous in the collection.

Orthochile unicolor Loew

23. Rhaphium Meigen, 1803:272

Species of the genus are very common in subarctic and boreal zones of the Holarctic region and rare in southern parts of the Region. Afrotropical species form separate group within the genus. Identified species occurs over the whole Europe. Israeli fauna has three more unnamed species.

Rhaphium zetterstedti (Parent, 1925: 42), (Xiphandrium),

24. Sciapus Zeller, 1842:831

Species of the genus are most abundant in southern parts of the Holarctic region, where they are usually associated with tree trunks, and are almost unknown in Tropics. In contrast, the other genera of the subfamily Sciapodinae are the dominant elements in the dolichopodid fauna of other zoogeographical regions and are almost unknown in the Holarctic Region. Israeli fauna contains 13 species (including 2 unnamed species and 4 species known from literature). Anonymous identification of S. contristans cannot be confirmed as the single specimen in the collection has no head and abdomen. Sciapus judaeus is represented in the Tel Aviv University by two female paratypes in addition to other material.

Sciapus contristans (Wiedemann, 1817: 72), (Dolichopus),

Sciapus flavicinctus (Loew, 1857: 4), (Psilopus),

Sciapus heteropygus Parent, 1926: 30,

Sciapus judaeus Parent, 1932: 222,

Sciapus maurus Parent, 1930: 90,

Sciapus opacus (Loew, 1866: 63), (Psilopus),

Sciapus vicinus Parent, 1925: 172.

25. Sybistroma Meigen, 1824:71

Sybistroma nodicornis Meigen, 1824: 72.

26. Sympycnus Loew, 1857:42

Two more unnamed species were found in the collection in addition to following one.

Sympycnus simplicipes Becker, 1908: 46.

27. Syntormon Loew, 1857:35

The genus is distributed mainly in southern parts of Holarctic Region and also in Tropics. Five species were found in Israel, including one species new for science (the second species of the recently synonymized monotypic genus Bathycranium Strobl).

Syntormon mikii Strobl, 1899: 126,

Syntormon pallipes (Fabricius, 1794: 340), (Musca),

Syntormon pseudospicatus Strobl, 1899: 126,

Syntormon pumilus (Meigen, 1824: 53), (Rhaphium).

28. Systenus Loew, 1857:34

Systenus vasilii Grichanov, 2002: Studia dipterologica 9 (1): 220

29. Tachytrechus Haliday in Walker, 1851:173

Mostly large-sized species are often associated with salt water in semideserts of southern Holarctic and other Regions. T. tessellatus widely distributed across Afrotropics, Indian Ocean and Orient is also very common in Israel and other Mediterranean countries.

Tachytrechus notatus (Stannius, 1831: 269), (Dolichopus) [Additional material examined: 1 male [on pin], Israel, Dead Sea Depr., Nahal Arugot, 26.IV.1984, light, L. Botosaneanu / ex alcohol /Zoological Museum, Amsterdam].

Tachytrechus planitarsis Becker, 1907: 106,

Tachytrechus tessellatus Macquart, 1842:185 (125) (Dolichopus).

30. Teuchophorus Loew, 1857:44

Two species of this southern Palearctic and tropical genus occur in Israel (T. monacanthus was recorded by Parvu, 1996).

Teuchophorus bisetus (Loew, 1871).

31. Thinophilus Wahlberg, 1844:37

Mostly halophilous species of the genus are often associated with salt water in semideserts of southern Holarctic and other Regions. T. indigenus is widely distributed across Afrotropics and Orient. Mediterranean T. ruficornis (Haliday) known also from Sinai may be found in Israel.

Thinophilus flavipalpis (Zetterstedt, 1843: 472), (Rhaphium),

Thinophilus indigenus Becker, 1902: 48,

Thinophilus quadrimaculatus Becker, 1902: 49,

Thinophilus spinitarsis Becker, 1907: 315.

32. Thrypticus Gerstaecker, 1864:43

Four species (including two unnamed) were found in the collection.

Thrypticus bellus Loew, 1869: 303,

Thrypticus smaragdinus Gerstacker, 1864: 44.

33. Trigonocera Becker, 1902:57

The genus should be revised. I consider records of Egyptian T. rivosa from Canary Islands and Taiwan as doubtful. I have seen in Brussels the second Egyptian species of the genus identified by Th. Becker as T. rivosa, but different from the original description of the species. Israeli material corresponds to Becker’s diagnosis.

Trigonocera rivosa Becker, 1902:58,

34. Xanthochlorus Loew, 1857:42

One probably undescribed species was found in the collection.

Dolichopodidae Homepage