Schiner, J.R. 1863. Vorlaufiger Commentar zum dipterologischen Theile der Fauna austriaca. V. Wiener Entomologische Monatschrift 7: 222.


Elliptera is a small genus of 10 species that is currently limited to a single species in the Oriental Region. The characteristics of this are quite similar to those of other Limoniinae genera, but may be separated by: the lack of crossvein R2 (very rarely present), the long straight basal section of Rs that is parallel to R1, and the exceptionaly short rostrum. The male hypopygium of the genus is of the primitive Limoniinae type with a sclerotized dorsal gonostylus and a fleshy ventral gonostylus.


Elliptera sp. wing
Figure 1. Elliptera clausa Osten Sacken (re-drawn from Alexander 1967). 

Elliptera sp. hypopygium
Figure 2. Elliptera clausa Osten Sacken (re-drawn from Alexander 1967).


Elliptera is represented in the Oriental Region by a single species, Elliptera zipanguensis taiwanicola Alexander, known from Taiwan. The genus finds is greatest species richness in the Nearctic reion (6 species) and is additionally found in the Weatern Palearctic (2 species) and Eastern Palearctic (2 species) Regions.

Larval Habitat: 

The larvae of Elliptera are known to inhabit moss and algal masses on wet rock faces (Byers 1996) and may be common around the splash zones of waterfalls, where such algal growths may occur (Alexander 1920).