There are 45 species in the Netherlands. The flies have a preference for
flowers of the family Apiaceae.
Characteristic: Wings with a small round discal
cell. On the scutellum, there often are some spines. (So it gots its name
"soldier fly") There are no bristles on the body. Like the
hover flies the soldier flies
resemble bees or wasps. Round discal cell:
Very clear in the photo of the Black Colonel( Odontomyia tigrina).
Beris chalybata. Genus Beris.
Subfamily Beridinae. Family: Soldierflies (Stratiomyidae).
Dark, shiny green. The abdomen is black. The legs of the male are red brown and tan of the female.
A characteristic of the genus Beris are the six
spines on the scutellum. They have a slim body.
Length 3 -6 mm. April - July. Photos 22-5-2013.
Another similar member of the family is the Beris
morrisii, but this fly flies later in the year.
Photo 6-5-2010. Beris chalybata
male. The hind legs are thick. (near the feet)
Beris vallata. Genus Beris. Subfamily
Family: Soldierflies (Stratiomyidae).
The thorax is black, the abdomen is orange and the wings are black.
Similar to Beris clavipes. Length 5 - 6 mm.
May - September. Photos 17-6-2012.
If you look closely, you see the spines on the
Next: Photo 1-7-2012 of a male Beris vallata or B. cavipes. The hind legs are thick. (near the feet)
Genus Pachygaster. Subfamily Pachygastrinae.Family: Soldierflies (Stratiomyidae).
This small, black soldier fly. Length 2 - 4,5 mm.
The first half of the wings of the Pachygaster atra is dark. That's a
difference with some other species.
The male has dark antennae. The female has light orange antennae.
In the Netherlands are three other similar species.
Pachygaster leachii: the wings don't have a dark part.
Rare: Eupachygaster tarsalis has wings like the P. atra, but the scutellum
has an other shape. Also rare: Neopachygaster meromelas.
Larva: Under the bark, in decaying wood and leaf waste.
Pachygaster atra. Female. Photo 3-7-2012.
Pachygaster leachii. Genus Pachygaster. Subfamily Pachygastrinae.Family: Soldierflies (Stratiomyidae).
The larvae live in decaying wood, decaying plant stems, in leaf litter.
This is a female, recognizable by the bright orange antennae.
Length 3 - 3,5 mm.
Chloromyia formosa male Genus Chloromyia. Family: Soldierflies
Chloromyia formosa female Genus Chloromyia.
Family: Soldierflies (Stratiomyidae).
The male has shiny yellow gold abdomen. Females have a metallic
blue green abdomen. The legs are black with yellow knees.
Length 7- 9 mm. April - August.
The larvae live in damp soil, compost and leaf litter and they feed on
decaying vegetable matter..
Chloromyia formosa male:
The adult of this soldier fly is small and bright metallic green.
The male has red eyes.
In the large photo the female has spread the wings. But mostly the wings
March - September
Length 4,5 -5,5 mm
Larvae live in organic matter, compost heaps. The flies in our garden are
also near the compost heap.
It has two white spots on its face. The female has orange spots on segment 2, the male has a yellow stripe on the side of the thorax.
Length 10 - 13 mm.
The larvae live in manure.
In September I have these beautiful flies in the garden.
Black Colonel (Odontomyia tigrina).
Genus Odontomyia. Subfamily Stratiomyinae.Family: Soldierflies
A shiny black fly with yellow on the underside of the abdomen and the legs. The female has sometimes also yellow spots on the side of the body. Those females
looks like the female of the Odontomyia argentata.
They are often seen on plants near water. In our garden near the pond.
April - August. Length 7.5 to 11.5 mm.
Scutellumwith twospines.Ithas broadabdomen
the side. The larvae livein water.
The fly in this photo
it isnext tothe pond. Odontomyiaornataresembles aStratiomys,
first segment of a Odontomyia
2and 3. May - August. Length 12 - 17 mm.