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The fly genus Microdon (family Syrphidae) is a myrmecophilous 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.

Photo Gallery

  • Microdon ocellaris adult. Photo by Gary D. Alpert
  • Microdon ocellaris larva. Photo by Gary D. Alpert
  • Microdon larvae, Cape Otway, Victoria, Australia. Photo by Nick Porch.
  • Microdon empty pupal case, Cape Otway, Victoria, Australia. Photo by Nick Porch.
  • Microdon larva, Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. Photo by Piotr Naskrecki.

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 Canada; Quebec. United States; 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 Monomorium minimum California, Florida, Kansas, Texas (type), Virginia Clark, W.H., and A. Van Pelt. 2007. Myrmecophiles in ant nests, Big Bend National. Park, Texas. Journal of the Idaho Academy of Science 43: 39-40.
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, Formica schaufussi 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, Iowa, Missouri, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin Subgenus Dimeraspis
Microdon lanceolatus Adams, 1903 Formica argentea Kansas (type), Montana, New Mexico, Utah subgenus Microdon
Microdon manitobensis Curran, 1924 host unknown Canada; Manitoba, New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, British Colombia. United States; New York, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington
Microdon megalogaster Snow, 1892 Formica subsericea, Formica fusca Canada; Ontario, Quebec. United States; Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina
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 laevissimus , Camponotus modoc Oregon, Montana, Washington (type) subgenus Microdon
Microdon tristis Loew, 1864 Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Camponotus novaeboracensis Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia (type) subgenus Microdon
Microdon xanthopilis Townsend, 1895 Formica obscuripes California (type), Idaho, Washington subgenus Microdon

List of Microdon and their Host Ants
Genus and species Author and Year Ant Host Country and State Records Notes
Microdon analis ? Lasius Italy
Microdon major ? Formica fusca, Formica lemani Italy common
Microdon tigrinus Curran, 1940 Acromyrmex coronatus Brazil, Sao Paulo