Banana Stalk-fly

A Banana Stalk-fly standing on a green compost bin

Scientific Name: Telostylinus lineolatus

Size: TL 20mm

What does it look like?

The Banana-stalk Fly is dark brown and yellowish-cream, with large red eyes on elongated head, and moderately long, thickened antennae with single long thin arista arising from each (used to detect heat and moisture). Legs long and stilt-like, and wings darkened, long and membranous.

Where is it found?

Occurs along coastal eastern Australia, from northern Qld south to around Wollongong NSW, and throughout Indo-Pacific.

What are its habitats & habits?

The Banana-stalk Fly is found in various vegetated areas, including gardens, where it aggregates on rotting timber, flowers and fruit. Males maintain territories around egg-laying sites and jostle with each other by raising up and interlocking antennae. Their forelegs have spines and are used to strike their opponents and to attempt to get them in a head-lock. Adults and larvae feed on rotting vegetable matter.

Interesting facts

The Banana Stalk-fly belongs to the family Neriidae, a family of true flies (Diptera) that are closely related to the Micropezidae (stilt-legged flies). In fact the family Neriidae was once classified as a subfamily of the Micropezidae. Members of the Neriidae are also known as cactus flies.

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Cover of the book, A Naturalist's Guide to the Insects of Australia

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Insects of Australia

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