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Zoraptera Overview

Angel Flies have one family (Zorotypidae) and one genus (Zorotypus).  They are polymorphic, but have similar off-white to brown coloration.  They are about three millimeters long.   They have short antennae, short cerci, and two-segmented tarsi. They feed primarily on fungus spores.  At times they can be scavengers or hunters, feeding on small arthropods, nematodes, or mites.  Some species have membranous wings and most do not.  The winged species will shed their wings as adults.  They can be found in colonies of 15-120 in rotten logs and underneath bark.  They prefer dark habitats and are nearly blind.  When their habitat is disturbed, they quickly scatter and hide.  They are abundant in their specific habitats and are rarely found elsewhere.  Three species can be found in the United States.  They are seen in the fossil record as far back as the early Cretaceous.  They preferred tropical weather in the early Cretaceous and all species but four live in tropical climates now.

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© Rhianna Hruska

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