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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera
Infraorder: Psychodomorpha
Superfamily: Scatopsoidea
Family: Canthyloscelidae


The Canthyloscelidae are a small family of midges closely related to the Scatopsidae.

Adults are small to medium-sized (2.5-9.0 mm) flies, relatively stout, usually dark coloured Nematocera with stout legs. They are associated with ancient woodland. Larvae are xylosaprophagous and live in the moist, rotting wood of stumps and fallen trees.[1]

Most are considered endangered due to the vulnerability of their habitat.

There are 15 described species worldwide from New Zealand, North America, South America, Japan and Russia. The 3 species in Europe are suspected to be introductions[citation needed]. There is one know fossil species from the Jurassic.


Originally considered to be two separate families, the Synneuridae and the Canthyloscelidae. Haenni [2] placed the Synneuridae as the subfamily Synneurinae. A phylogenetic reclassification by Amorim [3] has reduced the Synneurinae into a synonymy of Canthyloscelinae.


  1. Hutson A.M. (1977). "A revision of the families Synneuridae and Canthyloscelidae (Diptera)". Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology. London: British Museum (Natural History). 35 (3): 67–100.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Haenni J.-P. (1997). Family Canthyloscelidae. In Papp L. & Darvas B. (eds): Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera. Nematocera and Lower Brachycera. Vol. 2. Budapest: Science Herald. pp. 273–279.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Amorim D. de S. (2000). "A new phylogeny and phylogenetic classification for the Canthyloscelidae (Diptera: Psychodomorpha)". Canadian Journal of Zoology. Toronto: National Research Council Canada. 78 (6): 1067–1077. doi:10.1139/z00-010. ISSN 1480-3283.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>