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

Subject: Soldier Fly–Hedriodiscus Varipes
Location: Wilderness State Park, Michigan
July 5, 2014 7:25 pm
Hello! Sorry I’ve missed a couple of days; I’ve been busy doing research. I’m sure y’all are busy as well! Today, I’ve brought you a soldier fly which I think I’ve got pinned down as Hedriodiscus varipes. The pattern on the head is pretty distinct for this species compared to other Hedriodiscuses–but what really confirms it for me is that Bugguide only has one picture of this species, taken back in 2007, in Wilderness State Park in Michigan… which is exactly where I found my specimen. (Bugguide does note that the species are hard to distinguish, but the genus is right, anyway.) It was very interested in these flowers, avidly dabbing at them with its tongue. This is a very large fly–the size of a horse fly, easily.
Signature: Helen

Soldier Fly:  Hedriodiscus varipes

Soldier Fly: Hedriodiscus varipes

Dear Helen,
This fly is positively gorgeous, both in color and in markings, and we are quite certain its impressive size added to its beauty.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are aquatic” so they are most likely always found near a habitable water source.

Soldier Fly:  Hedriodiscus varipes

Soldier Fly: Hedriodiscus varipes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bugs in Garden
Location: Detroit, Michigan
June 27, 2014 8:10 am
Hello, I am from Detroit, Michigan and there are at least 100 of these bugs in my organic garden of all different sizes. The larger sized bug seems to have more color but move much faster, I have a pretty big yard but they are only in the garden. Just trying to figure out what they are, I looked through the internet but cannot seem to identify them. June 27, 2014.
Signature: Alicia

Probably Soldier Fly

Probably Soldier Fly

Hi Alicia,
Your image lacks the necessary detail to be certain, but this appears to be a Soldier Fly, possibly
Ptecticus trivittatus which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to the Soldier Fly family Stratiomyidae page on BugGuide:  “Larvae in a variety of situations, but mostly associated with decaying plant matter from leaf litter to rotting fruits” which causes us to surmise that they are being attracted to the organic compost in your garden.  They will not harm your produce.

Looks like that is it! Thank you,

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