Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record:
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record:
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:

General Invasion History:

Fifteen species of shore flies (Ephydridae) are known from the Galapagos. Two species are apparently introductions, previously absent in the East Pacific. The remaining species are widespread in the Neotropics (Mathis 1995). 
The shore fly Hecamede brasiliensis was described from Rio de Janeiro, State, Brazil, in 1938. It is distributed on both coasts of the tropical Atlantic, from Belize and the West Indies to Brazil, and in Cameroon and Nigeria. The occurrence in Belize (1989, Mathis 1993), may represent a recent invasion since it was not found by Mathis in previous sampling. This fly is also found in the oceanic islands of St. Helena and Ascension (Mathis 1993). It appears to be cryptogenic on both sides of the Atlantic since its native region is not clear. 

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World is not summarized for this species at this time.


The shore fly Hecamede brasiliensis is one of a family of small flies that breed in saline waters, shoreline debris, and shallow fresh to hypersaline, organically rich water. The adult flies usually stay near water or shores, in low emergent or shoreline vegetation. Hecamede brasiliensis has a nondescript typical fly-like appearance, gray to brown in color, with lighter legs and wings, 1.60–2.65 mm long (Mathis 1994).


Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Arthropoda
Subphylum:   Hexapoda
Class:   Insecta
Subclass:   Pterygota
Superorder:   Neoptera
Order:   Diptera
Suborder:   Brachycera
Infraorder:   Muscomorpha
Family:   Ephydridae
Species:   brasiliensis


Hecamede affinis (Canzoneri and Meneghin, 1968)

Potentially Misidentified Species



Shore flies (Ephyridae) are small flies that usually occur near water or wetlands, often in saline conditions. Larvae are typical small maggots which may develop in water, wet soil, or vegetation. Hecamede brasiliensis is usually found near mangrove debris (Mathis 1994). Adults are associated with dead fishes, crabs, and decaying vegetation (Mathis 1993). In the Galapagos Islands, it was found on saline soil, or mangrove debris (Peck et al. 1998). Adults usually do not fly far from water (Simpson 1976).


Algae; dead fish, crabs, decaying vegeation

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder



General HabitatUnstructured BottomNone
General HabitatSalt-brackish marshNone
General HabitatNontidal FreshwaterNone
General HabitatSwampNone
General HabitatMangrovesNone
General HabitatTerrestrialNone
General HabitatCoarse Woody DebrisNone
Salinity RangeLimnetic0-0.5 PSU
Salinity RangeOligohaline0.5-5 PSU
Salinity RangeMesohaline5-18 PSU
Salinity RangePolyhaline18-30 PSU
Tidal RangeLow IntertidalNone
Tidal RangeMid IntertidalNone
Tidal RangeHigh IntertidalNone
Tidal RangeSupratidalNone
Vertical HabitatEpibenthicNone

Life History

Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Minimum Length (mm)1.6None
Maximum Length (mm)2.6None
Broad Temperature RangeNoneTropical
Broad Salinity RangeNonePolyhaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Impacts are unknown.

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
SA-II None 1938 Crypto Estab
WA-III None 0 Crypto Estab
WA-II None 0 Crypto Estab
CAR-II None 0 Def Estab
SA-III None 1938 Crypto Estab
SEP-Z None 1989 Def Estab
CAR-IV None 1991 Crypto Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude


Carlton, James T.; Keith, Inti; Ruiz, Gregory M. (2019) Assessing marine bioinvasions in the Gal√°pagos Islands: implications for conservation biology and marine protected areas, Aquatic Invasions 14(1): 1-20

Mathis, Wayne N. (1993) Studies of Gymnomyzinae (Diptera: Ephydridae), IV: A Revision of the shore-fly Genus Hecamede Haliday, Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 541: 1-46

Mathis, Wayne N. (1995) Shore files of the Galapagos Islands, Annals of the Entomological Society of America 66(5): 627-640

Peck, Stewart B.; Heraty, John; Landry, Bernard; Sinclair, Bradley J. (1998) Introduced insect fauna of an oceanic archipelago: The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, American Entomologist 44: 218-237