Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Explanation of Names
illucens Latin 'shining in, illuminating' (refers to the window-like areas on the abdomen)
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.
Wide ranging in Western Hemisphere, also in Australasia, Africa, Japan, Europe. Commercially distributed for composting.
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.
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
Lekking behavior article
by J. K. Tomberlin and D. C. Sheppard from the Department of Entomology, University of Georgia.