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Subfamily Ameniinae - Snail Parasitic Blowflies

Family Calliphoridae

This page contains pictures and information about Snail Parasitic Blowflies that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
 
 
The Snail Parasitic Blowflies are in family Calliphoridae but have the weak subscutellum and looked similar to Tachinid Flies (Rutiliini) and originally placed in family Tachinidae 
 
As those larviparous Calyptrate flies, Ameniinae females give birth large and well developed larvae (macrolarviparity). It is known that their larvae are parasites on land snails.  
 
The Snail Parasitic Blowflies are from medium to large in size. They are nectar feeders and assist the flower plants for pollination.
 
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Head                                                                    Wings                                                                  Scutellum  
 
The Amenia genus consist of very large size flies and they are found only in Australia. They are metallic colours and often boldly marked with white spots on body. Amenia genus can be distinguished with the following characteristics;
 
- metallic green, green-blue to dark blue with bright golden face,
- with weak but distinct subscutellum,
- with conspicuous facial carina,  
- stem-vein of wing bare,
- vein M bent angularly forwards,
- inconspicuously swollen gular area of head,
- scutellum with six or more marginal bristles,
- T4 with a regular row of evenly spaced marginal setae,
- abdomen broader than length,
- three white dots on each side of thorax.
 
There are ten described Amenia species, five can be found in Brisbane. We found all of them and listed as below.      
 

Amenia imperialis Group

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Amenia imperialis, body length 10mm, female, male
This Snail Parasitic Blowfly has the bright yellow head with metallic green body colour. We distinguished this fly from other Amenia species by its large bright yellow head and less white dots on body. For more information please check this page.
 
 
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Amenia chrysmae, body length 10mm, female, male 
This is the smallest Snail Parasitic Blowfly that we found. They are always emerald or cupreous green in colours. Please check this page for more information.
 

Amenia leonina Group

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Amenia leonina, body length 12mm, female, male  
This is the medium size Snail Parasitic Blowfly. As all the Snail Parasitic Blowfly species, they are nectar feeders and assist the flower plants for pollination. Their larvae are parasites on land snails. Please click here for more information. 
 
 
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Amenia albomaculata, body length 12mm, female, male
This Snail Parasitic Blowfly is metallic dark blue in colour with the bright orange colour face. On the thorax and abdomen tip there are the shiny white spots patterns. Please click here for more information. 
 

Reference:
1. Wildlife of Tropical North Queensland - Queensland Museum Publications 2000, p108.
2. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - New edition, Published by Queensland Museum 2007, p138.
3. Morphometrics in the genus Amenia and revisionary notes on the Australian Ameniinae (Diptera: Calliphoridae), with the description of eight new species - Colless, 1998, Rec. Aust. Mus. 50(1): 85123.
4. A systematic revision of the Ameniinae (Diptera: Calliphoridae) - Crosskey, R.W. 1965, Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist). Entomol. 16: 33-140. (23 August).
5. Genus Amenia Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 - Australian Biological Resources Study, Australian Faunal Directory. 
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Last updated: December 29, 2012.