The soldier flies are a family of flies
True flies are insects of the order Diptera . They possess a pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax...

 (historically placed in the now-obsolete group Orthorrhapha
Orthorrhapha is a circumscriptional name which historically was used for an infraorder of Brachycera, one of the two suborders into which the order Diptera, the flies, are divided. As the group was paraphyletic, it has not been used in classifications in the last decade, and is effectively...

). The family contains about 1,500 species in about 400 genera worldwide. Adults are found near larval habitats. Larvae can be found in a diverse array of situations mostly in wetlands and damp places in soil, sod, under bark, and in animal excrement and decaying organic matter. They are diverse in size and shape, though they commonly are partly or wholly metallic green, or somewhat wasplike mimics, marked with black and yellow or green and sometimes metallic. They are often rather inactive flies which typically rest with their wings placed one above the other over the abdomen.

Larvae and pupae

Larvae may be either aquatic or terrestrial. In regards to nutrition they may be saprophagous, mycophagous, or predatory. The larva forms a pupa
A pupa is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. The pupal stage is found only in holometabolous insects, those that undergo a complete metamorphosis, going through four life stages; embryo, larva, pupa and imago...

 enclosed within the exoskeleton of the final larval instar
An instar is a developmental stage of arthropods, such as insects, between each molt , until sexual maturity is reached. Arthropods must shed the exoskeleton in order to grow or assume a new form. Differences between instars can often be seen in altered body proportions, colors, patterns, or...

; called a puparium.


Very small to large (3–20 mm long); 3 segmented antennae with the terminal segment annulated; ocelli present; lower orbital bristles absent. post-vertical orbital bristles absent; vibrissae absent; mouthparts - proboscis short , not piercing, maxillary palps 1 or 2 segmented; wings with a small discal cell or discal cell absent, nosub-apical cell, closed anal cell, costa not extending around the entire wing, sub-costa reaching the costa independently of vein 1, or joining vein 1 close to where it joins the costa; the leading edge veins often markedly stronger than the rest; vein 6 present and reaching the wing margin. Vein 7 present not reaching. Tibiae without spurs.

For a pictorial atlas explaining these terms go to

Species lists

Further reading

Literature for Palaearctic Fauna
  • Lindner, E., 1938, Vol 18. Stratiomyiidae. In: Lindner, E. (ed.): Die Fliegen der Palaearktischen Region. Stuttgart, 4(1):1-218.
  • Dusek J. and Rozkosny R. 1963-1967 Revision mitteleuropäischer Arten der Familie Stratiomyidae (Diptera) mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Fauna der CSSR. 60 (1963) : 201-221; 61 (1964) :360-373; 62 (1965): 24-60; 64 (1967): 140-165.
  • Acta entomologica bohemoslovaca 71: 322-341 + 1 Tafel.; Prag. Keys to subfamilies, genera and species. In German.
  • Nartshuk, E. P., 1988, 36. Family Stratiomyidae. Part I Diptera and Siphanoptera (In: Bei-Benko, G. Ya.,) Mycetobiidae-Therevidae. Keys to The Insect of European Part of The USSR. Russia, Vol. 5(2): 700-738.
  • Rozkošný, R., 1973, Stratiomyidae of Denmark and Fennoscandia. Lyneborg L. (ed.). Denmark, pp:1-139.
  • Rozkošný, R., 1982, A Biosystematic Study of The European Stratiomyidae (Diptera). Vol.1. Introduction, Beridinae, Sarginae and Stratiomyinae. Series Entomologica, 21. Dr.W. Junk, The Hague, pp.1-401.
  • Rozkošný, R., 1983, A Biosystematic Study of The European Stratiomyidae (Diptera). Vol.2. Clitellariinae, Hermetiinae, Pachygasterinae and Bibliography. Series Entomologica, 25. Dr.W. Junk, The Hague, pp.1-431.
  • Rozkošný, R., Nartshuk, E. P., 1988, Family Stratiomyidae. In: Soós, Á. & Papp, L. (eds.): Catalogue of Palearctic Diptera. Amsterdam & Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, pp 42-96.

Literature for World Fauna
  • Woodley, N. E., 2001. A World Catalog of the Stratiomyidae (Insecta: Diptera). Myia 11: 1-473. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden

External links

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