Currently viewing the category: "Soldier Flies"

Subject:  Small black wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Charlottesville, VA
Date: 07/23/2021
Time: 12:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I’ve been finding lots of these insects in our basement — often dead. I’m not sure where they came from or how to keep them outside, but I figure a good first step will be identifying them! Thanks in advance for your help.
How you want your letter signed:  Kyle

Black Soldier Fly

Dear Kyle,
Though it resembles a Wasp, this is actually a harmless (doesn’t sting nor bite) Black Soldier Fly,
Hermetia illucens, also called a Window Fly because of the transparent features of its abdomen clearly visible in your image.  Have you a compost pile in or near your basement?  Black Soldier Fly larvae are frequently found in compost piles where they are considered beneficial.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much! As it happens, we have a compost pile right outside, so that’s definitely where they come from. Hopefully most end up staying outside.
Seriously, thank you so much for the quick reply. I know how many of these you get, and appreciate you taking the time.

Subject:  long-bodied yellow-orange fly
Geographic location of the bug:  Buffalo NY, USA
Date: 06/27/2021
Time: 04:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi. I’ve never seen anything like these before. Dozens of them hovering over a patch of leaf litter with white fungus in a heavily shaded corner of our yard. They move around constantly and were not seen to land. Body length about 2.5cm.
How you want your letter signed:  JR

Yellow Soldier Fly

Dear JR,
These yellow flies reminded Daniel of some flies he saw in Ohio several times in June that he believed were Soldier Flies in the family Stratiomyidae, and a web search led to Red Worm Composting and an article entitled Yellow Soldier Flies Revisited where it states:  “As if this wasn’t cool enough, today when I walked by a bag of (compostable) used cat litter material – waiting to get added to my new litter vermicomposting system – I noticed a bunch of these large, yellow flies hovering around the bag.”  Eventually Dr. Stephen Marshal, at the University of Guelph identified them as probably
Ptecticus trivittatus.  We located a matching image on BugGuide.

Yellow Soldier Fly

Dear Daniel,
Thanks very much for the prompt response. Yes, that’s a match!
Much appreciated. Best wishes,
John Ringland

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Australia, Victoria, Dandenong
Date: 04/12/2021
Time: 05:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello bugman,
I’m curious about what this bug is. I have found a few in my shed. Any help will be greatly appreciated. A small donation haha.
How you want your letter signed:  Nathan

Wingless Female Soldier Fly

Dear Nathan,
This is a wingless female Soldier Fly in the subfamily Chiromyzinae, and the first time we ever saw one of these, it had us puzzled for quite some time.  There are numerous images posted to iNaturalist.

Wingless Female Soldier Fly

Subject:  What can be this “larva”?
Geographic location of the bug:  Madrid city, NE
Date: 03/28/2021
Time: 01:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There are lots of this larva (I think that it is a larva, but not sure, perhaps a chrysalis) at my parents flat roof. Many of them near to an open box with compost. Some of them looks alive, some of them are “emtpy”. It is the first time that something like that appears there.
Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Chris

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Dear Chris,
These are Black Soldier Fly larvae and they are often found in compost piles.  They are harmless and are actually considered beneficial as they help to break down the organic materials in the compost pile.

Subject:  Bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northeast NE.
Date: 07/25/2019
Time: 05:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I found this “bee” on the leaves of my rose bush while trying to figure out what’s been munching leaves. It’s bright lime green just like the photo, almost half an inch long and has a rather flat shaped abdomen with cool black designs. Not metallic like a sweat bee, if it is indeed a bee, but can’t find any info or pix that match.
Thank you,
How you want your letter signed:  Lois Colvin

Soldier Fly

Dear Lois,
This is not a Bee.  It is a Soldier Fly and we have identified it as
Hedriodiscus binotatus thanks to images posted on BugGuide.

Thank you! First time I’ve seen one in the 17 yrs since moving to NE.

Subject:  Flourescent Green Bee Fly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Kansas
Date: 07/18/2019
Time: 03:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi!  This bug is truly flourescent green.  The head appeared to be orangish in color and does not match with any of the images I’ve found online as it is opposite the coloring of sweat bees, and doesn’t match the orchid bees.
How you want your letter signed:  Flourescent Green Bee Fly Finder

Green Soldier Fly

Dear Flourescent Green Bee Fly Finder,
This fluorescent green fly is actually a Soldier Fly.  There are several green genera with numerous similar looking species.  We believe your Soldier Fly might be a male
Hedriodiscus binotatus based on this BugGuide image.  Males have larger eyes with no space between them.  We would not discount that it might be a male Odontomyia cincta based on this BugGuide image.