Every Ant Tells a Story - And Their Stories Are Here
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The fly genus Microdon is a myrmecophiloous Syrhpid fly world-wide in distribution. The adults are not known to feed while the larvae are found feeding on ant larvae and pupae of their ant host. Adult flies disperse from the nest to mate often in the vicinity of their host ant nests where they lay eggs. Adult Microdon have no special glands or hairs while their unusual larvae have a series of trichomes and associated glands along the margin of their body. The role of the glandular secretions and trichome hairs have not been clearly defined. There are about thirty species in the genus and each fly species has a preferred host ant genus and species.

List of Microdon from North America and their Host Ants

List of Microdon from North America and their Host Ants
Genus and species Author and Year Ant Host State Records Notes
Microdon abditus Thompson, 1981 host unknown Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire (type), New York Subgenus Dimeraspis
Microdon abstrusus Thompson, 1981 Formica exsectoides Maryland (type), Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia common
Microdon adventitus Thompson, 1981 host? Georgia (type)
Microdon albicomatus Novak, 1977 Camponotus modoc, Myrmica incompleta Idaho (type), Washington subgenus Microdon
Microdon baliopterus Loew, 1872 host unknown California, Florida, Kansas, Texas (type), Virginia ?
Microdon coarctatus Loew, 1864 host unknown District of Colombia (type), Florida, Maryland, Nebraska Omegasyrphus
Microdon cothurnatus Bigot, 1884 host? California, Colorado, North Carolina
Microdon craigheadii Walton, 1912 host unknown Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (type) subgenus Microdon
Microdon diversipilosus Curran, 1925 host unknown Kansas (type), Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio
Microdon fulgens Wiedemann, 1830 Camponotus atriceps Florida, Georgia (type), New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas Subgenus Chymophila
Microdon fuscipennis (Macquart, 1834) Forelius pruinosus Georgia Subgenus Dimeraspis
Microdon globosus (Fabricius, 1805) Tapinoma sessile Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin Subgenus Dimeraspis
Microdon lanceolatus Adams, 1903 host unknown Kansas (type), Montana, New Mexico subgenus Microdon
Microdon ocellaris Curran, 1924 Formica incerta Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania (type), South Carolina uncommon
Microdon painteri Hull, 1922 host unknown Florida, Mississippi (type), Texas Omegasyrphus
Microdon piperi Knab, 1917 Camponotus herculeanus, Camponotus laevigatus , Camponotus modoc Oregon, Montana, Washington (type) subgenus Microdon
Microdon tristis Loew, 1864 host unknown Florida, Virginia (type) subgenus Microdon
Microdon xanthopilis Townsend, 1895 Formica obscuripes California (type), Idaho, Washington subgenus Microdon


  • Adams, C. F. 1903. Descriptions of six new species. Pp. 221-223. In Snow, F. H., A preliminary list of the Diptera of Kansas. Kans. Univ. Sci. Bull. 2 [=whole ser., 12]: 211-223.
  • Akre, R.E., W. B. Garnett, and R. S. Zack, “Ant hosts of Microdon (Diptera: Syrphidae) in the Pacific Northwest,” Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 175–178, 1990.
  • Bigot, J. M. F. 1884. Dipteres nouveaux ou peu connus. 22e partie, XXXII: Syrphidi (2e partie). Especes nouvelles, No 1er. Ann. Soc. Ent. Fr. (6) 3: 315-356.
  • Curran, C. H. 1924. Brief diagnoses of some Diptera occurring in New England. Psyche (Camb) 31: 226-228.
  • Curran, C. H. 1925. Contribution to a monograph of the American Syrphidae north of Mexico. Kans. Univ.Sci. Bull. (1924) 15: 7-216, 12 pls.
  • Hull, F. M. 1922. New Syrphidae (Diptera) from Mississippi. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 15: 370-373.
  • Knab, F. 1917. On some North American species of Microdon (Diptera: Syrphidae). Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 30: 133-143.
  • Loew, H. 1864. Diptera Americae septentrionalis indigena. Centuria quinta. Berl. Ent. Z. 8: 49-104.
  • Loew, H. 1872. Diptera Americae septentrionalis indigena. Centuria decima. Berl. Ent. Z. 16: 49-124.
  • Novak, J.A., R.D. Akre & W.B. Garnett 1977. Keys to adults and puparia of five species of Microdon (Diptera:Syrphidae) from eastern Washington and northern Idaho, with descriptions of new species. Can. Ent. 109:663-668.
  • Thompson, F.C. 1981. Revisionary notes on Nearctic Microdon flies (Diptera:Syrphidae), Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 83(4): 725-758.
  • Townsend, C. H. T. 1895. Notes on the Diptera of Baja California, including some species from adjacent regions. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. (2) 4: 593-620
  • Walton, W. R. 1912. New North American Diptera. Ent. News 23: 463-464.
  • Wiedemann, C. R. W. 1830. Aussereuropaische zweiflugelige Insekten. Zweiter Theil. Schulz, Hamm. xii + 684 pp., 5 pls.