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Species Scathophaga stercoraria - Golden Dung Fly

Golden Dung Fly eating another fly - Scathophaga stercoraria Golden Dung Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria green dung fly - Scathophaga stercoraria Golden Dung Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria - male - female Scathophaga stercoraria Scathophaga stercoraria Scathophaga stercoraria? - Scathophaga stercoraria - male Light green fly - Scathophaga stercoraria
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon (Calyptratae)
Superfamily Muscoidea
Family Scathophagidae (Dung Flies)
Subfamily Scathophaginae
Genus Scathophaga
Species stercoraria (Golden Dung Fly)
Other Common Names
Yellow Dung Fly
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus as Musca stercoraria

Scatophaga stercoraria (A common spelling of the genus- correct as Greek, but incorrect as a scientific name)
Explanation of Names
SCATHOPHAGA: from the Greek skatos (σκατος) [a variant of skor (σκωρ)] (- "excrement" + phagein (φαγειεν)- "to eat"; refers to the larvae, which eat excrement [i.e. dung]
STERCORARIA: from the Latin stercoris- "of dung"; the larvae are found in dung
adult body length 7-9 mm
adult males are bright yellow or golden; females are usually grayer; both sexes very hairy on body and legs
throughout North America and the world
larvae found in/on dung of domestic and wild animals
adults found in the neighborhood of larval development sites (dung) which can be just about anywhere - pastures, meadows, woodlands, beside standing or running water, parks, gardens, etc.
spring through fall
larvae feed on dung
adults prey mostly on other fly species, and occasionally on other insects
Life Cycle
multiple generations per year, the number depending on latitude (more in the south; fewer in the north)
This species has been studied extensively in attempting to understand the importance of sperm competition in the evolution of male mating behavior.
Males mate with females on fresh dung, sitting on the back of the female. This doesn't interfere with her overpositing her eggs. Should that male be displaced, another male will fertilize 80% of her eggs.(1)
Sometimes males carry the females from the dung to surrounding grass to mate with her when male densities on the dung increase.(1)
Internet References
live adult image (Johannes Skaftason, Iceland)
live adult image of pair mating (Michel Vuijlsteke, Europe)
live adult photo and distribution (Iziko Museums of Cape Town, South Africa)
mechanism of sperm competition (Research project at U. of Zurich, Switzerland)
Linnaeus Systema Naturae, 10th edition, v.1, pt. 2. p. 599    Linnaeus' original description of the species (in Latin)
Works Cited
1.Insect Ecology: Behavior, Populations and Communities
P. W. Price, R. F. Denno, M. D. Eubanks. 2011. Cambridge University Press.