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

Subject:  What’s this bug/worm in standing water?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern CA – Mendocino Coast
Date: 11/11/2017
Time: 04:59 PM EDT
I’ve been seeing a lot of these worm bugs floating/swimming in the standing water on top of my composter.  They are alive and move around slowly in the water.  They’re almost an inch long and kind of skinny if you see them sideways (2nd photo).  Can you tell me what this is?
Thanks so much!
How you want your letter signed:  Laurie York

Black Soldier Fly Pupa

Dear Laurie,
This is a Black Soldier Fly Pupa, and their presence in your compost pile is a sign that it is healthy.  According to Daily Dump:  “The Black Soldier Fly Maggots are prolific creatures that appear in all compost heaps – they are nature’s scavengers and good for composting. They love a very wet pile. …  If it’s too much and you want to avoid them coming out and crawling on your floor, you can put your composter in a plastic tub with high sides. They usually cannot crawl out of that slippery vertical surface. If they crawl out and wander all over, then sweep them up, collect them in a container and drop them under a tree – birds love them!  Remember that these BSF maggots suppress the lifecycle of the pest carrying housefly. The Soldier flies have no mouth and cannot transmit pathogens, so they are harmless. Appreciate them. They are even a fried delicacy in some cultures as they are very rich in protein!” 

Black Soldier Fly Pupa

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much for writing me with this info about the Black Soldier Fly Pupa.  Now when I see them I’ll not be frightened and know that they are beneficial in my compost pile.
I appreciate the helpful info you sent me.
Be well,
Laurie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Some kind of fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Stillwater, Oklahoma
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 03:48 PM EDT
What is this? I have never seen this before, and it was sitting on a hummingbird feeder outside my mother-in-law’s apartment in north central Oklahoma (Stillwater).
How you want your letter signed:  Shelley M

Soldier Fly

Dear Shelley,
We can’t understand why the beautiful green Soldier Flies in the genus
Hedriodiscus have no common names.  Based on this BugGuide image, we believe your individual is Hedriodiscus binotatus.  Of the family, BugGuide notes:  “Often superficially resemble wasps in appearance and behavior. Adults vary widely in color and shape. Wings at rest are folded scissorlike across the abdomen. Antennae characteristic in having a long terminal segment which, when bent, gives a flagged appearance.”  Tree of Life notes:  “The adults are most often collected on foliage in damp forests, near bodies of water, or near boggy areas (James 1981).”

Soldier Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp like bug?
Location: England, Lancashire
June 25, 2017 5:24 am
Want to identify the bug. It landed on some clothing and it had a good grip, it would not let go of the cloth easily. It also did not fly away when disturbed.
Thanks
Signature: ?

Banded General

Though we did not recognize the species, we suspected this might be a Soldier Fly in the family Stratiomyidae, and we soon found the Banded General, Stratiomys potamida, pictured on Nature Spot where it states:  “It is a slow and cumbersome flyer, often seen feeding on umbellifers and Bramble in wet and marshy areas” and “Its carnivorous larvae are amphibious, feeding in ponds and ditches.”  The site also states:  “Soldier flies get their name from their bold and bright colours and markings. This is a particularly striking example – looking like a very flat wasp.”  FlickR states “One of the ‘big five’ soldierflies” and has some great images.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this Botfly larvae
Location: South padre island
April 2, 2017 4:40 pm
Please help identify
Signature: Vivian

Black Soldier Fly Pupa

Dear Vivian,
This is definitely an immature phase of a Fly in the order Diptera, and we do not believe it is a Bot Fly.  We needed to research that South Padre Island is in Texas.  We suspect this might be a Black Soldier Fly pupa.  Was it found near a compost pile? 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ident request
Location: 33°43′S 150°20′E
December 2, 2016 7:19 pm
David,
2 years ago I was in Leura, a small town in the Blue Mountains just west of Sydney Australia, when I saw a number of these bugs on a concrete driveway. Next to the driveway was a small bamboo grove which seemed to be the source of the bug. The maximum size was about 35 mm but most were about 20 mm long. None had any feelers/antennae. They tended to move towards a persons shoe if one went within a metre of them.
It was 11 am in mid April which is mid autumn (Fall) here. It was an overcast day, not raining, but with high humidity. Leura is 90 km (55 miles) from the Pacific ocean and is generally at 950 metres (3000 feet) above sea level. The vegetation is lush.
Any ideas?
Best Wishes
RobT
Signature: Robert T

Flightless Female Soldier Fly

Flightless Female Soldier Fly

Dear Robert,
This is a flightless female Soldier Fly,
Boreoides subulatus, a species with pronounced sexual dimorphism, with the males being much smaller and winged.  According to the Atlas of Living Australia:  “Female Wingless Soldier Flies are seen on walls and fences, laying masses of long white eggs. Larvae live in damp soil or rotting vegetation, especially in or near compost.”

Flightless Female Soldier Fly

Flightless Female Soldier Fly

Dear Daniel,
That is wonderful. I have lived here on the east coast of Australia for 30 years and prior to that in Southern Africa also for 30 years and was totally stumped.
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.
Regards
RobT

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bug In Austin, Texas
Location: TX
October 17, 2016 7:15 pm
I found this bug in my gym bag on 10/13/16. I found the bug on the University of Texas at Austin campus. The bug has a long black body divided into two parts. Half of the bottom of the back is transparent. I captured the bug (because it got into my room) and released it outside. The attached photos are the bug in a plastic case.
Signature: TKR

Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Fly

Dear TKR,
Because of the transparent part of the body you observed, the Black Soldier Fly,
Hermetia illucens, is sometimes called a Window Fly.  It is described on BugGuide as being:  “Large soldier fly, all black with bright white tarsi. Underneath, first abdominal segment has clear areas. Wings have purplish sheen. Likely a wasp mimic, it buzzes loudly.”  This is a harmless species that does not sting nor bite.  Because of your catch and release handling of this sighting, we are tagging the posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.   

Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination