Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


Species Hermetia illucens - Black Soldier Fly

large black fly with bluish wings - Hermetia illucens Unidentified Black Flying Insect - Hermetia illucens Small Wasp - Hermetia illucens Fly (wasp mimic) - Hermetia illucens Black Soldier Fly - Hermetia illucens Black Soldier Fly - Hermetia illucens - female Dipteran ID central New Jersey - Hermetia illucens black soldier fly - Hermetia illucens
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Infraorder Stratiomyomorpha
Family Stratiomyidae (Soldier flies)
Subfamily Hermetiinae
Genus Hermetia
Species illucens (Black Soldier Fly)
Other Common Names
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus 1758)
Explanation of Names
illucens Latin 'shining in, illuminating' (refers to the window-like areas on the abdomen)
15-20 mm
Large soldier fly, all black with bright white tarsi. Underneath, first abdominal segment has clear areas. Wings have purplish sheen. Likely a wasp mimic, it buzzes loudly.
[check MCAD]
Wide ranging in Western Hemisphere, also in Australasia, Africa, Japan, Europe. Commercially distributed for composting.
Apr-Nov in NC(1)
Life Cycle
Larvae live in compost, dung, rotting vegetation
Very rarely, accidentally ingested larvae cause intestinal myiasis in humans and domestic animals. However, larvae compete with house flies in manure, compost piles, etc., and may thus be beneficial. Adults are harmless and not known to carry any human disease.
Print References
Tomberlin J., Sheppard C., Joyce J.A. (2005) Black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) colonization of pig carrion in South Georgia. J. Forensic Sci. 50(1): 152-153 (Full text)
Internet References
Fact sheets: TAMU | NCSU
Lekking behavior article by J. K. Tomberlin and D. C. Sheppard from the Department of Entomology, University of Georgia.
Works Cited
1.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.