Monday, August 20, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, someone brought several small larvae into the Master Gardener plant clinic. I had never seen this particular insect larvae before so I had to do a little research to identify them. As it turns out, they were Soldier Fly larvae. You have probably seen the adults frequenting flowers in the landscape. Adult flies vary in color from black, metallic blue, green or purple, to brightly colored black and yellow patterns. You can tell that they are flies and not wasps because flies have just two wings, unlike wasps that have four wings. When at rest, the wings are folded scissor-like across their abdomens. Soldier fly larvae are harmless to humans and are great decomposers which was great news to the visitor to our plant clinic considering they found them in their compost bin.
Photo Credit:
Soldier fly, Hermetia illucens Linnaeus
(Diptera: Stratiomyidae), larvae.
Photo by G. McIlveen, Jr.

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