Scientific name

Leucopis spp.

Common name

Aphid flies, Silver flies

Taxonomic position

Diptera: Chamaemyiidae (=Ochthiphilidae)


Small flies of less than 4 mm size, predominantly grey with black spots on the abdomen. Costa and anal wing vein complete. Postvertical bristles convergent or absent. Interfrontal bristles absent, clypeus small. Arista pubescent or bare. Front femur bristly and preapical tibial bristles absent.

   Head - dorsal and frontal view
 Leucopis abdomen


     Adult of Leucopis sp. - dorsal view
 Leucopis sp. - lateral view
 Pupa of Leucopis sp.


Cosmopolitan. Presently about 12 genera and 300 species are known worldwide. Although widely distributed, they are best known from the Holarctic region.

Hosts / Biology

Larvae of Chamaemyiidae are predators of various stages of scale insects, mealybugs and aphids, apparently preferring aphids. Among scales, predation is confined to only non-diaspine forms (Clausen, 1940). Several species, particularly of the genus Leucopis, have been successfully used for the classical biological control of adelgids, mainly in North America. Adults of living forms are known to feed on sap. Species of Leucopis are very commonly found among aphid colonies. Gaimari & Turner (1996) have developed methods for mass rearing of aphidophagous Leucopis species. Chamaemyiids of this region are poorly known and no single source of reference exists to aid identification. Delfinado & Hardy (1973-77) catalogued the fauna of the Oriental region.


  • Clausen, C.P. 1940. Entomophagous insects. McGraw-Hill, New York. 688 p.
  • Delfinado, M. D. & Hardy, D. E. (eds.) 1973-77. A catalog of the Diptera of the Oriental Region. The University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu. 1973, Suborder Nematocera. Vol. I, ix + 618 pp. (cut off 1970). 1975, Suborder Brachycera through Division Aschiza, Suborder Cyclorrhapha. Vol. II, ix + 459 pp. (Cut off 1972). 1977, Suborder Cyclorrhapha excluding Division Aschiza. 854 pp. (Cut off 1974)
  • Gaimari, S.D. & Turner, W.J. 1996. Methods for rearing aphidophagous Leucopis spp. (Diptera: Chamaemyiidae). Journal of Kansas Entomological Society 69: 363-369.