Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: mystery bug
Location: arizona
March 2, 2014 8:32 pm
found these on a compost bin after a lot of rain in arizona
Signature: jas

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Dear Jas,
These are Black Soldier Fly Larvae,
Hermetia illucens, and they are beneficial in the compost bin as they help break down organic matter.  The rains probably caused the larvae which were living comfortably in the bin to evacuate.  You can try the Black Soldier Fly blog for additional information.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: strange fly looks like wasp in flight
Location: north east Alabama
July 27, 2013 12:02 am
recently had home invaded by this strange fly,has black and clear body with white socks on legs no stinger but looks much like a wasp when in flight.
Signature: dan

Window Fly "Invasion" ends in Carnage

Window Fly “Invasion” ends in Carnage

Dear Dan,
These are Black Soldier Flies, Hermetia illucens, also known as Window Flies because of the clear spaces in the abdomen which causes them to resemble stinging Thread Waist Wasps, which might be a defense mechanism for this benign and harmless species.  Do you have a nearby compost pile?  The larvae of Black Soldier Flies are beneficial in the compost pile.  You can read more about Black Soldier Flies on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Flying Thing
Location: Mt Washington, Los Angeles, CA
June 23, 2013 10:59 pm
We have no idea what this is. It just appeared on our office desk at about 10pm, just hanging out staring at the computer. Looks like a wasp, so I caught it to take some pictures in case we need to be weary of getting stung if we see them again.
Thank you!
Signature: Paul and Barb

Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Fly

Dear Paul and Barb,
Greetings neighbors.  The offices of What’s That Bug? are on Mount Washington in Los Angeles.  This is a perfectly harmless Black Soldier Fly,
Hermetia illucens.  They are sometimes called Window Flies because of the transparent “windows” on the abdomen.  If you or a neighbor have a compost pile, you can expect to see more Black Soldier Flies as the larvae live in rotting organic materials, including compost piles.  According to BugGuide:  “Very rarely, accidentally ingested larvae cause intestinal myiasis in humans and domestic animals. However, larvae compete with house flies in manure, compost piles, etc., and may thus be beneficial. Adults are harmless and not known to carry any human disease.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird worm swimming in toilet
Location: North Carolina
June 23, 2013 7:58 am
I woke up one morning and found tuis thing swimming in my toilet. This was BEFORE I used it! I have looked all over the Internet and can’t seem to find anything like it. It is rather flat, appears segmented and has a beak like protrusion on one end. It is literally swimming around in the water. I just moved into my place in February and am on a septic. Could it be something from that? Hopefully it didn’t come from inside my spouse!! We live on a coastal region of south eastern NC.
Signature: Grossed out on North Carolina

Fly Larva

Fly Larva

Dear Grossed out on North Carolina,
This is a Fly Larva, though we cannot say for certain which family.  Many Horse Flies have aquatic larvae, but this does not look like a Horse Fly Larva.  It looks most like a Soldier Fly Larva in the family Stratiomyidae.  See this image on BugGuide.  Your guess that it came up the drain from the septic tank is very possible.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Window Fly So Cal 10/14/12
Location: Northwest San Fernando Valley
October 14, 2012 11:20 pm
The kids called me in from the wood shop to ID this bug visitor to the kitchen window. They suspected that it wasn’t a hornet, but wanted confirmation before continuing work on dinner.
I went straight to ’74 Hogue Insects of the LA Basin and there he (or she) was.
Real pleased to see this cool guy for the first time in a lifetime in the Los Angeles neighborhood.
Had to pull the window slider from its’ track to escort him out, but he flew away, apparently no worse for the detour.
The photo’s not National G quality, but the ”windows” are pretty easy to see.
JW
Signature: Watson Fambly

Window Fly

Dear JW,
We are happy to hear that you keep a copy of Insects of the Los Angeles Basin handy for quick identifications.  It is truly a wonderful volume and a must for all Los Angeles residents interested in the lower beasts.  Anyone with a compost pile is likely to encounter Window Flies or Black Soldier Flies as the larvae are common compost denizens.  The abdominal “windows” are quite evident in your photo.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this bug? Is it dangerous?
Location: Katoomba, NSW, Australia
April 20, 2012 5:40 am
We’ve been finding these bugs all over outside and my little boy has been playing with them. I just need to make sure they are not dangerous since they are all over the place lately.
Signature: -Autumn and Mark

Wingless Fly: Chiromyzinae species

Dear Autumn and Mark,
In January 2007 we received a similar photo from Australia.  We knew the creature was a fly, but we were uncertain if it was wingless or if the wings were somehow lost.  We eventually learned it was a wingless female fly in the Soldier Fly subfamily Chiromyzinae.  At that time, there was no information available on the internet.  Now we located a Tree of Life web page posted in 2008 that states:  “Chiromyzinae is an unusual group of soldier flies as the larvae are predominantly phytophagous, with many species feeding on the roots of grasses (James 1981; Oosterbroek 1998).”  These wingless Soldier Flies are harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination