Soldier Fly Larva

What the heck is this thing???
Hello –
These larvae are in our swimming pool. I noticed them this morning submerged with their breathing "tube" attached to the water surface, similar to what you see with mosquito larvae. These are about 1 inch long. The top [left] picture is the dorsal view, and the bottom [right] is supine. If you are able to ID then my next question is if these are harmful to humans. Thanks!
Sam Rua

Hi Sam,
This is some type of Aquatic Maggot, or Fly larva. We will bet on it being a Horse Fly Larva. We can find similar images online, including a drawing, but no exact match. BugGuide has an interesting entry from a person who was bitten by a Horse Fly Larva. As far as the adult flies go, only the females bite. Horse Flies are also known as Gad Flies. Eric Eaton then wrote in with the following comments: ” Daniel: I suspect these are actually the larvae of soldier flies (family Stratiomyiidae), but I’m not positive. Typically, horse fly larvae have a leathery appearance, and are much larger (mature specimens at least). Eric”

1 thought on “Soldier Fly Larva”

  1. Just came across this post looking for images and can’t help but comment, though I appreciate it was posted 10 years ago. This is a hoverfly larva, family Syrphidae. They do not bite or are in any way harmful to humans. They filter feed microbes. Unusual that they would turn up in a swimming pool because they prefer microbe-rich water bodies like rot holes in trees, but perhaps there was a deficit of these in the area.


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