|Seaweed or kelp flies|
Coelopidae or kelp flies are a family of Acalyptratae Diptera, they are sometimes also called seaweed flies, though this term is used for a number of seashore diptera. There are less than 40 species worldwide.The family is found in temperate areas, with species occurring in the southern Afrotropical, Holarctic and Australasian (which has the most species) regions.
Coelopids are found in the wrack zone of temperate seashores where the larvae feed on rotting seaweed. They are sometimes very abundant in this habitat. They go through several generations a year. The females lay their eggs in small batches into fresh alga banks. There are 3 larval instars. Larvae feed in a bacteria-laden mass. Pupation is seldom in the alga substrate that soon collapses, but more frequently in the highest sand layers. Larvae are also found in winter wrack heaps as bacteria raise temperatures to 20-30°C even if the heap is superficially frozen.Larvae and pupae have numerous enemies. Beside birds there is the staphylinid Aleochara and suites of parasites confined to algal banks.
Note: Considerable intraspecific variation in some species, especially in overall size, wing length, and setal characters has led to considerable splitting at the generic level.
- Malloch, J.R. 1933. The genus Coelopa Meigen (Diptera, Coelopidae). Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (10) 11: 339-50.
- McAlpine, David K. (1991). "Review of the Australian Kelp Flies (Diptera: Coelopidae)" (Print). Systematic Entomology 16: 29-84.
Classification after McAlpine 
- Subfamily Lopinae McAlpine, 1991
- Genus Lopa McAlpine, 1991
- Subfamily Coelopinae Meigen, 1830
- Tibe Glumini McAlpine, 1991
- Tibe Coelopini Meigen, 1830
- Genus Coelopa Meigen, 1830
- Tibe Coelopellini Malloch, 1933
- Tibe Ammini McAlpine, 1991
- Genus Icaridion Lamb, 1909
- Genus Amma McAlpine, 1991
- Genus Beaopterus Lamb, 1909
Coelopa frigida (Fabricius) has been reared in the laboratory and used for genetic studies.
Reference and sources
- McAlpine, David K. (1991). "Review of the Australian Kelp Flies (Diptera: Coelopidae)". Systematic Entomology 16: 29–84.
McAlpine, D.K. 1998. Family Coelopidae.in Papp, L. nd Darvas, B. (ed.): Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera. 3: 335-340. Science Herald, Budapest.
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