Odontoloxozus longicornis

Cactus Fly

Odontoloxozus longicornis, Cactus Fly, Neriidae


Family: Neriidae

Subfamily: Neriinae

Length: 7 - 9 mm


In this family the head is long and cylindrical and projects forward, as do the long, thick antennae. The arista is apical. The eyes are well-separated in both males and females. In this family ocellar bristles are lacking (Arnett, 2000).

The family is mostly Neotropical. While two species are found in the United States, for example, ten are found in Costa Rica (Zumbado, 2006).

Larvae of Odontoloxozus longicornis, and of most Neriids, feed in rotting cacti. A few species have other food sources, such as the roots of papaya and poró.

Odontoloxozus longicornis is one of two species in the genus. It is found in California, Arizona, Texas, Mexico, and Costa Rica. The other species, Odontoloxozus peruanus, has been collected in Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru.

Photo location: Saguaro National Park (western unit), Arizona. This fly is perched on the larval food source, a fallen Saguaro cactus. The fly shown above is in a typical posture, with the head raised and the abdomen lowered.

Odontoloxozus longicornis, fly image from Arizona

This is both the family page for Neriidae and the species page for Odontoloxozus longicornis.

American Insects site