JungleDragon is a nature and wildlife community for photographers, travellers and anyone who loves nature. We're genuine, free, ad-free and beautiful.

Join

Lepiseodina rothschildi (previously Clogmia rothschildi, but also sometimes known as Telmatoscopus rothschildi) This is one of 99 species of &#039;Psychodidae&#039; found in the UK commonly going by a variety of names including &#039;Moth flies&#039;, &#039;Drain flies&#039;, &#039;Sink flies&#039;, &#039;Filter flies&#039;, &#039;Sewer flies&#039;.<br />
<br />
Given how very attractive some of these species are, as this photo demonstrates, I prefer the name, &#039;Owl midges&#039;.<br />
<br />
Many of these species are associated with drains, sewers and other sources of stagnant water, although this particular species is better known as a woodland inhabitant.<br />
<br />
This association with stagnant water means they are often considered &#039;pests&#039; particularly when in large numbers, but they are non-biting and harmless, unlike their close relations the &#039;Sand flies&#039;.<br />
<br />
Indeed I found this specimen and a few others, almost perfectly camouflaged on the trunk of a large tree (thank you headlamp) which combined with a length of just 2-4mm, makes them a very difficult find indeed.<br />
<br />
Their fuzzy appearance is caused by a dense covering of long hairs on the body and wings, giving them a moth-like appearance.<br />
<br />
Identifying Psychodidae is notoriously difficult without very close inspection of specimens. <br />
<br />
Rothchildi is inseperable by sight from another species L. latipennis, but the latter is believed to be restricted to Italy.<br />
 Geotagged,Lepiseodina rothschildi,Spring,United Kingdom Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Lepiseodina rothschildi (previously Clogmia rothschildi, but also sometimes known as Telmatoscopus rothschildi)

This is one of 99 species of 'Psychodidae' found in the UK commonly going by a variety of names including 'Moth flies', 'Drain flies', 'Sink flies', 'Filter flies', 'Sewer flies'.

Given how very attractive some of these species are, as this photo demonstrates, I prefer the name, 'Owl midges'.

Many of these species are associated with drains, sewers and other sources of stagnant water, although this particular species is better known as a woodland inhabitant.

This association with stagnant water means they are often considered 'pests' particularly when in large numbers, but they are non-biting and harmless, unlike their close relations the 'Sand flies'.

Indeed I found this specimen and a few others, almost perfectly camouflaged on the trunk of a large tree (thank you headlamp) which combined with a length of just 2-4mm, makes them a very difficult find indeed.

Their fuzzy appearance is caused by a dense covering of long hairs on the body and wings, giving them a moth-like appearance.

Identifying Psychodidae is notoriously difficult without very close inspection of specimens.

Rothchildi is inseperable by sight from another species L. latipennis, but the latter is believed to be restricted to Italy.

    comments (29)

  1. Great info, Philip! Indeed they don't deserve the poor reputation they have. Stunning capture too, they are quite difficult to photograph in my experience. Posted 2 months ago
    1. They are easily disturbed and so very small, so you're absolutely right.

      This one was tucked away in a bark crevice and appeared to be sleeping, so i got lucky.

      You cannot see the colours with the naked eye.
      Posted 2 months ago, modified 2 months ago
  2. Wonderful photo! These flies are so beautiful, yet I struggle to capture them for the same reasons you mentioned. Posted 2 months ago
    1. Thank you

      You simply cannot see the detail and colours with the naked eye, but now we can see how this particular species got its name. A clever piece of thinking.
      Posted 2 months ago
  3. The shinning iridescent wings with the "fur" make this a great find. As with many small insects you never know what it really looks like until you get up close. Posted 2 months ago
    1. Absolutely!

      There are wasps you cannot see with the naked eye. Just imagining how nature could evolve to create something that complex, that tiny, is mind-blowing.

      The trouble is..............I've never seen one!
      Posted 2 months ago
  4. Wow, beautiful!! Posted one month ago
  5. This is not rothschildii! Far more interesting: latipennis. Latipennis has a black head and a long black band from the head to the end of the thorax. Rothschildii has a white head and a black band from side tot side on the thorax. I am writing on the species, it has been pictured in Italy, Spain, France, UK and Netherlands. Problem is that the type specimen is in Naples and not yet found. Rotschildii is a bit smaller, wing length clearly under 3mm, while latipennis's wings are clearly longer than 3 mm. When and where did you picture it? Posted one month ago
    1. O, I see where you saw it. It's a new dot on the map, close to two other dots. Posted one month ago
    2. Hi WeiaR

      This was photographed on the trunk of a tree in woodland very close to my house in Brighton on 25th April 2022.

      I was wearing a head lamp and spotted it through the lens of camera resting in a crevice of the surface bark of a tree, while I was photographing and filming an Ichneumon wasp.

      I was aware of the possibility of this being latipennis, but making that assessment is way past my level of knowledge so I sought advice from UK Diptera later that same day.

      I was advised "specimens like yours with black on the head and thorax are not rothschildi but might be Lepiseodina latipennis" and that the specimen appeared to "agree with the external appearance of latipennis rather than rothschildi."

      However that member also qualified his advice by saying "It would be best if it was checked by someone with some experience with this family. I don't know of anyone in the UK now who has." he then referred it to Gunnar Mikalsen Kvifte.

      While he made no comment on the ID itself, he did say "There is no credible evidence Lepiseodina latipennis occurs outside of Italy."

      Aware systematics and classification of Psychodidae are in his area of speciality, it appeared to very strongly suggest this was rothchildi, which is why I made that qualification in my commentary.

      Given the circumstances I wrote, "I could catch one easily enough, as there were several, but I don't have the equipment or knowledge to take it further".

      No one responded further, so I left it there.

      However, I very much welcome your comment and I'm absolutely open to help in any way to review the ID above.

      PK

      PS. I suspect I've still got the unedited and as yet unwatched short videos I took of the Ichneumon wasp, so I'll see if there's anything on those.

      Posted one month ago, modified one month ago
      1. I've just remembered I later put the image through Obsidentify, several times.

        It came up with rothschildi on each occasion, but not with a particularly convincing probability.

        I'm not privy to the algorithms of the App, but as it's UK centric, I wonder if it even has latipennis on its database?
        Posted one month ago
        1. ObsIdentify is not able to identify them yet. The app is fed by pictures that are said to be OK by an expert. And that expert, that's me. After some time the next version of the app will include these species, because we have dozens of nice pictures of both latipennis and rothschildii.
          My hobby is in determination of Psychodidae from photo. Slowly more is possible. These two species are among the easiest ones!
          Posted one month ago
      2. The problem is in the original description which is considered poor by taxonomists, including Gunnar Kvifte. I am very often in contact with him. The Naples museum should contain the type specimen but they have not yet traced it. As soon as they have it and the habitus of the specimen can be judged it will be clear that all photographs of this taxon are latipennis. There also is a possibility that the type specimen is different, in that case all photo's show a species new to science! But the black head and the length of the wing are mentioned in the original description, so I expect it all to be latipennis.
        It is a rot hole species, as is rothschildii. In the Netherlands they were on the same beech tree near to a wet hole.
        Posted one month ago
        1. I've just reviewed those videos and managed to retrieve some more photos from my recycle box.

          I took some not particularly great photos of one or two other specimens and at least one other specimen appears in the videos. I remember they were constantly on the move and with a hand-held camera, I was struggling to maintain sharp focus.

          I had just about moved on when I caught sight of the motionless specimen above in a smalldip/crevice a little a way from the others and the wasp, which is why I'm 99% sure it wasn't a single specimen throughout.

          One thing, I remember struck me at the time was, although we are a coastal city, there's no water feature close to the location where I found these and April had significantly less rainfall than average, so it certainly didn't feel like a damp environment.

          I placed an entry on iRecord which is still pending review.

          Respect for your work on Obsidentify

          Posted one month ago
          1. It only needs a hole in a tree with some rotten stuff in it!. Or something like that between the roots. Posted one month ago
            1. Don't we all? :-) Posted one month ago
      3. When you have a name to contact about this species in the UK, please let me know. Posted one month ago
        1. I'm making inquiries to try to get a name for you. Posted one month ago
        2. I've not forgotten this.

          I have sent reminder messages to those most likely to know.
          Posted one month ago
  6. I have just heard the my ID is correct. Later this year a redescription of the species will be published. When photographic evidence is accepted for country lists, it is new for France, Spain, GB, Germany and Netherlands.
    You maybe can add your find to iNaturalist, which will make a map more complete!
    Posted 22 days ago
    1. That's wicked!

      I previously added it to iRecord as 'Telmatoscopus rothschildii'.

      Should I do a separate entry for iNaturalist and if so, for which species should I record it?

      Also, should I keep news of the forthcoming announcement under wraps until such time as it's made and may I ask for your name please?

      I don't actually know who I've been speaking to? :-)

      I've still had no replies to my enquiries regarding your request for a UK name so I am going to try another route, if you still wish me to?

      PK

      Thank you so much for keeping me updated.
      Posted 22 days ago
    2. And may I please ask who makes that decision and how, and who announces it?

      This is really fascinating stuff.
      Posted 22 days ago
  7. I have heard it from Gunnar Kvifte, his name is already in this thread. The proper genus name is Lepiseodina, not Clogmia anymore. Taxonomists like Gunnar already use that genus name for years. Rotschildi also is in Lepiseodina now, but albipunctata remains in Clogmia.
    I am Weia Reinboud, Utrecht, Netherlands. I am trying to recognise Psychodidae from photo as much as possible. Most taxonomic literature doe not give clues about the habitus ('jizz') of species because they concentrate on genitalia or wings with all hairs removed. So my knowledge very slowly progresses. But sometimes an easy species pops up, like this latipennis. It's quite a story how I found out the identification. Parallel to my photo search the species has been found in Germany and it has been compared to the type specimen, from the museum in Naples, The original description of 1953 is called 'poor' by specialists, so it will be redescribed.
    Posted 22 days ago
    1. Hi Weia

      Yes, Gunnar commented on my post in Facebook UK Diptera.
      I was aware the genus is now called Lepiseodina but iRecord won't record it under anything other than 'Telmatoscopus rothschildii'.

      I'm happy to record it on iNaturalist. but I don't want to do so, if that doubles up on an existing record and I want to be certain about what I should now record it as?

      You probably don't need it, but if you have any use for my photo then feel free to do so. I can get the others and the video clip (yet to be edited) to you if you wish. although the photo above is the best individual shot?

      Posted 22 days ago
      1. I don't mind doubles, there are so much of them everywhere. For clean statistics sites like that one and others are not suitable, so the doubles do not bother. I am asking several people to add their latipennis's to iNaturalist to complete the map: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1375131-Lepiseodina-latipennis Posted 22 days ago
        1. And I'll do this too.

          PK
          Posted 22 days ago
  8. And fascinating it is! Posted 22 days ago
  9. I cannot add pictures here. Send me a mail and I can send you a picture of rothschildii and latipennis on the same scale. Rotschildii is a bit smaller. Google knows my address, google my full name plus Psychodidae ;-) Or my name plus 'high jump' ;-) Posted 22 days ago
    1. I'll do just that.

      Happy to help'
      Posted 22 days ago

Sign in or Join in order to comment.

Lepiseodina rothschildi is a moth fly in the Lepiseodina genus.

Similar species: True Flies
Species identified by Ferdy Christant
View Philip Booker's profile

By Philip Booker

All rights reserved
Uploaded Apr 27, 2022. Captured Apr 25, 2022 16:27 in 5 Home Farm Rd, Brighton BN1 9HU, UK.
  • DSC-RX10M4
  • f/4.0
  • 1/80s
  • ISO320
  • 155.41mm